Welcome to January’s Birthday Blog, with a post – or maybe more – a day for your entertainment and fun :).
Today’s guest is B J SHEPPARD. Please show your appreciation for the post if you enjoy it, and all the author’s links are below for you to take forward. Watch every day for any Rafflecopter giveaways, and don’t forget there’s ALSO a Grand Prize Draw at the end of the month for ONE lucky commenter.
Many thanks for dropping in, and have a great January!
A Q&A with author BJ Sheppard, as he launches his new side venture, BJS Cover Design.
CL: Hi, BJ. It’s good to have you here.
BS: Hi, Clare. Happy to be here.
CL: So I’m going to ask a few questions. Are you ready?
BS: Hit me.
CL: Why don’t you start by introducing your new business?
BS: BJS Cover Design is something I’ve wanted to start for a while now. I’ve always had an interest in art, and as a self-published author, it’s been really informative learning all above book cover design, having made all my own book covers for my releases. A lot of people won’t know my name very well, but I have released books called The Rainbow Connection – Volume I, Pieces of Jack, Suburban Legend and Devil’s Jawbone, as well as a free Christmas Novella called The Perfect Stranger. As well as having written all of these, I also designed the artwork for them.
Knowing how difficult it can be to find good, mm themed artwork, I decided it was time to give back to the community that got me going, and thus, BJS Cover design was born. I love creating cover art because it gives people a visual introduction to a book, and though people say ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ unfortunately, with the abundance of great books out there, each needs something special to set the book apart. That’s where I come in. Using a healthy mix of eye catching imagery, bold fonts and interesting effects, it’s my plan to get your book noticed and set it apart from the rest.
CL: Do you offer pre-made covers?
BS: I do indeed. That’s what I’ve been working on lately. I currently have a gallery of 20 pre-made covers, all in different genres and with different styles, to cater to all authors who wants something different for their book.
CL: How much are your pre-made covers?
BS: The pre-made’s are set at price of $40 (approximately £28), which is a standard across most cover design businesses offering this service. The only difference is that I don’t limit myself to a specific amount of pictures to make the cover look great. If it needs four different elements, then it gets four elements.
CL: How do you come up with ideas?
BS: I read a lot and I am friends with so many authors on Facebook, that I see the range of stories available out there, and try to produce covers for all different types of tales. From there, I spend a lot of time scouring stock photo sites finding visually arresting images to fit within these themes. It sounds tedious but I actually love that because it gives me a chance to see the great range of images available to tell your tale on the page.
CL: What about customised covers?
BS: That’s also available on my business page. I see a lot of people who charge the earth for covers designed from scratch, which for a new author can be quite a daunting thing. Some people don’t want to spend a fortune getting a great cover for a book that might not sell. So I start my service off at $65 (about £45) and make as many changes as people require to make their cover great. The amount of work, or images needed etc might affect that price, but I always give a fair price for the work, and you get that price after an initial consultation. I aim to get people their dream cover, or a compromised iteration of it, for the minimum price. I understand how hard self-publishing can be and it’s my job to take some of the weight off that experience.
CL: Any special offers?
BS: All customised covers receive a free Facebook banner to help promote the work. It is a great way of drawing people in and getting the curious without having to do anything different on social media. So you will get one of those free, which is nice.
CL: Do you offer any other design services?
BS: I pretty much love designing. So if there is anything you want, it’s best to just contact me using the form on my site or through Facebook and ask of there is anything specific you need. I’m currently working on a web banner and avatar design for a popular mm author, which is great for me, as I’m adding new skills to my skill set as well as creating something beautiful.
CL: How much a part of your life will this new venture take up?
BS: Well that’s down to the number of clients. Ideally, between this and my writing, I would love to spend all my time doing what I do, eventually crafting out a full time career between the two. But in this climate, it’s difficult to put all my hopes in becoming self sufficient in the art and literature world. So I will see how it goes, and not give up my day job – for now.
CL: What cover of your designs do you most love?
BS: My Devil’s Jawbone cover is the one I really love. It’s got so much great feedback and it helped me learn all about full paperback covers (which I do offer as well). It was just such a great experience putting it together.
But from the recent designs, I did a cover that I titled “Alter Ego” which was really fun to make. I used the comic book look to get a cover that spoke to me and it came out looking fab. I like to give the covers little names to show placement and font on the page, but these are just guides to show what it will look like with words on it. This cover came out looking great, and it really got the plot bunnies a-racing.
CL: Anything else you want to tell us?
BS: Just that I know all the stress that authors go through, and I’m a really easy-going guy, so if you have any questions, I am always available to answer them and help in any way I can.
You can find me at the links below:
I hope this service really helps you guys out, and gives you somewhere to go to get the artwork you deserve at a price that won’t break the bank.
Follow the month’s posts at your leisure:
Jan 01: RJ Scott on her inspiration for a new series in 2016.
Jan 01: Temple Dragon on giving for free during December.
Jan 02: Chrissy Munder on an author’s passion for paper planners.
Jan 03: Meredith Russell on inspirational cop series.
Jan 04: Becky Black on her five-year anniversary as an author.
Jan 05: Alexa Milne on characters stepping outside their comfort zone.
Jan 06: Sandra Lindsey on her dancing shoes challenge.
Jan 07: Anne Barwell on her WWII trilogy at Dreamspinner Press.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory on reviews – past, present and future.
Jan 09: Eli Easton on mature heroes and our life choices.
Jan 10: Julie Moffett on the geek in us all.
Jan 11: Jaime Samms and the rewards of an online life.
Jan 12: LC Chase on paying kindness forward.
Jan 12: EM Lynley on the recipes that add taste to her books.
Jan 13: Nicki J Markus on falling in love with her characters.
Jan 14: Vicktor Alexander on giving thanks to friends and fans.
Jan 16: Joanna Chambers on the spark of joy from reading and writing romance.
Jan 17: Jordan Castillo Price on esteem-building new year do-overs.
Jan 18: Lillian Francis on deciding on when to come to an end.
Jan 18: Hunter Frost on a Top Ten new anthology.
Jan 19: Lily Harlem on hot fiction and cool drinks.
Jan 19: Liam Livings on how writing is like ski-ing.
Jan 20: JL Merrow on being a boot-aholic.
Jan 21: Paul Alan Fahey on growing up gay in the 1950/60s.
Jan 22: Mickie B Ashling on her new period novel set in Pakistan.