Operation Auction: Excerpt Book Design

This is for the authors out there. If you haven’t heard about Operation Auction, you should know that Fatin, who runs the RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk Blog, lost her husband in a senseless act of violence. The romance community has rallied around her and her children to help her through this time, and is holding an auction for her.

I thought about all the things I could donate–signed books or critiques or the like–and finally decided to donate something unique–something you can’t get anywhere else, and that nobody else will have. I’m donating the design for an excerpt book.

For those of you who have been to RT, RWA Nationals, or RomCon, you may have seen the super-cool excerpt books that I put together with Tessa Dare and some of my other friends. I designed them myself, and in all cases, I like to think that the production value was pretty darned high. The covers were catchy, and made people talk about them; and if I can compliment myself, the books themselves looked really, really good. I do this because sometimes I get insomnia, and when I can’t sleep, I play with graphics. While there are many professionals who are much more proficient than I am, there are few who will spend 60-70 hours on a project, tweaking tiny little details, without charging you well into the thousand dollar range for their time.

If you missed the covers for the previous excerpt books, here they are:

You can’t pay me to do these–each one has been a labor of love and creativity, and I can’t imagine producing one of these at the drop of a hat, just because someone offered me money. But I can imagine doing it just this once for a good cause.

Here’s what you get if you bid:

  1. You and I will brainstorm an idea for your excerpt book that will stand out and get people talking. I have a few ideas, but I’ll throw more your way.
  2. I’ll design a cover. I’ll probably go through many, many versions of it, and get your input along various stages of the way, because that’s how I rumble. (No, seriously, ask Tessa if you have any questions. You will get at least ten versions.)
  3. I’ll buy any stock art and/or fonts necessary.
  4. You’ll send me your excerpts, and I’ll format them into a book.
  5. I will send you a preliminary PDF as a proof.
  6. I will send you a PDF, a JPG, and instructions on how to upload all of these to CreateSpace, so that you can print your own excerpt books, in whatever quantity you like.
  7. You’ll have to pay for printing them. You can see what CreateSpace charges to print books here (click on the “buying books” link. For fewer than 108 pages, you’ll pay $2.15 per excerpt book + a $39 fee to start. (Not to me; to CreateSpace.)

You can buy services for someone to make a cover. You can buy services for someone to format a book. Go look around the web–you can see how much these things cost if you snoop around.

But I’ll put a lot of love into this. You won’t just get a cover; you’ll get a professional cover that will make people smile and double-take and talk. I have never seen someone at Nationals or RT have anything remotely like what I produce. I do not use the word “unique” lightly, but I believe that every design I have produced has been unique.

I will include up to three authors who want to jointly go in on this for cross-promotion purposes, so talk to your friends and figure accordingly.

Want to bid? Click here!

3 thoughts on “Operation Auction: Excerpt Book Design

  1. These excerpt books are amazing. They look fabulous in real life, and last year, all our agents, editors, publicity people were wowed and talking. Also, we’ve even found them listed for sale on Ebay and so forth. (not that we recommend people pay for them, but … )

    Courtney is brilliant, that’s all.

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  2. I haven’t experienced the excerpt books, but the alternate book covers are awesomely awesome. Yay for graphical talents!

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