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Melifluous Gelatoo

Mgsdesigns offers both custom and a wide variety of premade designs from which you can choose, both for ebooks and print, spanning beyond just the fantasy genre. Series continuation is always possible.

Find MG on social media! @mgsdesiigns​

An Interview With MG of Mgsdesiigns

Why did you decide to specialize in making book covers, especially for fantasy, YA, romantasy, and poetry genres?


I love beautiful things, and to create something beautiful feels like a dopamine injection, I just feel happy that instant. The first cover I designed was out of necessity. I didn't want to do it, I didn't even know I could, I just need it and so I did. Then I found that seems like I have a knack for it, so I continued.


As for the genre I specialized, Fantasy is my first instinct because I love the genre very much. The books I read, the aesthete, the vibes, the movies, it's as if my soul is built for magical worlds. However, I do try to design across all genres, slowly finding out which ones I do best and which I just couldn't do. From there, I found that I do best in designs that are magical. Be it fantasy, romance, poetry, YA, anthologies–I find it very easy to envision anything that have a spark of magic in it.


Can you explain how you create a custom book cover from start to finish?


First, I look over the form my clients filled and read over their book's informations at least twice or thrice as I envision how the cover would look like. 


Next, I either spend some hours scrolling through Pinterest for inspirations, or if I already have a clear enough vision, I go straight to an empty canvas (digital of course, it's so much easier than traditional XD) and start putting my ideas there. Usually keeping it black and white first. Sometimes, there are designs that I found harder to pour out from my mind and at those times, my favorite way is to just sleep it out. The well rested, future MG will figure it out, she always does, I trust her.


After the design is somewhat formed, I start experimenting with colours, looking at which combination can bring out the beauty most and capture the right feel. Usually ending up with more than one colour versions.


Now the initial design is ready and I let my client see it.


Revisions will be made based on my clients thoughts and once they love it then get the cakes out cause that's a job done and I need some snacks to celebrate!


How do you make sure your designs represent the essence and themes of the books they're for?


When in doubt, do research.


Sometimes, I reread the informations my clients have listed on the form; or scroll through google and Pinterest to expand my views on the theme and get myself in the mood; or pray; or go the straightforward way and ask my client directly whether the initial design have portrayed the right picture they're expecting, if I haven't then I'll revise with their feedback in mind.


Most times (if not all), I do all that, in that order. 


What makes your premade designs unique, and how do you choose them to appeal to different readers?


I created my premade designs with stories in mind. Sometimes generic, sometimes very specific. And as stories tend to differ from one to another, it helps me create designs that aren't a mere copy from one another. Each design is as unique as each story. 


How do you handle designing covers for book series to keep them consistent but also show the story's progression?


For series, I make sure they have a certain thing that stays consistent enough that it only took once glance and people would know that these books are part of a series. It can be a colour, or a font, or decorations, or a combination. At the same time, each book also need to be unique. Just like when you and your friend group want to use matching clothes, merely using the exact same outfit won't do–but the same fabric tailored to suit each person's style? Now that's gorgeous.


As a sucker for aesthetics, I also pay extra attention to ensure they will look good when put side by side on a shelf (I'm a book collector too, I know it annoys us to have a series that clash when they sit together).

Do you have any cool stories about working with authors on their book covers?


Oh yes, they are all amazing. However, I don't think there is one that really stood out that I can pick and say "here, this one is the coolest story". So I'll instead go for a detail that confuse me as much as it intrigues me. It's that many of my clients say that my design took the picture right out of their minds as if I could read their thoughts.


At first, I thought that oh yeah they love it so much to say that, I'm glad.


But then it happened again.


And again.


And again.


One even wrote a very long wall of text to thank me because they were really struggling to put their ideas to words, thus giving me just vague details, but somehow the design was precisely what they were thinking of.


Can I actually read minds? I doubt it. But it's quite amusing.


What do you consider when offering extras like book merchandise and social media promo packages, and how do they help authors?


Most important thing of all, is that whether that extra is necessary to my client or not, and whether they want it. Then, whether or not it would be a great idea for them to get it after taking everything into account. 


Book merchandize and social media promo package will boost your marketing, yes. Readers love to have items related to the books they love, and a specially curated social media presence could gather more readers than any well written books.


If they're so good, in what case would an author may better not have it?


An example would be those who are tight in finance. Then an extra like social media promo package may not be necessary, because there are also ways to establish a platform without having to dig your bank account. Another example would be those who also can do it themselves–and want to. In thks case, you can design an extra like merchandise yourself! 


I am doing business and I like getting extra income, but as a fellow author, I do keep my client's best interests in mind. If I think that it would be a bad idea to get the extras then I'll make sure you know and let you make your choice then. 

How do you keep up with the latest design trends and changes in the industry?


By keeping the love of my life close. Namely, Pinterest.


And also analysing the cover designs of newly published books, especially the famous ones.


What challenges have you faced as a book cover designer, and how did you deal with them?


I am very very grateful that all my precious clients are good people (even the most annoying of them), and I don't have a lot of trouble with them. 

Scammers amuse me more than they hurt me, cause oh hi, you want to trick me? Sure, show me your tricks. That'll paint some colours to my boring days.

Marketing is tough, but I'll get my way around it. It takes time and effort, but everything does, may as well enjoy the process of what I choose to do.


I suppose, the more challenging hurdles actually lays within myself. Anxiety, insecurity, pessimism, overthinking, you know, the usual. 


A great strategist ever said 'don't depend on the enemy not coming; depend rather on being ready for them'. 


I was a bit lost on how to apply that advice because I'm not dealing with a tangible being but a thought that lingers in my head. But I found a way around it. I gathered reviews, positive comments, put them neatly in a file that I can see whenever I'm disheartened to remind myself that hey I'm not a useless nobody, my designs are great and many love it, me included. 


Any tips for authors looking for the perfect cover, especially for magical or fantastical stories?




Take your time and do your research. Do not simply choose the best designer, but find one that is best FOR YOU. 


Have a look at their portfolio, always. It doesn't matter how much money you give them, if their style don't suit your book then it is more likely than not that the end result will not be to your liking.

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