So last week I talked a bit about self-publishing, and how I've been considering doing it on my own. (post here)
Well, one of the primary reasons I'd never considered self-publication, is because I'm a cover art snob. That is one of the reasons why I never even considered some of the smaller presses. Sometimes their covers are a big sub-par. I'd rather have no book, than have some small press make it look amateur.
So, for me, one of the most important first steps, was to find a decent artist. I'm crafty, but I know that my abilities are far under what I expect for my cover. So I found a great art forum and posted my propostion. I would pay, so I let them make me an offer.
After 150 applications, I made my decision. :)
Some things that this experience taught me, is that there are a heck of a lot of great artists out there. Sure, there were some...um, not so good ones. But for the most part, I was blown away by the talent. It made me think about how much talent there is in the writing community. And if someone fails on submission, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are lacking talent. I had only 1 spot to fill amongst the numerous artists.
What it boiled down to was...
1. The style of art that I liked.
2. The letter they sent me.
The particular artist that I chose told me that it was his dream to do fantasy cover artwork, and that he would make my story shine and work as hard as he could on it.
And you know what? I belived him.
Sure, there were other artists, some cheaper, some with just as much talent. But in the end I chose a great guy who shares my dreams. I also got a taste of what an agent must feel like, trying to choose a client from the hundreds that pour in their inbox. And I started to understand why some don't respond. :o) But...being on the other end of the no-response card, I tried to respect them all. Toward the end, I even found myself doing the dreaded form rejection in many cases. (Sorry, if any of those artists are reading this). But really, when I form rejected with "I loved looking at your work, but I chose someone else.." Well, it was true for them all.
My submissions are well past 200 now, with more coming in every day. And I haven't responded to them in the last week or so. So if you are an artist, reading this, I will respond....eventually.