Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ugly is Ugly

Honestly, if you want ugly for your book cover, I won't stop you. I'll gently suggest changes but if you want ugly, you'll get ugly.

What do I mean by ugly?

I had one guy who demanded I do his cover exactly like his bad CreateSpace block cover from the early 90's. A plain black cover with one bad bar with blurry lightening showing. It was sad and not eye catching.

Another woman demanded I use a bad photograph she had with poor picture quality. It transferred horribly. It came out grainy. She truly believed I could magically make this photo perfect. I did clean it up and sharpen it but I couldn't make it a 300 DPI quality cover. It looked like it was underwater.

One writer wanted the cover so busy, it looked like 2nd grade collage project.

And I did it all and I charged them money.


Because the writer asked me to.

I tried to change their minds but my job is to find a balance between what I think will grab the reader and what you want. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't.

I'm not saying I'm never wrong.

Sometimes what the author wanted made the cover better in the end and I'm willing to try most things.

I want to make you happy. I want to make you a cover that gets you buckets of cash for your work.

Although I did tell the one person that I won't do a pink penis cover. Not because of moral objections, I just hate spending hours photoshopping a pink penis.

So let me help you, okay? I really want to help. And yeah, don't ask me to do a pink penis book cover. A girl has to draw the line somewhere.

Besides some of the covers where the writers worked with me have been fantastic covers. A partnership, not a dictatorship.

After all, your paying me to do it...let me do what you are paying me for.



  1. I've had this happen with my day job more times than I'd like to count. Each time I thank the universe that at least my name isn't on the project. If I did this as a freelancer as you do, Tirzah, I'd be pulling out my hair in handsful too, torn between the customer always being right (ouch!) and my reputation for designing certain looks. I feel for you.

  2. So should I send the Pink Penis writer to you? LOLOLOL.

    Someone has to do that cover.

    But not me.

    Sometimes i almost want to say---don't tell anyone I did that...LOL.


  3. Tirz.

    I'm so sorry I missed your birthday. You are now in my birthday book and will never be forgotten again. I love your comments about creating covers, especially the penis. I hope the woman with the 'grainy picture' wasn't me! Only two more weeks and then I will sending my novella (including 'your' cover off the CreateSpace). There's no point in any further editing...time to hit the high road. Gladys signs off.

  4. Wasn't you. It was of crows.

  5. I would love for you to create a cover for me. How much do you charge? Send me an email.

  6. Hi Tirzah,just wanted to let you know I have awarded you the Liebster Award. You can pick it up on my blog

    Have a great weekend :)

  7. Tirz, I understand the difficulty you face with this stuff. The good thing is that you do say when you think something isn't you wonderful looking and you know what? You're usually right. :)