Once I made the decision to work towards Kindle-publishing a book, it became clear that I would have to learn more about modern technology. I investigated a number of blogs about writing and publishing, and found Catherine Ryan Howard’s both informative and entertaining (http://catherineryanhoward.com/), and so I bought her ebook, Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing, which is very helpful for someone like me, as it takes you step-by-step through each stage of, say, setting up a facebook page as an author, organising a website and blog, and so on.
All self-publishing websites will help you “design” a cover for your book, but this mostly means choosing one of a number of backgrounds, and plonking a foreground object on it, and to me the results didn’t look like a “proper” book. Maybe that’s my age showing – after all, I’m not aiming at a “proper” book, if by that I mean one that’s printed in huge quantities in advance. But (and this is in line with Catherine Ryan Howard’s advice, which made me feel more confident about it) I decided to get a graphic designer to help turn my half-formed ideas of how I would like my book to look into reality. I chose Jason from Atomswarm Design, who was very patient with my attempts at putting what I wanted into words.
As I wanted people on my book cover, he advised starting with some photographs, and there followed a most entertaining photoshoot. I hired costumes to suit my book for the two young actors, and Jason turned up with his equipment to take pictures. Rather than launch straight into the pose that we needed, he suggested giving the actors time to get used to the clothes, and snapped away while they did so. Here are some of the results: there are more on my facebook page.