Cover art and self publishing

I have uploaded my first draft of Climbing Yggdrasil to CreateSpace, designed a cover, and ordered proof copies for scribbling in. They’ve estimated I should have them by June 2, in time for me to start a second read-through looking for problems to correct. The book is not as frighteningly bad as I expected it to be, I actually came up with some good stuff somehow! I was most concerned about the end, because I kind of rushed through the last few chapters. The chapters themselves don’t feel rushed, but it’s clear there ought to be more chapters between the ones I have to flesh certain things out so that the reader doesn’t think, “Wait, when did that happen?”

climbing yggdrasil

This generic cover won’t do for final publication; I’ve done some looking into professional cover designers and really liked what I saw over at Creative Digital Studios, but it comes down to being able to justify paying for it. There are other avenues to pursue, and I believe I’m still early enough in the editing process that I shouldn’t be rushing to have a nicer cover done just yet.

I think in the beginning of this whole adventure, back in November when I realized I would actually make it to 50,000 words and finish a book for once, I wanted to try getting it published through traditional channels. Then one of the winner goodies from NaNoWriMo was a code good for two paperback copies of my book through CreateSpace, so I started checking them out and learned how easy it is to self-publish that way. After a message to customer support, I learned that this code is not valid for proof copies; I would have to submit my book for publication in order to redeem two free copies of the final product. I don’t think I’ll be ready by the time the code expires.

The more I played with CreateSpace, the more attractive the idea of self-publishing my first novel became. This wouldn’t mean I couldn’t try a later book through a publisher; it might even help to have a self-published book floating out there (assuming it gets positive reviews; I’ll have to make sure it’s good enough to do that). I could be entirely wrong, publishers might look at a self-published author as some kind of terrible amateur who has no business trying to gain traction in the world of traditional publishing.

I just want to get my work out there for people to read, though. I’d like to have a final draft polished and ready to go up on CreateSpace by November. I should probably figure out what I’m going to do about a cover in the coming months, then.

Anyone have experience with publishing, self or otherwise? What has that been like for you?


4 thoughts on “Cover art and self publishing

  1. I’m so glad you published this post. I am currently in the same position. After having no luck with the traditionals I have also decided to use Creatspace. I am currently formatting my book but the cover is s big ussue for me too. I’m not really confident enough in my own artistic abilities (although it is an option for the first copy) but don’t really have the cash for a professional. What’s your book about?

    • It’s a science fiction, where the Internet has had to expand to cover an entire solar system, and a relatively new technology relies on comatose psychics (synchronizers) in tanks that act as routers for spaceships. Captain Kandace finally concedes to her crew’s wishes despite her reservations, and she ends up with a synchronizer who isn’t comatose but completely aware.

      • Cool. Keep us posted. I would love to know about your experiences with Creatspace. Did you find it easy to use?

        • I had some trouble with the cover designer; it would say there was something that needed my attention, but then everything looked fine once I opened it. Formatting was easy enough, changing indentations and line spacing, then copy-pasting. Fairly simple, all in all.

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