Visual Versus Written: When Words Help Artists

Make, and keep, talented friends.
I have two I want to share. I asked for assistance from ebook cover designers Alexa and Onyx Aker. As long-time friends, we have worked well together on different projects. Most recently, the pair created two stunning book covers for my wife Diana Star Helmer for The Three Scrooges and her forthcoming novel Maybe, Baby.
3-Scrooges-Cover-3-14
I wanted to see if the Akers could say how they do it. How can an author speak the language of an artist?
MaybeBabyCover
Of course, their first response was a timely visual!
WriterBlogLilianaHere’s their subsequent reply:
by Onyx & Alexa Aker

“You are in the process of writing a book, or have already written one. You have worked hard to get to this point. You will need a cover. People will judge your book, and buy your book in part because of that cover. How can you help make your book cover design a worthwhile investment?

 1. Hire a good graphic designer. Your book cover is an important piece in selling your book. Invest in a good designer with experience and vision. It will save you time and money on design flops and earn you money on sales.

2. Explain what you need.

a.     Is it a book cover for print or an e-book cover?

b.     What cover size?

c.     Information to go on the cover: Title, subtitle, author, publishing company, etc.

d.     Desired deadline

3. Explain what you want.

a.     What do you imagine your cover to be? (If you have no idea – mention that too, so your designer can give suggestions.)

b.     Give background information: Book genre, audience….

c.      What colors do you want? What style do you want (modern, classic….)?

4. What you do not want. This is optional but important if you dislike certain colors, styles, elements…. Mention this before the start of the design process.

5Be flexible. A good graphic designer will take your ideas, and infuse them with their design expertise and vision, and should take the time to explain to you why they picked certain design elements for your cover. Remember that you are hiring a designer to design, so try to give them room to let their creative juices shine. Your audience will thank you.”
I thank Onyx and Alexa Aker for sharing helpful advice.
The kind-hearted team had a bit of worry with their fifth point. However, I agree. Micro-managing doesn’t work. Onyx and Alexa are gifted collaborators. They want to represent an author’s thoughts and feelings visually. But they prove one point: freedom and trust make this recipe a success.
The best creation comes from someone working WITH you, not FOR you.
Learn more about the talented duo at their website, or write them at contact@onyxandalexa.com.
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