Cover story

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

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These were make by artists from the same schools as the writers. I love getting great art because yet another student will 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 the writers working with them):

1. A deadline is a deadline. The words will be finished by end of the working day 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 in 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. If you have time to do a cover, you aren’t doing your job as a writer.

3. Artists don’t get to ask for changes to the book. Writers don’t get to ask for changes to the cover (unless something is factually wrong with it)
4. It’s 2019, covers are handed over digitally or not at all.

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).

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 available.

8. Laying out a book cover is hard. And printing is less precise that you think. It turns out that there are a hundred little rules about covers. We regularly have to make small changes between you handing a cover over and the printing starting.  If you give us all the original sources and easily editable files (Word, Photoshop) then it’s easy to make small changes. If you give us unchangable ‘final’ files (jpeg, ect) then it’s more likely we have to scrap it entirely.  Make it easy for us.

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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