I’m going to use as a metaphor for the independent publishing process the building, launching, and operating of a classic wooden boat: writing is a craft in both senses of the word, and we authors need to find reader-passengers to enjoy our craft, and need to send them off on their journey in a well-built, seaworthy vessel.
I wanted a logo for The Indy Author and on the recommendation of my business mentor, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, I went to 99designs.
What a fun process! I have described ACX (the Audiobook Creation Exchange) as the matchmaker between authors and professional narrators, and 99designs serves the same function for authors and professional designers.
I posted an image I wanted to designers to use as the basis of the logo, and gave a brief description of The Indy Author. I then reviewed examples of existing logos and picked the ones I liked the best, which resulted in a profile of my preferences—traditional versus modern or minimalist versus lush, for example. I also had the option of picking the color palette. This formed the basis of the design contest.
Then the designers started submitting designs, and I rated them, provided input, or eliminated the ones I didn’t like. I was also able to create a poll to allow others to weigh in (thanks to all those who participated!). After narrowing the choices, there was a finalist round to pick the winner.
My contest ended up having 132 design entries! I believe the large number was at least in part due to the fact that I was providing input quickly—this is definitely an interactive process, and the more actively you participate, the more likely it is that you will get the result you want.
The designers also responded as it became clear which designs I liked and which I was eliminating. This resulted in a certain amount of “Hey, he stole my idea” grumbling—for example, the winning designer had submitted the second of the 132 designs, but the winning design incorporated a stylized pen element which another designer came up with part-way through the contest.
For the big reveal of the winning logo design, go to The Indy Author Facebook page (you can also see the image that inspired the logo, it’s the cover photo of the under construction boat)--and Like me while you’re there!
Here’s wishing you smooth sailing for your fall reading and writing!