Getting Comfortable With Creative

You wrote the book. That may seem like the easy part as you begin to face scores of decisions. Front matter and back matter. Author photo. Editors, overall and copy. Proofreader. Promo team. Perhaps the biggest…book cover design.

My decision for NEELIE’S TRUTH cover design was made early.  A graphic designer I’ve known for many years said he’d like to work on the cover. For me it was a non-decision. I trusted him. I knew I could work with him. I also knew I wanted a cover that honored the story with a clean, strong design.

For many indie authors, cover designs come from firms that specialize in books. Or sometimes, from a packaged deal they buy from the book producer. I had decided to go indie all the way, so I said “yes” to Paul Kazmercyk.



Here’s the steps Paul and I followed:

  • KiteI provided a synopsis with notes on key themes
  • Paul mulled on it all for a bit and then came back with about a dozen directions, but two main themes. One cover was a riff on the image I’d used for my Kickstarter campaign, a photo I shot of a steer on a hillside. Paul proposed a similar photo but with a young girl added. The second theme used a kite in the sky, a key element from the story.
  • I considered the girl/photo but was instantly pulled to the kite. Bold, red and created as a graphic rather than a photo, it felt right.
  • We went through about another half-dozen rounds, tinkering with positioning, font and background.
  • In the end, we landed close to the beginning but with a finished look that I’m thrilled with.


Neelie’s kite flies high against a perfect blue sky, tilted into the wind, broken but still flying.

This is Paul’s first book cover. NEELIE’S TRUTH is my debut literary novel. I’m not sure I’d recommend this process for everyone. My life has included marketing consulting and directing creative teams. I was up for it and excited to take charge of this important part of my book. And most importantly, I trusted Paul to have the conversations necessary to respond to my vision; and I trusted his design skills to make NEELIE’S TRUTH stand out on the shelf. From hard cover jacket to Kindle, the cover carries my story to you.

I’mmug_websozed so pleased with the design that I took it a step farther and set up a store at Cafe Press.  Check it out.



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