Back in late 2016 I was looking to self-publish my novel, Mad Shadows 2: Dorgo the Dowser and the Order of the Serpent. At the time I just didn’t know where to turn or who to hire to not only design and create a cover for my book, but to set it all up for me for paperback and Kindle editions, and at a reasonable price, too.
Right out of the gate Erika and I were in sync. I gave her a few of my ideas on what I was looking for in a book cover and she immediately went to work. She works fast, too. Faster than I expected and could have hoped for.
Within a week or so she had a few variations on the cover I envisioned, and she must have been reading my mind because in each one she captured the essence of the novel and what I was looking for. Book covers are often more representative of a book than they are scenes literally taken from the story and transferred into a visual image. Erika managed to do both: the essence of my story was there, as well as certain elements that captured the mood and theme of my book. Not only that, she took my poorly self-drawn map of the world in which my story takes place and created something truly outstanding.
Working with Erika was a great experience. She’s highly professional, extremely talented and was very patient with me. She was all finished and waiting for me to finish my final proof and edit of my manuscript. Eventually I completed my part of the job and in less than a week Erika had the book formatted and ready for me to approve before she set it all up to go “live.” Roughly three or four days later my book appeared in paperback and Kindle editions, all ready for me to start my promo and marketing campaign. Erika did a fantastic job, which led to an interesting and fun collaboration between us.
After several weeks of chats and discussions, wherein I told her about this idea I had for a spooky children’s Halloween novel, we were tossing ideas back and forth, plotting our story and getting an outline down.
Then, while I worked on the first draft, Erika went to work designing not only a fantastic cover, but a number of very cool interior illustrations. After that, she went to work on a second draft, contributing more scenes and chapters to our short novel, while I continued to proof and edit my first draft. Well, you know how that process works so I won’t bore you with all the little details. However, before we knew it we had completed a 50-K word novel for middle-grade children: Three Ghosts in a Black Pumpkin, a novel Erika and I are both very proud of.
Not only did our book win an award, Erika and I found that we couldn’t let the story end there. So we immediately set to work on a sequel, a more ambitious and complex novel that turned into a 60-K word story. And once again Erika created the cover and some awesome interior illustrations. This time, I sent her an extremely crude sketch of the map of our world of Creepy Hollow, and she artfully created a gorgeous-looking map that we added to the book. Now we had our second collaboration finished, and we published The Power of the Sapphire Wand. This all happened in 2017. But wait! There’s more!
This year, 2018, I decided that I wanted Golden Box Books Publishing Services to publish my next book, and I wanted Erika to design and create a great cover and set the book up for paperback and Kindle editions. So after a few chats and an exchange of ideas, Erika came up with a cover that was hip and modern as well as old-school. She captured exactly what I had in mind and made it even better with her creative ideas and input. She had the cover done in a matter of a few days and waited patiently for me to finish the final proof of my manuscript. Once again, in less than a week, Erika had everything ready for my final approval, and within a few days after that my The MechMen of Canis-9 went live with paperback and Kindle editions. What a wonderful experience that project was, just like all the projects Erika and I were involved in.
Not only is Erika a highly-talented artist, she is a wonderful writer of YA fantasy novels and wonderful children’s books. She has the skill, the know-how and the artistic gift to capture “on paper” what you have in your mind. Golden Box Books Publishing Services does great work and it’s always a pleasure getting involved in another project with her. You can be sure that come the completion of my next novel, I’ll be contacting Erika again. I know my book-baby will be in good hands with GBBP. — Joe Bonadonna https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Bonadonna/e/B009I1KYIK/