Please join me for my first Author/Writer Related Services Interview. The plan is to mix these with the author interviews on Saturdays. Beginning this week, every other Saturday there will be an Authors/Writer Related Service Interview and the next Saturday will be an Author’s Interview. Enjoy!
ABOUT BOOK COVERS BY JOANN
JoAnn Durgin, owner/designer of JoAnn’s Book Cover Design is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over forty novels and lives in her native “Kentuckiana” (the “Sunny Side of Louisville”). She was named one of the “35 Essential Christian Romance Authors” in 2018 by Family Fiction Magazine.
See contact information below. JoAnn prefers to be contacted either through her Facebook or Etsy Store
INTERVIEW WITH COVER DESIGNER, JOANN DURGIN
Can you tell us a bit about the history and mission of JoAnn’s Book Cover Design, and what sets you apart from other companies offering similar services?
I’ve been a published author with over forty books, and I love the process of working with a designer on a book cover. I come from a family of professional photographers, and I like to believe I have “an eye” for knowing what works well. A few years ago, I began writing a series under a pseudonym and tried my hand at designing the covers. Thankfully, the reader response was overwhelmingly positive. Since I’m an author myself, I’m sensitive to an author’s need for a great cover without spending a fortune, so my prices are very reasonable.
I set up a FB page for book design a number of months ago, but it’s only in the past couple of months that I’ve concentrated on promoting it. The demand has grown quickly to the point where I’m neglecting my writing (a nice problem to have)! I’m thrilled that all my clients have been repeat customers.
What kinds of services do you offer to writers, and how do you ensure that each client receives personalized attention and support?
I offer premade eBook covers which I then customize per the client’s request (unlimited mockups). This is accomplished through frequent communication. When a final design is agreed upon, at the client’s request, I can provide a 300 dpi high-quality resolution image (or higher, if needed) as well as jpgs suitable for RGB use (digital) and CMYK (professional printing) for full wraps or marketing/advertising purposes. I can also search for images and design a cover on spec; it helps tremendously if the client provides examples of images or a description of what they’d like).
How do you evaluate a writer’s needs and goals, and how do you tailor your services to meet their specific requirements?
If an author is published, I look at their books online to get a sense of their preferences in terms of color, design, subject matter, elements, and style. Often the covers are dictated by genre, but I have several clients who write in multiple genres. Once I’ve worked with clients once or twice, it becomes a much easier (and quicker) process. I always work closely with clients to achieve the “perfect” cover for their needs.
What are some of the most common challenges that writers face when seeking to publish or promote their work, and how does JoAnn’s Book Cover Design help them address these obstacles?
Many cover designers have raised their prices in today’s challenging economy. Higher costs are daunting for many authors, so I hope to bridge the gap by providing high-quality covers at a very affordable price. As an author, I know the hard work that goes into writing, and a great cover is crucial since it’s the first thing most potential readers see. Some designers can also be booked months in advance, but I offer a one or two-day turnaround.
How do you stay up-to-date with trends and changes in the publishing industry, and how do you help writers navigate this rapidly evolving landscape?
I primarily design covers suitable for sweet and clean, inspirational, and Christian covers. What works for most of my clients is a tried-and-true “classic” cover design, no matter the genre. Of course, if they request something specific, I’ll be happy to work with them. My design page on Facebook primarily offers romance covers, but I’ve opened a new Etsy store where I also showcase covers for genres such as fantasy, women’s fiction, time travel, holiday fiction, young adult, and new adult.
Can you walk us through the process of working with a writer from start to finish, and what kind of communication and feedback can they expect from your team?
My clients come to me directly and then we’re off and running! Much of our contact is done through messaging on social media. I will send them a mockup of a premade cover, or a mockup of a cover they’ve requested, for feedback. We go back and forth until we achieve their vision for their book cover. Once covers are finalized, they’re sent to the client via a digital file to their email address.
How do you work with writers to establish a timeline for their projects, and how do you ensure that they stay on track throughout the process?
I respond to clients in a very short turnaround time (one or two days). One of my first questions I ask clients is for their timeline since needs can vary widely. I stay in contact with them throughout the process, taking care not to overwhelm them. Sometimes they need time to mull over options and make decisions.
How do you handle sensitive or confidential information related to a writer’s work or personal life, and what steps do you take to protect their privacy?
I am privy to pre-release covers and plots, and protecting the privacy and confidentiality of my clients is my top priority. When someone buys a book cover I’ve designed, they can be assured that no one else will see or hear about their cover until the reveal and/or release of the book.
What are some of the most successful projects that you have worked on as a company, and what do you think contributed to their success?
I recently designed covers for a six-book series for a client using the same cover model (three novels and three novellas). The client is very pleased and plans on moving up the release date (or revealing the covers earlier than planned) because she’s so inspired by them. We were consistent with the covers (author name, title, and design elements) that tied them together beautifully.
How do you approach marketing and promotion for the writers you work with, and what strategies have you found to be most effective?
I work closely with authors to make sure I understand their goals and their vision. I want them to be thrilled with their book cover(s) and a repeat customer! Since I offer premade covers, authors often buy one, and then it sparks the inspiration for a series. My quick turnaround time fosters a great relationship and confidence in my dedication to their project.
What advice would you give to writers who are just starting out, and how can they best position themselves for success in today’s publishing landscape?
Write the best story you can and find a great cover! Whether you choose a cover early and use it for inspiration while writing, or pick one later in the process, your cover can make or break a book and its sales. Everyone has different tastes and there are many genres and stylistic preferences for covers, but it’s to an author’s long-term advantage to find a cover that best represents his/her content. I’d advise writers not to worry about trends unless it’s what works for the theme(s) of a particular book.