Friday, April 6, 2012

Trials of Being an Indie Author

 As I told you Wednesday, I'm  thinking of redoing covers to help spice up my sales. This week I'm looking at "The Sacrificial Lamb." While I drew and designed the current cover art, the format is a CreateSpace template which I don't particularly care for. I have learned so much about cover creation in a year.

I started searching for new art work, not mine, online. I found what I thought to be the perfect photograph. It would be a hard hitting impact type thing.The photographer was a true artist. The photograph depicted a child with a man's hand over their mouth. The look in the child's eyes as it looked up at the adult was fear. It was perfect for the cover of my book.

 I loved it until I found out the price, over $1,000 for nonexclusive rights to the photograph. I don't know about you, but that's a big chunk of change. Ouchie! To top it off, I'd have to limit copies sold to 5,000 with the rights management company. With the nonexclusive use, the same photograph could appear anywhere else on the web, television, another author's book, magazines, etc. Therefore, it would not be a unique identifier for my book. BTW, I did find a website that used the same image which is how I found it in the first place and backtracked it to the artist.

I did a mock up cover using this photo (before I found out the price) and it's dynamite. The actual image was Photoshoped and was 2x3 inches on the cover. While that may sound small, the book is standard 5x8 inches so it takes up a good piece of space. I wish I could show it to you all. But now it's headed for the recycling bin and deletion. I just can't afford it. There are too many variables in the mix.

I published this book one year ago, April 1st. To date, I have sold over 500 copies. That doesn't mean this year I couldn't sell 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 copies or I could sell 2. At $0.95 per electronic copy, it could take years to recoup the asking price for the photograph. I'm not against paying the artist their dues. After all, I want to be paid as an artist of both word and artwork...but really!

I think I'm going to break out my camera and take some images of my own. My granddaughter featured in my book trailer is in town for Spring Break visiting her other grandmother. I may not be a professional photographer, but I can stage a photograph and mentally know what I want...wait a minute, I know a few photographers I can call or even going to my local Wal-Mart will work. Now the creative juices are flowing...

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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