The Dragon’s Blade Wins SPFBO Cover Design Award


Since Michael Miller’s debut fantasy book, The Dragon’s Blade, was published last year, the book cover has been turning heads. In fact, even before publication, the author used the book cover design on fliers that he handed out at FantasyCon, where it successfully got people interested in his book. In December, it received the prestigious Gold Star Cover Design Award in the monthly TheBookDesigner.Com awards, set up by Joel Friedlander, an established book cover designer, to highlight and champion best practice in self-published cover design. And now, we are delighted to announce that it has won the SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) cover award, as voted for by some of the best fantasy bloggers in the business!

The SPFBO is a genius initiative by fantasy aficionado and author, Mark Lawrence, whereby self-published fantasy authors can enter to get reviewed by the best and most influential bloggers in their genre. Mark says, “Frankly, you can’t buy better publicity.” Bloggers are an increasingly important part of any self-published author’s marketing strategy, and Michael Miller has made the most of this. He contacted lots of reviewers and Book Tubers (people that do book reviews to camera, and then post them to YouTube) offering a free copy in exchange for a review, and they have been coming in steadily ever since he launched. Check out the review from Connor O’Brien below, who gave it a 4.25 out 5 star rating!

The book cover design of The Dragon’ Blade was initially put forward for the SPFBO by the review team at Bibliosanctum as one of their favourites. Although it has won the industry award, it will now go head-to-head with another 23 titles for a public vote, so please vote here.

The Book Cover Design Process

The cover started life as a rough pencil sketch by the author. Our specialist fantasy cover designer, Rachel Lawston, was able to totally grasp the idea and transform the concept. She elevated the simple drawing into a beautiful, colourful design, which she matched with a genre-appropriate font, to create a book cover that is both stunning and commercial. Crucially, despite being quite a delicate hand-drawn design, the image still works very well at thumbnail size (as it appears on online retailers).

The cover perfectly fits the book and its genre. First reactions on seeing it range from ‘wow’ to ‘I’m jealous’. It’s amazing to see it being recognised – winning the gold cover award of the SPFBO this year. It is down to both Rachel Lawston (one of I_AM’s designers) and I_AM Self-Publishing’s commitment to work on a piece of a project until it is just right.– Michael Miller

Book cover design is the cornerstone of any author’s brand, and self-publishing authors know just how important it is to get it right. People have very short attention spans and a slick book cover is a sure-fire way to get readers and reviewers interested. If you would like to find out more about how our design process works, check out our design page here. Or if you would like some suggestions on what sort of cover design would be right for your project then book in for a free self-publishing consultation below.

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