So it occurred to me that my last blog post about covers wasn’t enough. I couldn’t just say: “Hey, check out this site, it’s awesome.” More was needed to explain why I love this designer and her policies and keep going back when I’m looking for something new for my books.
Laura Gordon, of The Book Cover Machine, was a happy accident. Finding her, I mean. After grueling hour-s searching online for a book cover artist who met my desired aesthetic, and price range, I finally stumbled upon Laura’s site. If you’ve looked on the first screen, you’ll note that her covers are bold, they’re colorful, they combine both a gorgeous image with an emphasis on the title and the author. And, if the initial impression wasn’t enough, then I emailed her, repeatedly, and she responded, quickly, to all of my inquiries, all of my hemming and hawing, and was so happy to work with me that I signed up then and there. It’s a business, yes, but working with Laura is like working with a friend; she’s as invested in her covers as you the author, and reader, are.
So, two covers in, loving her work, I decided that I would impinge once more upon her good humor and ask if she would do a short interview with me. She said yes, which I’m so happy to now get a chance to share with you.
Please welcome and enjoy this brief interview with Cover Artist, Laura Gordon of the Book Cover Machine:
How did you start designing Book Covers?
I actually started designing book covers as an aspiring indie author myself. Though I like to remain anonymous in that field, I've been writing and self-publishing my own stories since I was a teenager. I couldn't afford to hire a cover artist, and had always been artistic myself, so it was a natural part of the process for me to create my own covers. Eventually I realized I enjoyed that as much as writing, and it occurred to me it might be a valuable service I could offer other indie authors. I started a blog, and the business took off!
What made you decide to work with Indie Authors?
I chose to work with indie authors for a couple reasons. One, because I was an indie author myself and loved the idea of supporting my fellow men. And two, I was still honing my craft and it made sense as a place to start for an entry-level designer.
What are your policies on creating unique Book Covers for those seeking your services?
I noticed something fairly quickly when I started as a designer. While I was having fun being creative, combining images for a unique and artistic end result (models, backgrounds, props, extra effects, etc), other designers were selling covers that looked very much like a single image with text splashed on. Like all they had done was downloaded a single stock image that anyone else could buy too, stuck on some text, and called it a 'design' and made $50 off of it. This made me mad. Both because I knew authors would be upset and feel misled when they saw the exact same image serving as someone else's cover 'design', and because these designers were profiting off of next to zero creative effort on their part, while I was slaving away doing what I thought all designers were supposed to be doing. We're called 'designers' for a reason. Authors assume we design things - not copy and paste other available material as-is. It was frustrating that there was very little I could do to alert authors to the fact that they were spending money on misleading products, paying undeserving 'artists', when they were likely going to end up seeing their generic cover on someone else's book and have to buy a new cover entirely. All I could do was promote the uniqueness of my own designs, and explain how my policies differed from others'. While I do use stock imagery for most of my covers (images all designers can purchase from the same sites I do), I never use a single image. I do what artists are supposed to do, and I combine these images to create something new. The dream is to one day be able to paint everything from scratch, but even for the best artists that's time-consuming and is likely to be a service many indie authors aren't able to budget for.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I would say there are two things I find equally rewarding about my job. As a creative soul, there's really nothing more pleasing than taking a blank canvas and transforming it into a beautiful vision. Seeing something awesome take form at your command. But that's a selfish reward, really. Rewarding in an empowering, liberating sense. There is a much more meaningful reward in seeing the joy of hundreds of authors, with big dreams and ideas just like the ones I used to have, when I help them realize their own visions. When I bring their epic, wondrous, obsessed-over stories to life, and contribute to the success of other creative souls following their dreams.
How should people contact you for more information?/Do you have any other information for authors looking for fresh new book covers?
If interested in my services, you can visit my website (www.thebookcovermachine.com) or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm always adding new covers to my pre-made shop, developing new skills for creating the best possible custom covers, and adding new artists to my team!
All I can say is how grateful I am to have had a chance to work with Laura and it really has been an honor to get this interview for my blog.
The best advice I can give on searching for an Indie Book Cover is to find someone, an artist, a designer, who speaks to you and to your story.
So here’s to Laura and The Book Cover Machine!
Check her out online HERE.