Does Latest Book Cover Award Winner Signal New Trend in Indie Publishing?

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To compete with the Big Six, indie publishers are investing in top quality cover art. But the most recent winner of the eBook Cover Design Award insists story is still king.

TheBookDesigner.com announced winners for its July eBook Cover Design Awards on August 12. The fiction winner, selected from over one hundred entries, was Afterlife by indie science fiction author Eric Kent Edstrom.

Award judge Tamara Deaver, owner of TLC Graphics in Austin, TX called the cover ". . . simply stunning, full of depth, great use of typography, and very unique."

The publishing industry experienced a tidal shift when mega retailer Amazon.com announced their KDP self-publishing platform in 2010. It opened the floodgates for indie authors, many of whom were not finding success through traditional routes.

"There was a novelty to ereader devices like the Kindle back then," Edstrom says. "People were chomping at the bit to find more content. Indie writers could release cheap ebooks with lousy covers and still sell thousands of copies a month. That's over now. We're back to judging a book by its cover."

Top selling fantasy author Moses Siregar III agrees. His highly acclaimed first novel, The Black God's War, was an early standout among indie books, both for its tight storytelling and its cover. The novel has been a fixture on Amazon's top 100 fantasy lists since its release last summer. "A great cover is something you'll take pride in and something your readers will appreciate," says Siregar. He advises indie authors to, "Put the same love into the cover that you put into your book, because that's how you begin to sell your book to the world."

Though Edstrom welcomes the recognition his book has received due to the award, he'd prefer people focus on the story. "I consider myself a professional writer. I work hard on the craft of storytelling. I invest insane amounts of time in editing and rewriting." Edstrom was quick to give credit to the cover designer, Netherlands based Melvin De Voor. "I was lucky to find him. But the truth is, if you're going to compete, you have to be willing invest the time to search out the best collaborators. They're out there, and you don't necessarily have to take out a second mortgage to get first class work."

Siregar reiterated that point. "It's possible to spend hundreds, not thousands, on an immaculate cover. Of course, the most important thing is to tell a great story."

Eric Kent Edstrom | ericedstrom.com| @ekedstrom
Moses Siregar III | sciencefictionfantasybooks.net | @MosesSiregar

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