Friday Guest Post: Jennifer Melzer – Kickstart & Cover Art

When Justin asked me if I might be interested in writing a guest blog for the Dead Robots’ Society, I was both excited and a little bit scared. What on earth would I talk about? Justin suggested maybe talking about my recent Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for the cover art for my next novel, “Jack in the Green,” but when I sat down to start writing I realized there was so much more than just a simple Kickstarter Campaign to talk about.

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s an online venue where artists, musicians, authors and creators can pitch projects to potential backers in order to raise the funds they need to see their project actualized. It sounds simple enough, but my own Kickstarter Campaign turned out to be so much more than just an effort to raise some funds for cover art.

The day I launched my campaign Hedra Helix, a fellow author who is also an artist, approached me with an idea for a new cover for my current novel, “The Goblin Market.” She had listened to the podcast and read the book, and after seeing the cover for the upcoming sequel, she wondered if I’d considered a new cover for the first book that more closely resembled “Jack in the Green.”

I had thought about it because when we moved to make print editions of “The Goblin Market,” the current cover was not the proper size for print and the original imagery I used to create it was no longer available. Hedra and I began talking about doing a trade off, my editing services for her artistic services, and within a week she began sending me mock ups for the cover she saw in her mind.

Launching the Kickstarter Campaign was a risky venture in the first place. When I first launched I had another independent author tell me it was foolish to spend a lot of money on an indie published book… Yikes! Why should I not provide the most amazing cover for my book simply because I’m not publishing traditionally?

When you take the reigns as an independent author, you become solely responsible for every aspect of publishing your book. You must work with your own editors and proofreaders, see that your formatting is all in line and guarantee that your book’s cover catches the eye of every potential reader who might be interested in your genre. A quality cover is a promotional tool, just as much as it is a window into the world you created inside your book.

Can you create a stunning cover on a budget? Absolutely! But one problem you tend to face with stock imagery is how widely it tends to get used, especially as more people start independently publishing their books. If your book has the same image as another book on the market, it could be beneficial, especially if the other book is fairly popular, but after awhile seeing so many books with the same cover is going to turn readers off. And this is where an original artist can really make a difference.

You also have the added benefit of working with amazing artists who understand your own vision in a way you couldn’t even begin to imagine. As writers, many of us tend to be incredibly visual people, but I won’t lie, artists are visual on a whole different level. When Hedra sent me the first blocking for the new cover for “The Goblin Market,” I was amazed. She managed to capture exactly what I saw in my head in a way I could never have done without words.

Needless to say, my Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to cover “Jack in the Green” was a success on more levels than I ever expected. Not only did I gain a little more exposure for my work and the support of some really amazing people, but I came away with two astonishing pieces of artwork.

About the Author:

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and podcaster from Northern Central Pennsylvania. Her debut fantasy faerie tale, The Goblin Market is currently available in eBook format on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords for just $.99! You can catch the free podcast sequel, Jack in the Green on her official website.

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