Thursday, March 29, 2012

Purchasing Design Products from CreateSpace - A Review

The author of the former self-publishing blog The Publishing Maven, Christy Pinheiro, once pointed out to me my best selling books had professionally done covers. She was also kind enough to steer me to a product authors can use to create reasonably nice covers themselves, BookCoverPro. I have released a series of short books that cover a single topic that are inexpensive and also serve to promote a larger and more profitable book covering the broad range of the single topic of the "short." I have used BookCoverPro to do these covers and the software has proven to be more than adequate for these specific books.

However, my latest effort, which should be available from Amazon no later than the second week of April, has the potential to be a really good seller! (proud author, can you tell?) I write mainly non-fiction for basketball coaches. The soon to be available from Amazon book is Fine Tuning Your Three-Point Attack. The fine people at ebook Architects are at work as I type converting my files for Kindle and Nook editions of the book.

Given the potential for sales, I wanted this book to have a good cover that was professionally done. Given my limited finances (due to my air conditioning unit dying and having to be replaced) I opted to purchase the $349 Unique Book Cover option offered by CreateSpace. 

While taste is in the eyes of the beholder, I really like the finished cover as shown below. It is far better than anything I could have come up with on my own using BookCoverPro.

The process starts by going to the Layout and Design Page on the CreateSpace website.  Click on the Unique Book Cover tab.

If you have questions I suggest you call the people at CreateSpace. They have always been helpful, and if the individual who answers the phone does not know the answer, they will find out while you wait. You can e-mail your question but I suggest call using the Talk to Us feature. You enter your phone number and click on You Call Me and the phone rings within seconds.
Once you decide to purchase a cover, you must call and request the cover option be placed in your Cart so you can make the purchase. You will be assigned a design team with a project manager.  You will need to check your Member Dashboard for an Attention Required notice for the book the cover is being designed for.

You will be asked to fill out a detailed survey as CreateSpace likes to call it. You will be given options to upload a variety of items such as an author photo, cover design, etc. I uploaded a file with images of covers I liked and disliked with explanations of why with each cover. 

After a few days you will receive a phone call from the leader of your cover design team. You will be asked to provide input in what you want in the cover design. In about five days you will receive notification that two cover designs are ready for you to choose from.

Once you have made your choice and there are no changes to be made, you will receive an electronic form through your Member Dashboard requesting you provide the copy for the back and any other suggestions or requirements for the back cover design that you might have.

After another five working days, you will receive the final design for the cover complete with front, back and spine. Once approved, CreateSpace will load it for you on your books set-up page.

The process was pretty easy and I am quite happy with the final cover design. While the readers of this blog might not like the design, it captured the elements I believed to be essential. There is a sense of movement in the cover as well as a sense of urgency. The design is simple yet lets the potential buyer know what the book is about. 

The cover is for an 8.5 x 11 book that is 204 pages in length. The price is the same regardless of the size of the trim of the book the cover is being created for.

I have purchased a second Unique Book Cover for another book in my Fine Tuning Series. As part of my requests for my design I asked for a similar style of design to indicate the book is part of a series yet I want the cover to have a stand alone feel to it as well. It will be interesting to see what the designers at CreateSpace come up with.

When I get my second Unique Book Cover, I will share the results and allow the readers of this blog to have a side-by-side comparison of the covers.

This service and the designs CreateSpace comes up with might not be for everyone, but I am happy with the cover design I received for the amount of money I was able to afford to invest.