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Cover story

The books of White Water Writers have some amazing covers. Here’s two of my favourites.

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These were both produced by amazing artists from the same schools that produced the novelists. I love it when we get great art because it means that yet another student got to see their work be part of something really real.

Like the writers, the artists work best when they know what to do and when to do it. Here’s what we ask of our artists (and what we ask of writers when working with them):

1. A deadline is a deadline. The words will be finished by end of Friday, so the cover should be as well. No exceptions. Good cover artists talk to the writers on Monday, show a draft by Wednesday, and are handing over the cover on Friday morning. Great cover artists are handing on Thursday (because we can get Amazon to check the cover over Thursday night to see if there is a problem).

2. Writers don’t do covers. Even if writers had time, they are focused on building prose and teamwork skills- neither of which are involved in covers.

3. Writers have NO more right to ask for changes to a cover than the artist does to rewrite a chapter.
4. It’s 2018, covers are handed over digitally or not at all. Good cover artists hand over a cover that is the right dimensions, the right resolution, and leaves space for the bleed and the barcode. Excellent cover artists do all that and give us the files that mean we can alter it ourselves if the publisher has a problem, of if there needs to be a change.

5. Cover artists can expect the book title by Thursday morning and the blurb by Thursday afternoon.

6. You may have heard that good artists steal. This is a lie. Even if it was true, good artists certainly don’t nick images from Google. If you are using a copyright-free image you have to declare it, and that is the only type of image you can use (other than your own, obviously)

7. If you would like to start from a word template, it’s worth altering this one using your own images:  Walking Through The Ashes, and we also have photoshop and pages templates availible.

In general, we like giving another student the change to do something real and cool and get their work published. However, unlike the writers, we don’t have any clever techniques to get the best out of a cover artist, for this reason we only recommend using artists from year 11 and above (ideally 6th form), even if the writers are much younger.

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