As many of you have surely noticed, my posts have been fewer and farther between over the past few years, dwindling down to almost nothing. I can’t remember the last time I posted. The truth is – I’ve been trying to phase out of the book cover business for about 2 years now. But I have a very hard time saying ‘no’, so it’s been difficult to do when I have such a large list of clients and there’s always someone who ‘just needs one more thing’. I could keep going forever doing ‘just one more thing’.
It is time, at last, to move on completely. My heart has not been in it, and any projects I agree to suffer because of it. It’s not fair for any of you to not get my best, and it’s finally come down to the fact that, either way, I simply don’t have time for custom work anymore.
It’s been such a pleasure working with you all. This was a business I started on my own and built from the ground up, and it supported me for 6 years. It gave me my start when I was trying to hone in on a career, and it’s not only made a living for me, but provided what I needed to completely change and build the life that I wanted for myself. I’m ecstatic to be able to say that, between my and my husband’s ability to work and save money over the past 6 years, we’re now living 100% debt free in a paid-off house on a paid-off plot of land, driving a car we bought cash, building a little nest-egg and paradise to call our own. It’s amazing to me that I’ve accomplished this from my own business. Every time I made a payment on our house, every time we make an improvement, plant a new tree…I think to myself…book covers paid for this. This tree exists because of my art. How crazy.
This business is something I’ve been proud of, something I’m extremely sentimental about and attached to, and it’s very hard for me to make this announcement even though it’s what I’ve wanted for the past 2 years. It’s my baby, and it’s the reason for everything that I have now. And even though I’ve put off officially making this announcement, I haven’t been active in the business for a couple months. I’m not even sure when the last time was that I checked my business email. My days have been full of other things, and I realize that that is not going to change, and it’s finally time to make this official.
Book cover design was never my dream. Writing was a big one. It’s why I got into book cover design in the first place. The truth is, I have many creative dreams other than book cover design, and many ‘life’ dreams outside of those things. Things that typically require a career to achieve. Owning a home, of course, was a big one. Living debt-free is another. Having achieved those, I now have the freedom to pursue some of my other creative dreams without quite the same stress and need of a certain-number steady income. And, of course, it also means that I’m at a stage in my life, with the foundation that I wanted, to pursue other life goals such as starting a family. We’re aiming for a kid next year!
Along those lines, something I always wanted was to be able to be a stay-at-home mom when we do have kiddos. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom, and it’s something I’ve always felt like I really benefited from, and something I really believe in. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for women working and kicking butt in the business world. That should be obvious enough from my own career and the drive that’s gotten me here. I just want to stay home with my kids and enjoy every moment with them.
So, to summarize, book covers have been great, but they’ve really been a placeholder and a means to an end. Now, I’m diving into new things. On the business side of things, I’m focusing on writing and a few passive-income related businesses (businesses where, for example, you post a product once but keep making revenue off of it forever, and never have to lift a finger again because it’s a digital product that gets automatically delivered to customers or it’s a product that another company prints and ships). On the personal side of things, we’re focusing on family – visiting parents and relatives, spending time with our precious nieces and nephews, and starting a family of our own.
I will leave thebookcovermachine.com up for 2 simple functions. 1) to clear out the existing inventory of premade covers. 2) I have started dabbling in modeling and providing stock images for other artists to use, and The Book Cover Machine will simply start catering more to artists, or to authors looking for models, backgrounds, and other items that they want an artist to use for their book covers. Now and then I might hop on photoshop to doodle around, and I might happen to create a new premade cover which would of course be posted in the shop, but they will be few and far between.
Thank you all for your business and collaboration over the years. I wish you all the best!