One of the most valuable things a first-time self-published author can invest in is a great book coach, especially if they feel lost in the process and have no clue where to start. A book coach is one of those people you wish for as you dive into self publishing, and aren't sure if they actually exist.
I'm hear to tell you that they DO exist, and that Amy Collette of Unleash Your Inner Author is one of my absolute favorites.
How do I even begin to describe my work with Bethany? She has a huge heart and passion to help women find their purpose and remove the fear that holds them back from their full potential. I feel honored I was able to share in her story and come up with a plan to help her launch her baby.
Oftentimes, authors and readers have no idea the thought process and research that goes into a book cover design. So today I thought I'd share one of my favorite book cover designs and how me and my author landed on the design that we did.
Recently I worked with Dave and Sonya of (you guessed it) Dave + Sonya Photography to help freshen up their brand, appeal to their target market, and give them a website that does their photos justice.
Dave and Sonya are a Colorado Springs husband and wife photography team, specializing in pure, unfiltered high school senior sessions with a focus on athletes and dancers. They provide you with the best creative sessions and photos your family will cherish for generations. They also took our anniversary wedding redo photos for us several years ago, and are people we consider friends. Their talent as well as eye for senior portraits specifically is astounding. We worked together to bring that same excellence to their brand.
I was recommended to Amy quite a while ago after she put out a tweet looking for a brand designer. We chatted a bit over email, but her redesign was still a ways off. In the meantime, I became an avid follower of The Wherever Writer. Not because I wanted her become a client—but because I found her life FASCINATING. She's a travel blogger... but not really. (Seriously, let me explain...)
Ana-Marija was one of my very first online clients, and the first international client I've had the privilege to design for. And I really mean it when I say it's been a privilege. Ana-Marija opened her own restaurant in Dubrovnik, Croatia (Pantarul), has written and published an amazing cook book (What's Cooking in Dubrovnik), and her food blog, Da mi je nešto slatko… (If I had something sweet…) has won awards as the best Croatian food blog. And then... she called on me to help her design her brand for her English blog that launches today.
I met Jessica through a local networking group over a happy hour, and we talked books and our businesses. It was like speed dating—and I knew I liked her right away! A short time later she called me and we went out to lunch to discuss her business and personal brand.
See, Jessica works in the housing industry—in ALL areas. She works with several different companies that each specialize in a particular side of real estate, from buying and selling current real estate properties to custom built homes and even renovations. She had a postcard trying to sum up what it is she does, with all of the companies' various logos included on it—and unfortunately, it just wasn't communicating all that SHE is and all that SHE does. Because let me tell you—what she does is amazing.
You know your book has potential. You know that your "why" driving your story is enough to draw an engaged, excited audience. But you've sent your manuscript to several publishers, and have barely even made it past their automated response system. Or, a publisher finally saw your potential, and proposed to you a publishing plan that requires you to invest tens of thousands of dollars just get your book on a shelf. It's overwhelming and discouraging.
That's why self-publishing is so appealing. You have a way to get your book in front of many readers with minor investment costs and on your own terms.
Getting a logo designed for your brand can be pretty stressful. The logo that’s right for you is a mix of brand storytelling, marketing to your audience, and something that you simply like (or hopefully LOVE). As a designer, my job is to do adequate brand and market research so I can advise you with fonts, colors, and shapes. But at the end of the day, you’re either going to like it—or you're not. Here are some characteristics that make up a good (and effective) logo.
Choosing the right brand designer to create visuals that represent your brand is VITAL. Let me say that again (but it’s worth repeating about 50 times), choosing the right designer is VITAL. You need a designer that's going to jump on the same page as you—someone who understands your vision, your audience, and your vibe.
I'll admit, the process of finding the right designer can be difficult. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get in front of my niche, my ideal clients, and those that I know I’d love to work with and who would love to work with me. But I watch the Facebook group posts that go out “In need of a designer!” and 50+ designers respond. It can be CONFUSING! You don’t know how to make the right decision—or even know where to start when it comes to considering designers.
There's a lot of pressure choosing a designer to represent you and your business. But I think there can be a good place to start. I believe there's a way you can set yourself up for success by asking important questions and knowing what to look for to ensure you choose the right brand designer.