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I t feels like I have now reached a rather exciting stage in the process of getting my book published, finalising the book cover.

When I failed to procure an agent at the end of last summer, and before deciding I would accept the offer of a partnership publishing contract, I had resolved to selfpublish. Happily, I happen to have an extremely talented niece who is just beginning her career as an artist and illustrator. After Emily had designed a fabulous cover for Jack’s Camel Spit and Cork Trees – A Year of Slow Travel Through Portugal, I was eager to get her started on designing a cover for my book and was delighted with the result.

Before accepting the partnership publishing contract, I asked if they would at least consider the cover I had commissioned and was assured that they would. But I was still nervous. I would be disappointed if, when it came to the crunch, the publisher wanted to stick to some kind of house style and rejected Emily’s design. Although I had already paid her, I felt sure Emily would be hurt if her cover never made it to the bookshelf so it was with a little trepidation that, when the publisher asked if I had a cover illustration in mind, I submitted Emily’s drawing along with my reasoning behind its design.

My publisher absolutely loved it – yay!

Within a couple of weeks I received several mock-ups of the front and back cover from which to select my favourite. I loved two of the designs and finally settled on one that really worked for me. I then sent a couple of suggestions for a revised strapline and waited.

A week later the revised cover design came through and it looks fabulous!

Apart from the good experience with the book cover and with the editorial process, I am also very pleased with the rate at which progress is being made on my book. I deliberately chose a smallish publishing house because I didn’t want to feel like I was on a production conveyor belt and I knew there were other authors in the queue ahead of me. I had also been reading lots of examples of authors with traditional publishing deals having to wait up to two years to get from being accepted to being published but there is already a hint that I could be looking at a late spring/early summer date for publishing.

I suspect that having an excellent book cover already designed has helped me to leapfrog some of the time scales usually involved as well as allowing me to remain very much in control of the finished product. I’m now going through the final edit and hopefully, I will get a release schedule in the coming weeks which will allow me to kick-start the pre-publication marketing, including revealing the book title and the cover.

It’s all getting very exciting now!

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