(I was going to post an entry that actually had to do with writing, but I thought that this might be more useful.)
You’ve written your “perfect” book. You’ve researched all your options. You’ve chosen to self publish and you’ve even formatted your manuscript, but there’s something missing.
Whatever your reason, you’ve decided to hire someone to create the “perfect” cover for your book. So, now that you’ve picked them, here are seven sure fire ways to make them mad, or at the very least irritate them.
1. Mail more than one artist at a time. This is the same as saying, “hello, I’m playing the cover artist lotto and the first one who answers me gets it!”. If you can’t take the time to check the artists’ portfolios and choose the one who does the kind of work you want, then why should they take the time to bother with you?
2. Continually repeat something. Example: “Make it look realistic. I want it realistic. It should look realistic. Make sure it is as realistic as possible. Draw this as realistic as you can.” Annoying, isn’t it? Guess what, your cover artist thinks so too. It’s one thing to say this (once) in reply to a rough draft/sample, etc, but to randomly harassment them, or put it in your initial emal(s) more than once is going to irritate them. They got it already. If you don’t think they’re smart enough to grasp it, or talented enough to do what you want, then don’t hire them.
3. Harassment mail. It’s a pretty safe bet that your cover artist does this on the side. They probably have a real job, children, a house to clean, and many other things to do. Most artists will be very up front with you about how long it’s going to take to get the work done, and mailing them every hour isn’t going to speed the process up, only slow it down as they now have to take time to answer your each and every mail. No one harassed you when you wrote the book, so don’t harass them for the cover or they may rush it to shut you up and you’ll end up with a crappy product.
4. Change your mind repeatedly. Example: “I want a woman on the cover… Oh. Now that I see the woman, I don’t like it. What about a cat?… Oh, you know, I don’t like that now. What if we do something completely different? I’m thinking a tank!” There’s nothing wrong with wanting a small change after you see your cover; sometimes things don’t look as well in execution as you think they will, but to keep making the artist redo it is annoying, and they may very well tell you no.
5. Suddenly disappear. Life happens, and an emergency may prevent you from concluding your business, but to just drop out of the world or – even worse – suddenly block their email address just because you changed your mind and want to hire someone else, is rude. Be honest. Say you’ve hired someone else, or that you’ve decided not to publish your book, or that something has come up and you need to put the project on hold. It only takes a moment.
6. Don’t answer your final mail. I’m talking about that final mail, after you’ve agreed you like the cover, everything is prefect, and they send you the files – and then the crickets chirp in their inbox for a week or more. Maybe it’s because you can’t pay them right away, if that’s the case then send them a note back that says, “Thanks. Got it. will pay you —-.” That’s all you need to say, otherwise it leaves your cover artist with the impression that you didn’t get the mail or the files. They didn’t leave you hanging, so don’t leave them hanging.
7. Take advantage of your cover artist. Maybe you got lucky and found someone to do your cover for free, or maybe it’s just that you expect them to do multiple redos or multiple versions for the price of a single cover. Either way, if they’re willing to do this you should thank them instead of criticizing and continuing to expect more and more. It’s just plain rude, and it makes them less likely to help you, or anyone else, in the future.
Look for the next post – “10 Ways to Make Your Cover Artist Love You.” coming soon.