One of the challenges for self-publishing service providers is to offer both flexibility and control for the author while still maintaining the quality of the final published book to the marketplace. Many authors who choose the self-publishing path, and find a suitable service provider, may have strong ideas on how their book cover should look. Indeed, self-published authors sometimes submit cover materials (photographs, images and specific concept ideas), even a completed cover design for the service provider.
However, images may not always be of a suitable quality or the submitted cover design does not comply with the service provider specifications or industry standards. Worse, what an authors believes to be an ideal cover design or concept may be entirely inappropriate for the genre of the book and present difficulties when it comes to marketing.
Matador, a self-publishing imprint of Troubador Publishing in the UK, is an option for the serious self-published author and unlike many other publishing services it offers authors proper trade distribution and sales representation. Troubador’s Managing Director has decided that it is time to raise the bar on cover design. The Matador imprint is already editorially selective on the self-published titles it will take on.
Publishing good quality books for our authors nowadays involves more than just accepting any cover artwork that’s thrown at us; not only do we not like to publish poor covers, but the retailers don’t like it and, ultimately, it tars all Matador authors with the same brush. Our in-house design team has long been designing book covers that are comparable with any from a mainstream house, so to be asked to publish a cover that’s poorly executed or that is wholly wrong for the book’s genre drags our brand – and sales – down.
— Jeremy Thompson, Managing Director of Troubador Publishing Ltd
Thompson concedes that insisting on higher cover standards, and not simply accepting poor quality covers, is about raising the bar for all the imprint’s self-published books, but ‘it will inevitably lead some authors not using Matador.’ Thompson adds that the UK self-publishing market is ‘vibrant and growing’ and there are provider services out there happy to ‘publish anything an author wants,’ but the latest move will continue to strengthen the company’s position within the trade as a market leader in quality self-published books.
Full Press Release below:
MATADOR CALLS TIME ON POOR COVERS
MATADOR IS ONCE AGAIN RAISING THE QUALITY STAKES IN THE SELF-PUBLISHING MARKET
Self-publishing imprint Matador is once again raising the quality stakes in the self-publishing market by calling time on poorly presented book covers, and covers that are wrong for the genre and/or market.
Matador works at the quality end of the self-publishing spectrum, and for a while the company has felt that the market is ready for some further form of ‘design curation’ to further improve the quality of its self-published titles.
Managing Director Jeremy Thompson says: “Publishing good quality books for our authors nowadays involves more than just accepting any cover artwork that’s thrown at us; not only do we not like to publish poor covers, but the retailers don’t like it and, ultimately, it tars all Matador authors with the same brush. Our in-house design team has long been designing book covers that are comparable with any from a mainstream house, so to be asked to publish a cover that’s poorly executed or that is wholly wrong for the book’s genre drags our brand – and sales – down.”
The move is not designed to force authors to use Matador’s design services; the company is happy to accept author-supplied covers as long as the artwork is professionally designed and the design is right for the book. The design team is always happy to discuss book covers with authors planning to supply their own artwork.
Matador is selective on the manuscripts it takes on, even for selfpublishing authors. This latest move is designed to further improve the quality of the imprint’s self-published titles, and increasingly to make Matador stand out as the best option for serious selfpublishers in the UK.
“The self-publishing market is vibrant and growing, and there are plenty of self-publishing companies around that will publish anything an author wants,” said Jeremy.
“Our market is the quality end of self-publishing, and as such we feel this move – though it will inevitably lead to some authors not using Matador – will help to strengthen our position as the recognised market leader in quality self-publishing in the UK.”
Notes for Editors:
- Matador is the high-quality self-publishing imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd.
- Matador helps authors to publish over 400 books per year, runs The Self-Publishing Conference and publishes The Self Publishing Magazine.
- Jeremy Thompson is the Managing Director of Troubador Publishing Ltd.