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Cover Me, I’m Going In

The book is done. Next step is to get a proofreader and/or editor right? Nope! Not for Athena!

Almost as soon as I get an idea for a story the image for the cover start to pop in my head. Although writing is black and white the stories are deeply visual. It’s impossible for me to write a scene if I don’t see it, every detail, in my mind first.

Which is why once I finished my book, before I hired a proofreader, before I formatted the novel on KDP, before I finished the final edit… I was on Fiverr searching for a cover artist. Backwards? Probably. But the cover of this book means so much to me. A professionally done cover makes it…real.

I quickly came across an artist who does dope covers primarily featuring black and brown faces. I was in love! I hit her up immediately and almost cried when she said she’d be happy to work with me on the cover.

And then she asked me what the final page count of my book would be so that she could have the spine of the book the proper size…

There’s a moment in every indie writer’s journey when they realize that they don’t know what the actual hell they’re doing. I thought about taking the “fake it until you make it approach” :

“You know, I don’t really believe in page counts. I didn’t want to stunt my artistic process by worrying about the format. You need a page count? Tsk. Amateur.”

Or the technical difficulty approach:

“You know, I tried to format my book on Amazon but I think the site was down for a few weeks so I couldn’t do it. Wild right?!?”

Or abandon ship completely:

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have messaged you. I’m not ready. I’m not freaking ready!!! Ma!!!”

All of those are acceptable in a court of law (keep your opinions to yourself). But I took a minute and instead of feeling like an imposter stepping into shoes that didn’t belong on my feet, I reminded myself.

I’m creating.

I’m learning.

It is ok to not know. More importantly it’s ok to say that I don’t know. I don’t have to fake this. I don’t have to pretend to be more knowledgeable than I am.

The profound thing is that the more I go through this process there will come a time when I won’t panic and consider faking it because I will know the answers. I will know that a 6×9 cover is standard and that that spine size can be adjusted later once I know my final page count.

Ask questions. Get answers and grow.

I can not wait to reveal my cover for “Say When” to you guys in a few weeks! Stay tuned.

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