The entire writing process, start to finish, is a work of patience and dedication. From what I’ve researched the average time it takes for a professional Fantasy/Sci-Fi writer to complete a novel is anywhere between six months to a year. That isn’t to production. It can easily be another year or two getting all of the contracts, book cover designs and marketing completed, making the overall process take closer to three years and that is for writers who have a publishing house behind them, an agent and are doing this for a living full time.
Indie Writers on the other hand usually have a full time job that is not writing, they have no agent or publishing house behind them and until they have gone through the entire process they are learning the ropes of the industry by themselves. Usually this is done online in-between writing their novel, working their full time job and trying to have family time and friends. There is no publishing house editor or print finisher helping us correct the mistakes to our manuscripts, there is no design department assisting with our graphic design nor is there a marketing team helping us get the word of our story out to people around the world. This is something every Indie Writer must on their own. It’s quite a daunting process, never less many of us push out some pretty amazing work. For myself, the process took a year and a half of focused dedicated work to complete book one and will be possibly longer than that for my second book to be completed. From what I’ve heard that’s amazingly fast for a new writer.
Sorry for going off on a tangent there, but these things are important to remember when it comes to finishing up your novel. This is especially important when it comes to your most important marketing tool, which is your book’s cover. This is the reason I’m spending so much time on explaining this whole process.
Leo sent me the image back below in response to all of our conversations. While I thought it the image was almost there and I liked the tweaking Leo did with the rearrangement of some of the Minotaurs. There were several aspects we of the image that I still felt needed to be tweaked. The lead Minotaur’s axe was a good idea and might have worked for the final product. I was of two minds about this, but I liked it that the bull had a double-headed battle axe in his hand. Also the motion itself was more interesting and took him out of the previous posing stance. I mean who poses in a battle? The Minotaur towards the middle left was turned around, which I liked. Unfortunately his stance looked wrong for this battle scene. I felt like he would be charging forward swinging back his battle axe to strike and not just standing there. Leo said he had to be careful to not make everything look too posed, but he generally liked my ideas and would work on the image.
Typically this would have meant there would have been one more final image for me to approve before he completed the design, but Leo chose to take this and run. I point this out because if you were dealing with your own artist, the next image would have pulled in the changes you requested. You would approve those changes and pay half the cost of the design up front and then your artist should complete the finished work. That would have been the typical situation. Luckily for me, Leo is a great artist with an amazing feel for design and we communicate well. I think he was just as excited about the image as I was since he knocked it out before getting my final approval, but it worked so no complaints on my side. Don’t think that the cover design is finished there. I’ll share what I like to do in my cover that I think gives it a little bit something extra, but it something you have to work out with your artist. I’ll explain that and show the final image in the next blog post, but for now here is the last in-between rough draft Leo and I shared before the final image was created.