Lessons from The National Black Writers Conference – Part II of II

By: Mrs. Write

Mrs. Write is an independent freelance writer who occasionally contributes to the August Rose Press Blog.

I love indie writers.

I must have spent a small fortune buying books at the National Black Writers Conference. There weren’t a lot of vendors, but the ones that were there were passionate about what they were publishing. They’ve all had various levels of success. Some were barely getting by, and others had sold over 100 copies in the short weekend.

I found the differences in quality to be striking. Some publications did look like what the average person would assume is a self-published book. Other books were done in a way that could match the quality of any other book in a traditional bookstore. The variance was astounding. (But I must say, for every book I saw, the typesetting in the interior was beautiful). 

There are four kinds of book covers:

  • Book covers created by the author with their own resources
  • Book covers created using the automated book cover creators
  • Book covers designed by a graphic artist
  • Book covers designed by professional book cover creators.

Notice how the first two use the verb “create” and the last two use the word “design.”

Book covers need to be designed. Even so, there is still a difference between the ones done by a graphic designer, and the ones that are done by a professional book cover designer. While graphic designers can make amazing logos and can work Photoshop magic, it still looks different than a cover designed by a book cover pro.

Graphic designers know how to make things look good (generally speaking). Book cover designers know how to make books look sell-able.

What kind of book covers are your favorites? Which ones are your least favorite? Do you judge a book by its cover?


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