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Craig Staufenberg on Approaching Your Book Cover without Doubt @YouMakeArtDumb #MG #SelfPub

Why Book Covers are So Important

There’s marketing, of course, but I don’t want to get too hung up in that. For me, my book cover was so important because it gave me a way to like my book again.

In general, I like what I write because I write things that I’d like to read. But the process of soliciting feedback, editing, and otherwise sitting with your book in an analytical way can drive away a good chunk of that affection. Especially when you’re about a year deep into the project and you aren’t feeling quite the same rush you did when you blazed through the first draft. And after you’ve been grappling with how seriously to take the 1 out of 40 beta readers who ended up hating your book and tearing it apart. I faced this scenario with my book, and I was having a very, very hard time liking my book right when I was finishing it up and getting ready to publish it.

But working with a good friend of mine to design the book’s cover pulled me out of this funk. The process and the final cover design helped me like, and then even love, my book again.

Why? Because instead of worrying about the text, I got to sit back and work with her to create a piece of art that was beautiful in its own right, but which also tapped into the book’s overall theme and tone.

What’s more, I got to bring someone else in to help work on the book with me. So I wasn’t just sitting by myself worrying about whether everyone was going to hate what I wrote. Instead, my friend and I just chatted on the phone, sent a lot of emails with pictures of book covers we liked, and talked about art. And then we talked about what we liked about the book, and why it resonated with the two of us. And suddenly I had this great avenue for thinking about, and appreciating, the book, while remembering why it meant so much to me in the first place.

Even better, I was able to give my friend a great opportunity—she got to design her first book cover from scratch. She’d worked on many book covers before mine, but she didn’t get to take full ownership of a cover design before. So no matter how I felt about the book, I knew that putting it out there would at least help my friend take a step forward in her career.

And ultimately, the whole process gave me something to love about the book that didn’t come from me. It’s always hard to feel totally positive about something that you made with your own two hands. Even if you like it, and even when you fall in love with it again, you still look at it and see the seams. And hear everything negative anyone has ever said about it. And think about all the worries, and concerns, and anxieties that went into it. But I can look at this cover that my friend designed and love it unconditionally. And that means there’s at least something about this book that I can approach without doubt.

The Girl Who Came Back to Life

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says "Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Middle Grade
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Craig Staufenberg through Facebook and Twitter

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