Tell us a little about yourself and your background?For those who don’t know my name is Joshua, I am a book cover designer. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have lived here for the past 20 years. JoshuaJadon.com is my hub for doing all my design work for authors. My focus is creating eye-catching book cover designs for authors that will help them catch the attention of more readers to ultimately sell more books.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I drew ALOT when I was younger. I remember riding the bus home in like 2nd grade and coming home to grab a TV tray and a pen, then watching my favorite show Imagination Station which helped teach me how to draw. To bad they canceled the show, it was such a great show and their aren’t many people out their that teach that on television. So yeah, drawing was pretty much my focus from age 6 to about senior year in high school.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. I remember telling myself I don’t want to learn Photoshop. I had various opportunities to take the course in middle and high school but never did. Then finally in college after not using digital software at all to do my art I finally crossed over. The first assignment in my college Graphic Design class at Central Michigan University was on designing book covers and after I learned that I pretty much decided I needed to look no further for work. At that point class became less important than building my book cover design portfolio so I could then go onto launching my own site on the internet.
I worked at a car wash called Sparkling Image for a good year or so while I was building up my website and then at one point I literally was just tired of working at the car wash and wanted to take this thing more seriously. So one rainy day at the car wash when I working and just came to the decision that I am done and would rather invest my time in building up my book cover design business. The funny thing is I hadn’t even made a sale yet when I quit working their, I had about $200 saved and just took the leap. A few weeks later I got my first sale and been at it ever since then.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? Yeah it’s crucial to increasing the amount of readers that see your book and actual readers who buy your book. The idea as an author or self-publisher is to come out with a book that’s going to sell right? So it only makes sense to pair the writing up a great cover design. When a customer is looking at a book cover design there are only a few seconds of opportunity to catch that readers attention and get them interested. This is why it’s so important to a cover that really pulls them in.
Why did you choose this route? I’ve always liked designing and creating things from ideas so when I finally realized I wanted to continue doing this and as a career it became pretty clear on what the next steps I needed to take in order to make it happen. I can say though being persistent and not quitting is what has kept me going.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? Yeah, to be honest at first I didn’t really know what would work for me. After I got my first sale though I realized “Oh, so social media does work.”. Building up a presence online has been a key factor for finding new authors to design covers for. At first I think the biggest thing I failed with was understanding and believing in what I was doing and knowing that it would actually work if I just kept trying things and seeing what would result from them. In the future I would avoid guessing on what I am doing without a real purpose behind it. That just leads to more wasted time. Being clear and focused on things while taking decisive action has brought me a long way.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? Yes, have faith in what you’re doing and embrace the process and steps it’s going to take to get wherever it is you want to go. Maybe you want to become a best-selling author, the idea is to clarify this before hand so all the steps you take are aligned to the outcome you’d like. Take action combined with the necessary steps and you can almost guarantee you’re on the right path. And if you’re not, you just adjust along the way and keep going. It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer or a author or a car washer, what matters is the result you really want. Being uncomfortable for me has helped me see okay I can either keep doing what I am doing or move through it and get to the other side. The last thing my art teacher in high school told me was “don’t settle” and I am just now really seeing what she is talking about.