For the longest time now, I've been a self-published author. And while being a self-published author has its challenges, the thing I've loved the most about it is that I'm in control of every aspect of my publishing journey - cover design, formatting, story, characters, marketing, etc., etc., etc. Some may even say I'm a control freak when it comes to my content. But can you blame a writer for being a control freak over the world and characters they have created? I think not.
However, I am slowly and painfully learning to delegate.
Case in point? My cover designs. For a while now I've been going back and forth on what I want the covers for my upcoming young adult series - Expired Reality - to look like. When I released the first two books in the series a few years ago, I tried to go simplistic with the design - a symbol which had to do with content within the story.
Not my best work, but I figured it was helping me work toward branding.
Yesterday I had a great writing meeting with my good friend Jelani Parham. He's an illustrator and fellow writer, and when I opened up a discussion on what fonts I should use for the new covers, the conversation turned into me asking him to draw some of my characters from the series and help me with the cover design.
This wasn't easy for me to do. To give control to someone else to draw my characters? Even though he's a good friend of mine, it's hard for me to let go. But I've always liked Jelani's art style and he's read the first two books in the series, so he knows what would be most appropriate for the covers. Having his help will also give me more time to write and work on marketing - two things that take up the majority of my time anyway.
As soon as he's gotten some sketches done and we have a good idea what direction the covers are going in, I'll post some images here. In the meantime, if you want to check out some of what he does, head over to his deviantART page - http://j-rok.deviantart.com/gallery.