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The Design Behind A Fallen Hero

As an independently published author, commonly known in the writing community as an indie author, I retained all of the rights to my book A Fallen Hero upon publication. This means that not only did I have control over every single word inside the book, but I also had the freedom to design the book itself.

As an artist, this freedom was immeasurably important to me. I had a vision for what I wanted my book to be, and with every query letter I sent out to literary agents, a knot tightened in my stomach when I imagined another artist designing my book on behalf of a publisher who owned all the rights to my story, regardless of whether I approved of the cover or despised it. With every other piece of art I’d ever created in my lifetime, I had seen the project through from earliest conception to final signature in the bottom right corner. Why should this art piece be different? Why did the traditional process require me to hand off an unfinished masterpiece and let another artist complete what I’d started while I watched from the sidelines, unable to legally own this massive project I first dreamed of over a decade ago?

When I decided to publish independently, I felt a profound sense of relief. The decision brought new challenges, such as how to finance my novel and then market it, but having the freedom to put my artistic fingerprint on every single aspect of my book and make it mine, truly and wholly mine, was worth every penny, every second, and every drop of sweat. The book was originally printed and distributed through Barnes & Noble Press, but now IngramSpark is the sole printer/distributor of both the paperback and the hardcover. Their presses brought my art to life.

In this video, I break down the rationality behind my design, everything from the cover, to the fonts, to the color of the pages inside. I crafted this book with a purpose in every detail. There’s a reason I didn’t include review blurbs on the back or use an elegant calligraphy font on the front cover. My landscape architecture career at Purdue University gave me the Photoshop knowledge and basic graphic design fundamentals to present this book—my book—to the world.

Here is the design behind the novel.

Are there any details you hope to see on the cover of Book II? Let me know in the comments!

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