Goodnight,  On Writing

Book Cover Design for Self Publishing: DIY or Hire a Pro?

A Post About the Covers that Didn’t Make the Cut–and the One Cover We Chose

The process of choosing a book cover for my book Goodnight to My Thoughts of You was an interesting, crazy challenge. At first, I was convinced that Andy and I could come up with a cover by ourselves. And we did. This was our first attempt at a book cover. We made this cover about a year ago.


What we wanted it to say: love, music, spirituality, the beach. We knew it wasn’t quite right. It needed some professional design help. Some more font ideas. Some layers. Some coloring. But we had no idea how to make it look professional.

As I was hanging out with some high school girls at my church, we chatted about my book and came up with new design ideas every week. Here are a few of the designs we came up with:


What we wanted it to say: love, teen, hope



Love, poetry, journaling, bedtime, cozy


Love, poetry, journaling, teen, pretty


Love, thoughts about love



My designs were getting indifferent responses from Andy and mostly everyone else I showed them to. Everyone was supportive, but not really enthusiastic. The covers were OK, but not great.

I tried a few more on my own:


Finally I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Even though I knew all along that insisted on hiring a professional BOOK COVER graphic designer for the cover, I had hoped in my heart that I could do it all myself. But I just couldn’t. It wasn’t working. I didn’t have the skills or the knowledge or the time. I was wasting time. I had to find a good fit. I prayed. I looked at the award-winning book covers on Joel Friedlander’s cover design contest winners. And I found this designer: Danielle Maait.

She is amazing.

Within 24 hours of sending her the synopsis of my book and main characters, Danielle made four starter covers for me to choose from.





so much better, right? PROFESSIONAL

So we worked together, back and forth from California to Australia, for a week and landed on a cover that I absolutely love. COME BACK NEXT WEEK to see the cover we chose!

A HUGE thank you to Danielle Maait and her God-given talent, hard work, diligence, devotion, and reasonable pricing!

Book cover design for self publishing is so challenging. But if I had hired a professional from the start, I would have saved myself hours and hours of time.

Do I dare ask ? … which cover is your favorite?

Goodnight to My Thoughts of You … available soon. Just a few more details to work out, and it will be ready to go!

Please visit this site again next week to see the cover we chose for Chelsea’s debut novel, Goodnight to My Thoughts of You.

Chelsea Rotunno is the author of Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a novel about life as a Christian teen searching for true love.


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