Designing for the stars, part 2


We’ve created a book cover design for another Broadway star.

Ernest L. Thomas, a veteran of Broadway, television, and film, has the distinction of having a hit television show or movie in every decade since he began his career forty years ago. He starred as the popular character Raj in the popular ABC hit sitcom, What’s Happening, and the number-one syndicated show nationwide, What’s Happening Now. Award-winning director Spike Lee chose him to play Sidney X opposite Denzel Washington in Malcolm X. Millennials fell in love with the character Mr. Omar, a role created for him by Chris Rock and Ali LeRoi for the global hit show Everybody Hates Chris. TV Guide chose him as one of America’s favorites in the issue titled Stars We Still Love.

From Raj to Riches is a motivational autobiography about how to overcome show business and life through faith.

Ernest is still a busy man and there was never much time to consult, but in time we managed to please him with a wonderful cover.

If you want us to create your book cover design too, visit us at MaryDes.


Designing for the stars, part 1

The power of the Goddess by Marjean Holden

Recently Leon Smith Publishing asked us to create book cover designs for several Hollywood actors.
Marjean Holden is a seasoned actress. She played the role of Officer Carol Flores, dying in the arms of Bruce Willis in the action film Hostage, was also featured in Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World and Jan De Bont’s Speed 2: Cruise Control. Holden is known for such television roles as Arina in the adventure series BeastMaster

She is also a writer, international trainer, and a mom. She has transformed and inspired tens of thousands of students worldwide. Marjean is a certified Sacred Gifts Guide and president of Power of the Goddess, which focuses on the empowerment of women through highly experiential events, online products, and resources.
It was a challenge to create a cover design for her book “The power of the goddess”.  Marjean knows what she wants and every detail was carefully examined and had to meet her expectations. But, the result is eye-catching and we were proud she was pleased with it.


If you want us to create your book cover design too, visit us at MaryDes.

Professional Book Trailers starting from $26



These days most people are addicted to their smartphone or tablet. And I admit, it comes in handy when you need to have some information on, let’s say, books.  Every year millions of new books appear on the market so which one do you choose? The ones you heard about already, the ones who have positive reviews and attractive covers. Yes, I wrote you already about the importance of a good book cover design. They see you before they read you. We are so accustomed to visual stimulation that we, unconsciously, preferably want to be contacted in this way. It makes information more comprehensible. In addition, an image stays longer in our memory then text.

Suppose you have a Twitter or Facebook account and you look at your numerous messages, which draw your attention first? Most likely those containing a picture or video. If you want to send a message to the world, you should do it visually.

This was well understood by management from famous authors. Which had funds enough for visual communication through book trailers.


A book trailer is a short video  to promote your book and  aims to entice the viewer to pick up your book or get more to know about it.

“In one minute or less you can tap into the visual, auditory and emotional senses of your potential reader with a book trailer. Like its cousin the movie trailer, a book trailer is designed to get the buzz going and drive sales, or at least more interest.”

Arielle Ford (Author, Speaker, Relationship Expert)

Book   trailers   offer   an   additional   opportunity   to   make   your   book   known   on   popular   video   sites   like   Youtube   and   Vimeo.   Moreover, this   video   promotion   draws   more   attention   on   your   social   media,   like   Facebook,   Twitter   and   LinkedIn.

One huge problem though: book trailers are expensive, very expensive. A professional book trailer can cost you $4000 and more. Not something for indie authors to pay. So we see a lot of them experimenting with homemade book trailers, forgetting that a quickly patched together trailer also can reduce the interest in the book.

At MaryDes we thought about this and have researched and experimented with possibilities to reach a formula that allowed us to offer indie authors professional trailers at affordable prices.

Using   special   techniques, creative   ideas   and   automation   we   succeeded   in   developing   professional   book   trailers   for   small   budgets.      Doing   so,   we give all authors the possibility to get more attention and create more sales with their own book trailer.

And the amazing news is, we can do this starting from only $26!

Get your book trailer now

Now MaryDes is bringing book trailers within the budget from indie authors. Take a look at some examples and prices and make use of this new opportunity to bring your book in the picture.

Check out our website at MaryDes Book Trailers and launch your first book trailer soon.

Book cover: A Quarter ’til Life – M. Andrew Cockrell

If your author gives you the message:  “I AM NOT SURE WHAT I WANT!!!” you’re in for an adventure. Luckily Andrew Cockrell gave us some ideas to work with.

“The best idea among my inner-circle that has been offered hearkens to the aforementioned epilogue. That idea involves a box – possibly on a quilt or obvious bed cover – with some of its contents scattered outside of it. Some of the contents could be specific to the story (especially the headband tiara, a ticket to a Sound of Music production would be great, photos) and others could be mementos typical of any love relationship (hand-written notes, cards, etc.).”

About A Quarter ’til Life

Michael and Elizabeth are the most unlikely couple on the campus of Campbell University. They come from vastly different backgrounds and have completely different interests. Unbeknownst to each other, they’ve been heading in opposite directions for the past two years. Yet when they meet, sparks fly – quickly and intensely. Is this connection merely a case of “opposites attract,” or are the common desires of their hearts more powerful than their significant differences?

As their bond grows stronger, a major decision looms for Michael, a decision that will have a significant impact on their future as a couple. Will Michael and Elizabeth allow themselves to be vulnerable and transparent with each other as they share their respective hurts and heartbreaks? Can Elizabeth accept Michael’s decision, regardless of its implications on their relationship?

“A Quarter ’til Life” is a ‘falling and being in love’ story that will tug at your heartstrings and pull you into the characters’ world. Michael, Elizabeth, and all of us will find redemption in unlikely ways at unexpected times.

Behind the book cover

Sometimes as a designer you need to be creative to get the images you want for creating a stunning book cover. In this case I took the box and its content picture at my home in a setting the author liked, then I searched until I could find a real ticket to the sound of music and blended everything seamlessly together. Since I needed a mature woman I had to make her look older. I really wanted to create a tender atmosphere but with enough elements to draw the attention of the audience and persuade them to take this book at hand.


We won Andrew’s contest and afterwards he wrote:

“This was my first contest, and it was not easy. I didn’t provide much help in the way of specific guidelines, so designers were flying blindly. Maryna has gone above and beyond to create a design that would work. At every step, she has responded promptly to feedback.

Thank you so much! I look forward to continuing to work with you to get this project to the finish line!”

Now Andrew’s book is available at Amazon and got until now only five star reviews. We are so happy we could assist Andrew in his designing need and are proud to share his success.  We hope to have a longtime relationship with him as we do with all our authors.

We wish you a lot of success Andrew and thank you for trusting us.

Find his book on Amazon.

Follow Andrew Cockrell on Twitter.

Goto MaryDes for more covers.


Behind the scenes of a book cover design.

At MaryDes we create new designs that are fully adapted to the theme of your book. No clipart with some text, but everything worked out in detail. Such that the cover reflects the atmosphere and the location of the story in your book.

We did not use less than 16 images for the book cover “Bishop” by William R. Berryman, which we poured seamlessly into a new design.

The story is set on the shore of Lake Michigan in the United States. We have done a lot of research and used Google Earth to look virtually on the spot. What type of housing do you find there, are there lighthouses and how does the landscape look like? Before we collect images, we really want to know what we can and can not do. Our design should be realistic, but at the same time intriguing and sufficient in detail.

After this we’re looking for pictures to realize this design and to provide the right atmosphere.

First, we create a temporary design with the base setting of the cover. Then we dress this design with details. In reality, the location of this cover does not exist, but it could well be.

Maryna, our designer, knows how to bring images seamlessly together as if everything seems real. When you see her work and knows how her designs were realized, you would not believe any picture any more. Look at the Bishop cover, the sea, the clouds, the storm, the light and its reflection on the sea, the neon of the tavern and the shadow that it casts on the rowboat.

Nothing is real, but looks very realistic. To every detail is paid so much attention that you understand that we do not create just a cover, but that each cover of MaryDes is a real work of art.  Of course we would love to give you the opportunity to get such beautiful cover, which fully corresponds to the contents of your book, too.

Learn more about book covers on the website of MaryDes.


Book cover: Mailboat – Danielle Lincoln Hanna

Bailey Johnson landed the coolest summer job ever: mail jumper on the historic Lake Geneva Mailboat. Falling into the lake is pretty much a hazard of the job. Finding a dead body underwater is pretty much not. Turns out the first victim was only the ripple before the storm.

Danielle Lincoln Hanna gave detailed guidelines how she wanted the book cover to look like, but we think that creating covers is bidirectional thinking. Communication between the author and the designer is essential in creating an outstanding design.

As always, we, at MaryDes, wanted to create something more than a PhotoShopped picture of the lake Geneva mailboat with a title. We wanted to reveal the atmosphere of the book, catch the attention of audience and make sure they take her book at hand.

So, how do we create great designs?

First we analyze the guidelines given by the author. We need to know something about the storyline, characters and the setting. This information is then discussed in a team consisting of the lead designer (Maryna) complemented by a copywriter and marketing specialist. Why? Because after your book is finalized you need to get your audience to read it. Therefore, it is very important to include several elements in your book cover design which facilitate the marketing of your book.

After this brainstorming, the different elements for the design are gathered together. Sometimes one design can consist of 20 different elements, brought seamlessly together to create a complete new design.

The result of this is poured into a provisional design and may vary from the wishes of the author. The work is then subject to approval and review of the client. It is extensively explained why we have created the design as it is.

The author is best placed to assess the new elements to the reality or the contents of the book. For example, we discovered that there is regular a Ferris Wheel in Lake Geneva and we felt that this would add detail to the cover and better refers to the place where the story takes place.  According to the author, however, this did not correspond with the timeline of the book and the wheel was removed.

So a book cover design always arises from an interplay between the various parties involved. With MaryDes you can count on years of experience and know-how of an entire team devoted to your book cover design. That the result often exceeds the expectations is apparent from the reaction of Danielle Licoln Hanna:

 I was blown away by Maryna’s creativity. She took the design into her own hands and ran away with it–yet at the same time, she managed to read my mind and come up with a design I loved. I can’t wait to work with her again!

“Sales so far have been good, and I think your cover art went a long way in helping. Thank you!”

(Danielle Lincoln Hanna)


So why would you not trust us to create your next book cover design. Visit our website for more information.

More about the book: Mailboat by Danielle Lincoln Hanna.

Order her book at Amazon.

The importance of a good book cover design

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it is a popular idiom, but in reality most readers do use a cover as a deciding factor whether they should buy a book or not.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker says: “Our brains are wired to process images faster than words. When we see an image, it makes us feel something.” A great cover, he says, can “help the reader instantly recognize that this book is for them.”   They see your cover before they read your book. So, the first impression is everything.

“Bookshops display books with their covers facing the reader,” writes JD Smith in Writers & Artist. “It’s the first thing a reader sees. It is the reason a customer picks up the book, particularly in a supermarket setting where every book is front facing. Only when a reader has picked up the book do they actually read anything…”

With hundreds, if not thousands of books in a store for readers to choose from, your book cover is the first sales talk you make. People expect a cover to tell them what to expect. It presents the atmosphere of the book. It can give your readers a glimpse of the characters or a location where some action took place.

A well-designed cover is the first assurance the reader has that the book is of a high quality. Some book reviewers even don’t want to read a book when the cover is not appealing. They wonder if other areas in the book would lack quality and refinement too.

Naomi Blackburn, one of the world’s top Goodreads reviewers: “If the cover seems to be nothing more than a catalog photograph with block lettering, I bypass it,” she says. “If the author didn’t care enough to dedicate time/effort to their cover, I wonder how much time they put into the book itself.”

So books are judged for their covers and not only by reviewers, also the public. The Cover Matters Survey Results came up with some interesting statistics.

From 616 people who took the survey 79% answered that covers matter; 40% responded not to buy a book if the cover was terrible; and 62% says that covers are the artistic representation of the book (they should be accurately representative of a book’s genre, tone, and/or characters).

A professional book cover can boost your sales significantly, but interesting to know is that even makeovers can double your sale. Suppose your book has a poor book cover, big publishers try to prevent this but even they often change covers of books already published and if your book is published with “printing on demand”, you can do this easily too.

Your story is important, but your cover is equally important. You spent a lot of time writing your book and you want to tell your story to as many people as possible, then why not spent some more time and money for a really good book cover. Hire a professional book cover designer, but how do you recognize one?

How do you recognize a good book cover designer?

There are many sites that offer you book cover designs or where you can hire a freelance designer. In fact there are millions of graphic designers you can connect to over the internet but most of them are would be artists.  Forget book cover designs for 5$. Some say that a professional book cover design will cost you over 500$ but there is a lot of talented cover designers that only charge you half of it. So what do you need to do:

Surf the internet for graphic designers. If you find one:

Check his or her portfolio for:

  • Style: Every designer has his own style. Is this style in line with what you expect from your cover?
  • Use of clipart: There is nothing wrong with the use of clipart as long as it is not only a clipart with a title. Professional designers will use more than one clipart and blend them seamlessly together to create a unique new image. If a cover looks too much as often used clipart, search for another designer.
  • Cliches: If your designer uses to often used cliches he probably lacks creativity. Many would be designers are real copycats and steal ideas from other designers or simply use often used images just to play safe.
  • Anomalies: Often common mistakes are: shade in the wrong place opposite the sun, things that cannot occur in reality. A lake house at the border of a violent see. Even if the designer is talented, your audience will notice.
  • Details: Enlarge a portfolio design and check for lighting details, retouching, blending, contrast and more. The better done the better your designer.
  • Font: Does your designer uses readable fonts which are also readable when the design is a thumbnail.

Check for references:  Although it is very difficult to check these, it might give you some clues.

Communicate: Communicating with your designer is as important than his ability to create professional designs. If he does not fully understand what you want, you might be surprised what he delivers. Always ask for a midterm situation. So you can follow up his progress and adjust if necessary.


Here you will find some more information on the subject:

Why book covers are so important:

The Importance of Cover Design:

Yes, We Really Do Judge Books by Their Covers:

Cover matters:


And of course, we can help you too with professional book covers. Take advantage of our temporary offer or goto our website at MaryDes.