Yesterday, I did a cover reveal for my upcoming book Tarot Guide for Beginners. I am so happy that I can finally show you the cover of my upcoming book. I wanted to say that it took a lot to get here, but when I’m honest, the journey of creating the book went pretty smoothly.
I also need to mention that when I decided in January to grant this book (and myself as the author of it) a grown-up release, I looked at my over ninety to-do’s and felt pretty overwhelmed. How was I ever going to learn all this? How would I ever get all my ducks in a row? How would I line them up to a pinnacle of activities to show my book to the world?
For a couple of weeks, I felt scared and excited. Glennon Doyle would call this scited, I guess.
How it all began
Tarot Guide for Beginners came to this world as Tarot Werkboek, the Dutch version of a pretty different book, back in 2004. Knowing I had only started reading tarot cards in 1997, my understanding wasn’t as deep as it runs today. But still, the foundation was excellent, and I understand why Deltas wanted to publish it. It was a good book, and I’m making it much better than it used to be.
But soon after it was published, I noticed that reading small print and such is essential. Within months a copy of the book was published with a different cover, and a year later, another copy was sold to ECI, a membership book club. They negotiated different prices than we had initially agreed upon, and I felt I had nothing to say about the book. When I also found my book at a Ramsj bookstore (cheap bookstores where publishing houses dump their books). It didn’t feel good, mainly because they never informed me of their decisions. I had to walk into one of those bookstores and find my book. That sucked big time. I walked out of the shop with tears in my eyes.
But readers traced me on the Internet and asked me questions. This made me so happy. They liked the book and gave me 5-star reviews online. I was able to build a fun reading and coaching business that kept me busy. I even sent some of them an autographed book, which was as funny as you can imagine – someone wanting an autograph from me 😊
When I met one of them out in the wild one day, I realized I had impacted people’s lives, and that is when the idea started to one day translate the book and republish it. I had heard of indy authors and wanted to learn how to self-publish books.
Over the years, I have published several books and even republished the original version of the Tarot Werkbook because I needed an updated version for the translations.
Even throughout translations, I improved the book even more. When you dive into a translation and think about what you wrote, you find that you want to word it differently. This is also what translating does because the sentences are built differently.
Working with a real editor
Also, working with a real editor, Emma Jansen helped me tremendously. Up to that point, I had not done that, and I bet my previous books must have been filled with Dutchisms (seeing how many edits she made). Anyway, most of those books have been unpublished, so who cares.
Working with a designer for the cover
When I decided to give this book a grown-up release, it also meant working with a real book cover designer. I found the best one through a contest I put out on 99Designs. It is funny and interesting how some contestants didn’t even read the instructions I gave upfront about designs I didn’t want. It made the first selection round easy because I could strike out all the spooky designs with skulls. I don’t associate my craft with stuff like that. Even though I said in my instructions that I was NOT looking for a dark or black cover, you don’t want to know how many dark or black covers I received. At least 80% did not understand my instructions.
To finally choose the winner of that contest made me a bit anxious. What if people would not like the cover? I mean, “they say” that potential buyers want to recognize a book by the cover. If the book is about tarot, it needs tarot cards on the cover. But I feel that tarot is about more than the cards. It is about intuition and trusting yourself that what you feel is okay.
I decided to take a chance and decide that my potential reader could read a title, so the word TAROT has been made as big as it could be 😂
Fyra won the contest because of the use of colors. Also, the giant moon in the middle of the design and the overall atmosphere made me notice it.
Even though it only took a week or two to get from instruction to the final design, I have learned a lot from this process.
Manuscript declared DONE
Through all of this, Emma and I kept working on the manuscript. I made the last edits in May and declared the manuscript DONE.
The next stop will be to form an Advance Review Copy team to help me create more visibility for the book at the vendor’s sites and as much noise about the release of this book.
Next time, I will start this step much sooner in my process to sail smoothly toward the release. Had I organized the ARC team sooner, I could have released the book in June. This is a good lesson to remember next time.