Welcome Naj Qamber
I have been saying it all along READERS JUDGE A BOOK BY THE COVER! Don’t think you can do it yourself…because you can’t (well Naj could and a skilled graphics artist could, but otherwise…not so much). The philosophy at Gliterary Girl Media is that quality will achieve quantity. If you want to sell books, you MUST invest in quality assistance and our Book Publicity and Editing Services employ some extraordinary talent. Unlike a lot of the other sites offering similar services without long term credentials, ALL team members are skilled in the field they work in. Publicists have Masters degrees in communications, or have been working publicists for nearly a decade and our graphic artists have degrees and unparalleled resumes.
So, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to sit down with our newest team member, Naj Qamber of Naj Qamber Designs and Unputdownable books and ask her some questions so you can get to know her, but also to give you some insight into how the book design process works.
GG: Hey Naj. So when did you first decide to become a graphic artist and most importantly when did you decide to work with authors?
NQ: I actually didn’t decide to become one, it just sort of happened. Lol! I first began with photo-manipulations on www.deviantart.com, and then slowly I started to know Photoshop so well that I took other things on, like digital painting, vectors, etc. One day, my eldest sister told me about this internship at a branding consultancy and helped me to compile some of my best work into a portfolio and have her submit it. One interview later, I got the job! It was overwhelming AND scary! After eight months of being mentored by the best graphics designers EVER (well, for me at least), I realized what I wanted to do in life and I stuck with it even after I got my Bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics.
After years of working freelance in general graphics design, an author approached me about purchasing one of my photo-manipulations as a book cover, but I couldn’t sell it to her unless I recreated it with commercial-free stock. So I did, then I realized this is one specialization that I absolutely loved and I was hooked on helping out authors with their covers as much as I could all through 2011 till this day.
GG: Such a great story and all that at such a young age. I know you are also a big reader, how important do think having a good cover is to the success of a book?
NQ: As a reader first, I (like most people) judge a book by its cover. Along side that point, I started analyzing the market business end too. And realized that book covers are as important as the written word because they are the first thing a reader looks upon before they buy. If you have a poorly made cover, your readers become limited. If you have a great cover, your readers are unlimited. Of course, the cover needs to reflect the contents of the book as much as it looks good.
GG: Well said and completely true. It is paramount to getting and detracting readers. I have turned down several books because the cover was sloppy. If you don’t care about the face of your book, I can only imagine what is going on inside…even if that isn’t the case, it is what goes through my head. What goes into your designs? For instance, how much is your vision and how much is the authors.
NQ: This is a hard question! I rarely have any creative freedom with the book covers I make and recently, I’ve been contacted by authors who come to me to help them ‘create’ a vision for their book cover. The vision I create is usually inspired by the Synopsis’ of the book, so, I prefer to call it our ‘shared vision’. I try as much as possible to work with the author as a teammate on book covers. After all, no one knows a book better than the author themselves. If the author is comfortable with giving me free reign, that is wonderful as well.
GG: What are your thoughts on the many self published, self designed books that are floating around Amazon. You know, the ones with the sloppy and homemade looks. Do you think they are shooting themselves in the foot by skimping on design?
NQ: Hahaha, I love how you bluntly put that. LOL! With a blunt question, I will give a blunt answer. Yes, they are shooting themselves in the foot with skimpy designs. To so many readers, a bad cover equals a bad book. And it’s rare that readers pick up a book with a sloppy looking cover (speaking from experience) unless it’s for a review, or if a friend writes it, or if the author themselves speaks to you about their book. Again, I say, if you can’t afford a custom made cover, get a premade one at least! It’ll be a shame if you scare off readers like that.
GG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
NQ: I see myself in my very own house (it’s really expensive to get one in Bahrain) married to my long time boyfriend with one child and counting. I see myself running my family business as a CEO and my design business right beside it flourishing. Is that too aspiring? Lol! There’s no harm in setting goals. DD
Sara O’Connor! You are awesome. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to become part of the team! <3 Now, give me some work! Hahahaha
Your welcome Naj. It is a pleasure working with you and no your dreams are not too aspiring, they are inspiring.