7 Questions With Diana TC From Triumph Book Covers
Diana TC is a freelance book cover designer, artist, writer and avid reader. Whether is for work or pleasure, Diana can almost always be found with her nose in a book. Her love for art and for books drove her to launch Triumph Book Covers, her cover design company. She offers a selection of reasonably-priced premade covers as well as custom book cover packages.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
What mistakes do authors make when approaching you and what advice do you have for them in that sense?
Some authors assume that indie publishing is similar to traditional publishing in terms of book covers, but it isn’t. When you trad publish, you usually don’t get a lot of say on your book cover, which can be a let down to some people. But when you publish as an indie, you are the one in charge of all aspects.
If you contact me for a book cover, don’t be afraid to let me know about what you have in mind for the cover, but understand that your idea might or might not work for your genre. A close up of a woman looking seriously at the camera does not work as a sweet romance. An abstract pattern will not sell your paranormal romance.
So how do you know if your idea fits within your genre? I highly recommend you look at the top bestselling books for your genre at Amazon. Don’t look at the ones that were traditionally published, but the ones that were published by indie authors are doing really well. Think about who your readers are and what are they reading. What are the elements in common in all the covers? Are they bright and colorful? Dark and depressing? Do they feature people? Symbols? Or shadowy silhouettes?
Book covers with people in them usually sell better than those without, but that doesn’t apply to every genre. Thrillers, in general, do great even without people in them, although detective thrillers and a few other sub-genres benefit from having the main character on the cover.
Let the designer help you hit your market and be flexible to new ideas in case your original idea is not ideal for your book.
Are there cover design trends depending on genre? Do shed a light for authors to knock on your door fully prepared.
Yes, there are some particular trends that are becoming more and more noticeable. For example, on fantasy, PNR and UF, we see a lot of “Daz characters” which are 3D characters heavily overpainted. I am not a big fan of this look, which looks plastic and fake to me if not done properly by a talented artist. I prefer designing with photos of real models and giving them some elements of magic to make them stand out, and have that “glowy look”.
On cozy mysteries, the current trend is to use vector/illustration style covers, similar in style to rom-com or chick lit book covers.
What details should a new author offer you upon requesting a book cover design? Can you share more details to help new authors prepare for this experience?
A new author doesn’t need to send me his manuscript before I start, but they are welcome to send me some excerpts that describe the looks and personality of the main character or describe important places in the story. I need to know as much as possible of the character that will be on the cover: do they have a scar? Do they wear glasses? What color are their hair/eyes? What sort of clothes do they wear? What is their power, if they have one? These are some of the questions that I will ask you before we start.
Some authors worry if they need to have the whole book completed before they come to me, but that’s not necessary. If you want a book cover for a book you have yet to complete, then go for it! In fact, that’s preferable since most professional designers are fully booked for at least a couple of months, and sometimes a whole year.
Be prepared to sign a contract explaining the terms and conditions of using your new book cover. You can read my full contract here: https://triumphbookcovers.com/contract/ One thing that is important to mention, is that most stock images have a print run limit of 500,000 copies.
Over this limit, an extended license is necessary to keep using the book cover. You can purchase an extended license on Depositphotos for about $89 per image. This license also allows for use of the cover design on mugs, t-shirts, stickers, tote bags, etc. If you have any questions about the differences between a Standard or an Extended License, feel welcome to contact me.
What are some of the myths and truths around your business?
Your book cover needs to convey the genre of the book, not the whole story. You might sabotage yourself if you want all your important characters to feature in the cover, which will probably make it make it too busy. I recommend limiting the number of characters of a cover to two or three unless you are writing for romance sub-genres such as Reverse Harem.
The title, contrary to many might think, does not need to be readable at a thumbnail size. A title that fills a big portion of the cover is inappropriate for many genres. As long as the cover art is appealing and has a matching font to it, the readers will click on it.
People say you shouldn’t judge a book cover by its cover, but book covers are an important part of the book since on Amazon it will be the first thing they see before they click on it. But they aren’t everything, so even if you have a fantastic cover, if your blurb and your story are not properly edited, or the story does not have any of the typical tropes of your genre, then you can expect to receive some bad reviews. Every week I study the bestseller ranks to see what is trending. And you should do the same with the blurbs and storylines.
Blurbs follow specific patterns if you look among the books in each sub-genre. Short blurbs usually work much better than longer ones. Things change all the time and what was trending a six months ago, is now slowly but surely getting out of the charts, or is already down in the ~300k rank on the kindle store. If you don’t want to do all the research, try one of K-Lytics reports for your genre, they are very helpful in telling you what are the best-selling niches and what keywords and categories to use to have optimal visibility.
Do you have preferences when it comes to book cover design?
I love creating all types of fiction book covers! I specialize in romance(all sub-genres), fantasy, paranormal fantasy, thrillers, and mysteries. It’s a wonderful experience to bring to life a story and its characters. I’m a huge reader and also a writer so I prefer to work on genres I have past experience with.
At the moment I don’t design non-fiction book covers.
How many services can you offer authors and how do they differ?
I currently have four different custom cover packages, priced from $130 to $300, depending on whether you want ebook only, or if you’re looking for a paperback and hardcover as well. From March 31st, my pricing will change and I’ll offer two different ebook packages: an economic package($160) and a premium package($230). The main difference is the number of stock images and revisions included in each one. Then you have the option of adding a paperback for $40 if you want. I create paperbacks for both Amazon KDP and IngramSpark, as well as other publishing companies.
I have a collection of more than a hundred 3D mockups which are images that I can insert your cover into to display them in different scenarios. For example, on top of a desk, as an outdoor advertisement or in the hands of a woman. These images are great for newsletters, facebook ads or for your blog.
I design bookmarks, business cards, banners for facebook or your website, and audiobook covers. I can also help you with the formatting for ebook and print.
If you’re looking for something more specific, don’t be afraid to contact me to discuss your project.
How long does it normally take to deliver a finished book cover design?
I usually take three to six days to finish an ebook cover. This depends on the genre, on how many images are used on the cover and on the number of revisions requested by the author. Try to be comprehensive and honest with your feedback so the designer can address all the issues in the cover. If you order any extras, such as a paperback, hardback, banners, etc, these will take a few more days to complete.
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And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.