Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm crowd-sourcing the design of my book cover. Give me your feedback.

I’m tired of sitting on my hands waiting for my book to somehow get magically published, making me instantly famous. My expectations are somewhat lower than that, but I’m nonetheless very excited to finally begin the process of self-publishing my book, Off The Grid, both electronically and print on demand. While I still have quite a few submissions out to agents still, I feel great about taking control of my own writing destiny and getting this book out the door!

While there is a whole lot of stuff to be done and I’ve had lots of suggestions on what to do next, the first major decision I’ve made about the book is to crowd-source the cover design. I found a company called CrowdSPRING. You submit your design project details to them – in my case a book description and some other details – and their list of thousands of designers (or “creatives”) create options for you based on your “award” price - what you’re willing to pay. I submitted my information last night about 11 p.m. and by 6 a.m. I had 14 entries on my project – two of which I really liked. They say a good project averages about 110 entries. Not sure I’ll get there, but I’m really excited about this concept.

I provide ratings and specific feedback to the creatives and they either bail out or submit new versions. I didn’t provide any specific imagery to ensure I didn’t stunt the creation of the cover with my own ideas and limited design skills. Some of the designs are a bit wacky, but that’s the nature of the beast. Once the project timeline is over Oct. 6, I’ll pick a winner and work directly with the creative to make final tweaks before they get paid. It’s a cool deal.

You can view my project here: Hover over the images for a larger view. Click on details at the top to see what information I submitted to the creatives (including the book description).

I’ll update everyone as this progresses. Love to hear your thoughts on the designs.

View designs now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rejection update - batting 1000% percent. I’m a winner!

I don’t care what anyone tells you - waiting during the submissions process has been the hardest part of the novel-to-publishing process. I’m completely helpless while I wait and I’m not really good being idle. I get board and cranky. Ask my wife. Not good for anybody.

I submitted to 38 agents and one publisher. Thus far I’ve gotten just nine responses, all rejections (obviously). If the glass is half full, it means that 30 people are fighting over me. The glass half empty guy says that the nine who cared enough to read my submissions couldn’t fire off a form rejection fast enough. It’s a toss up.

Maybe I’m stubborn, but I won’t work on coding my book for e-readers, draft up a cover with a designer or take that all-important author picture until I can say for sure that no agent I queried really wants my book. I want to go 100 percent toward publishing (self or traditional), so it stinks to sit and kill time.

This blog post sounds really sad, but it’s where I’m at with the process. No suicide watch, please, I’ll survive. Just annoyed with the waiting. I’m not the first newbie author to think this way, but having company in the desert island isn’t much of a comfort.