Friday, 11 January 2013

Interview with my cover designer, Ida Jansson




Today I'm delighted to be interviewing Ida Jansson of Amygdala Design, creator of the stunning cover for my dark fiction short story collection, Passing Time.









Hello Ida. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, and what do you do when you're not designing covers or creating digital art?

Hi! I am 27 years old, and from Norway. I currently live in Oslo with my boyfriend of 10 years and our wonderful dog. I run the company Amygdala Design, which I started in October 2012. Amygdala Design specializes in Book Cover design and other related services. I am educated as a Graphic Designer, but I also have a bachelor degree in Biomedical Science. Right now I work full time as a Digital Artist and Graphic Designer in my own company.

In my spare time, I love to read (and I read a lot!). I also enjoy cross country skiing and long walks with my dog.

You have a selection of stunning artwork on your website, Amygdala Design. What inspires your creativity?

Thank you! I am very inspired by music, especially soundtracks from different movies, and also game music. I always listen to music when I design book covers. Also, reading books inspires me a lot. I am so impressed by all the amazing authors out there, and I want to support new authors in every way that I can. 


What started your passion for book cover design?

My passion for book cover design started with my passion for reading! I thought it would be perfect to combine my love for books with my passion for digital art. It is an amazing feeling to hold a book in my hands and know that I have designed the cover.

Actually, it all started with a request from you to design your book cover for “Passing Time”. I really enjoyed the process, and it made me think that this was actually something I could do for a living. After that, the requests have just kept coming, and I feel very lucky to have gotten such a great start. So thank you Ellie! 




You offer both pre-made and custom-made covers. Can you talk us through the process of creating a custom-made cover for an author?

The custom-made covers are made in close cooperation with the author. I often ask for a short synopsis of the story before I start working on ideas for the cover. It is important that the covers reflect the main components of the story, but in a simple way. A cover should not have too many components, as the potential reader should be able to see what kind of book this is just by a simple glance.

Some customers know exactly what they want, down to the smallest detail. Others just give me a basic idea of the story, and leave it to me to come up with ideas. Then I make a first version, a draft that I send to the author. From there, we decide if anything needs to be changed before the final version.

On your blog you mention getting the right book cover is important. Why?

Unfortunately, a lot of great books get too little attention because the cover is too anonymous or doesn’t tell the potential reader anything about the book. An eye-catching book cover is so important do draw the attention that you need to sell your book. I know that when I browse Amazon for books to download on my Kindle, I always stop by the books with the best covers. The first impression is so important, especially when you are a new author. With the amount of self-published books growing rapidly, the competition to get noticed is very tough, and the right book cover can be crucial.

What other services do you offer authors?

In addition to book covers, I also offer the following services:

-         Book Trailers
-         Promotional Artworks
-         Facebook Banner


I saw a book trailer you recently made and was blown away by the quality. Was this your first trailer and how difficult was it to make?

Thank you! Yes, it actually was my first book trailer. Since then, I have made another trailer which was luckily also well received. I really enjoy making them, combining my passion for books, art, and music. Technically, it was not very difficult to make because I have made similar products through my education. But it was certainly challenging to decide what elements to include in the trailer, as the book opened up so many possibilities.

Do you plan to offer any other book-related services during 2013?

Right now I have my hands full with book covers, trailers, promo-art and banners. Recently, I made a logo for a customer, and I really enjoyed the process. So I am open for designing more logos if I get the opportunity. I am always open to help authors with any design services they might need, even if it is not currently one of my official services.

Now for the compulsory random question: if you could design a cover for an author, who would it be and why?

Maybe not the most original answer, but I would have to answer J.K. Rowling. She is simply a genius, and I LOVE Harry Potter!




Win a book trailer by Ida! Visit her Facebook page to find out more.


Amygdala Design




Thank you, Ida. I feel honoured to have been part of the reason you decided to start designing book covers. I am sure that during 2013 Amygdala Design will continue to grow and flourish with your obvious passion and creativity behind it.

48 comments:

  1. Her covers are excellent! Yes, it is very important to have an outstanding cover, because that is the first thing a reader sees.

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    1. I agree, Alex. When I was scouting for a cover designer before finding Ida, I saw some terrible covers. They shouted self-publisher and unprofessional.

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  2. Ida, I absolutely adore your covers. Ellie's was the first I'd seen, and I think they're magnificent. Definitely going to enter the trailer contest. Keep up the good art! :-)

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    1. They really are awesome, EJ. I hope to use many more of Ida's over the years.

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  3. It's so nice to meet you, Ida. You did a great job on Passing Time!

    Ref: Rowling
    Well, yeah. LOL.


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  4. Fantastic covers. I love that she cares about the overall impression the book will get, and will work with what the author wants. It's true that the cover is so important as the first thing the reader sees.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  5. Great art! You're quite the talent, Ida. :o)

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  6. Just to reinforce the importance of a good book cover, a timely post on another forum pointed me to this site of lousy book covers.

    Quite an eye-opener. You definitely did the right thing here, Ellie, getting such a wonderful cover produced for you.

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    1. I'm thrilled you liked it!

      I had a look at the link you gave and there are some really shocking covers on there. Having said that, you can see where some of them are obviously either the author's own artwork or maybe a friends. Unfortunately, most of it is just not up to the level it should be for a book cover.

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  7. A good cover is a must, but a sensational cover like this will result in a sale.

    Stunning work, Ida.

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  8. Lots of colour and lots of eye catching covers. Good choice Ellie you have found a talented designer/artist in Ida Jansson. I was impressed with Passing Time's cover now I understand why.

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    1. Thanks, Snafu. I could not have asked for a better response!

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  9. I am loooking for some good Kindle covers shaped like books. If they are available in Harry Potter images and all, this would make them look like the novels. Can you guide me on how to get such accessories ?

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    1. I've never looked for anything like that but I would say etsy.com would be the place to start. It sounds like it's a product that would fit their niche craft market.

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  10. Great interview. Ida's covers look stunning, and it's cool that it was you that got her started! Covers are uber important, with the plethora of self-published books out there now.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Nick. As much as we all say we don't want to judge a book by it's cover, we do it all the time.

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  11. What a great interview! And how cool that the Passing Time cover got Ida started. I love the Passing Time cover and the rest of Ida's work is stunning too. Nice to meet you, Ida! :)

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  12. Great interview and fabulous artwork. Thanks, Ellie, for posting this. Good to meet you, Ida.

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  13. Great interview. I love the cover. I've looked through Amygdala Design's artwork before and loved it. So much talent there.

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  14. Ida is talented! Fantastic covers.

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  15. Hi Ellie and Ida - what a lovely guest interview ... I loved learning more about Ida and how she's approaching her work - and Ellie how amazing that you 'helped' Ida start out on her book cover career ... I can definitely see a lot more co-operation happening between the two of you ..

    I love the cover and just has to add to the whole of the book ... good luck to both of you - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. I feel so lucky to have found her.

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  16. I loved reading this interview. Ida your artwork and design is beautiful and creative I am sure you will be a very busy lady in the future. Ellie I love the mood of the cover Ida has created for you.

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  17. Ida, you're definitely going on my list. I love Ellie's cover.

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  18. Awesome interview, and beautiful art! I love hearing about how others get into doing cover design. It's such a fun and rewarding experience. I love Ellie's cover! Fantastic job!

    Best,

    Alexandra~

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  19. Loved reading this interview!

    Those images are amazing and the cover of Passing Time is very striking.

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  20. Nice to meet Ida. Her covers are wonderful.

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  21. I love Ida's style. Who knows? Maybe if I self-publish Doorways, I'll go knocking on her door. ;-)

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  22. Excellent work! I know we're not supposed to judge books (or eBooks) by their covers, but...

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    1. We're not but we all do it to some extent!

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  23. Ida, great interview and your work is top notch quality. I was the happy author receiving Ida's first book trailer. You would say she had done that for years. Fantastic job, Ida, and thank you again.

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  24. I just wanted to thank all of you for your wonderful and kind comments. I am so happy that the Passing Time cover has been received that well, and I am overwhelmed by your feedback. And thank you to Ellie again for making me believe that I could do this.

    Thank you everyone!

    Ida/Amygdala Design

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    1. Thank you again for creating such an awesome cover, Ida!

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