The Sciell by Auden Johnson

Epic Dark Fantasy Passion Project: The Sciell Hardback

The Sciell Dark Fantasy Cover

Sometimes you do things simply because they’re fun and you’re curious how it’ll turn out. Turning my epic dark fantasy novel, The Sciell into a hardback book was one of those passion projects. I’ve heard hardback books don’t do well for small press authors. Make sense since we struggle to get our titles into bookstores. But, designing for me is fun and relaxing.

This new project gave me an excuse to update the maps. Back when I first did The Sciell, I was just learning how to make maps. Mine were okay but there was room for improvement.

The Epic Dark Fantasy Map

I had a vision of how I wanted the book to look. Fortunately, IngramSpark had the options that could make my vision a reality. I wanted to be able to design separate covers for the book and jacket.

The Sciell Dark Fantasy Cover

For any authors thinking of using IngramSpark, I like them for the most part. They’re on the expensive side of most of the self-publishing options I’ve used. The Sciell is my second hardback book with IngramSpark. The only thing I don’t like is that you don’t know what your book will look like in print without releasing it to the world and ordering a copy for yourself. IngramSpark doesn’t provide print proofs and the digital proof is a single page pdf document, no spread. If you order a copy and find something wrong, as I did, you have to pay $75 to update your book.

Like most things, this project wasn’t entirely enjoyable. It took me about a month to get IngramSpark to accept my jacket cover file. I’d submit one file. They’d reject it. I’d fix it and submit it. They’d reject it again for another issue. After a while, I was tempted to just leave the book as is, with its issues and all.

But, I pushed forward because I knew it would be worth it. And it was. I plan to release the other books in the series as hardbacks in the coming years. I may not use IngramSpark again. Not because I don’t like them but I’d like to see if there’s a cheaper option out there like Lulu.

I talked about some of the things I’ve dicovered during this process in the post 9 Things I’ve Learned About Print Book Cover Design.

The Sciell Book 1 of the Merging Worlds Series

Check out The Sciell and other books in The Merging Worlds series.

5 thoughts on “Epic Dark Fantasy Passion Project: The Sciell Hardback

  1. Your cover is beautiful, Auden.
    Thank you always for sharing your experiences. That is so valuable to us all.

    Best wishes on your new story,

  2. What a beautiful book cover! Thanks for sharing your experiences with IngramSparks. I plan on using them for my next book, so read with interest. Best wishes for your hardcover book!

  3. Wow, I admire the way you don’t give up, Auden. Your maps and cover art are stunning! I found IS technically difficult to work with for print books, too. Lulu, my hometown publisher, was way easier.

  4. Love your artwork. All your hard work paid off even though it can most definitely be frustrating. For me, writing and creating the book is easy, it’s the formatting that makes me want to pull my hair out. Haha

  5. Your cover is superb Auden. It looks very professional. I recently had issues with Ingram Spark myself. It was the first time I used it to set up print copies of Secrets Hidden Below, the first book in my Adamson Adventures. I was surprised at the cost too, and wondered if there is a better option. I hope the new hard cover sells well.

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