Rising Star Spotlight

Create Imaginations, Paul

Each month, InD'Tale will feature up-and-coming talent in the industry by highlighting one very special individual whose gifts we feel deserve attention. This person may be an author,  cover designer, editor, librarian, or even a reader who is doing amazing things to further Indie publishing!  We will let you get to know them through their own words, then allow you to see their talent.   This first issue spotlights the incredible imagination of cover designer, Paul Beeley, a man whose unforgetable images caught our attention and pushed us to create this very column! 

Cover Designer:

I have an obsession for a certain burger from a certain fast food chain. I first entertained my impressionable taste buds with this unhealthy yet mouth-watering delicacy when I was around 13. It was a number of years ago now, but like millions of others, I was walking through my local town and was captivated by the large billboard advertising this seemingly succulent, large tasty Burger. I ventured into the fast food store and was met by something remarkably different to the one advertised, however, once eaten I was hooked... Ok, so that was a bit of an unusual analogy, but it illustrates the importance of good advertising in grabbing people’s attention.

I have a number of favorite authors, from Stephen King to Douglas Adams. Just like when I walked past that billboard all those years ago, there was that first time a James Herbert novel caught my eye. I had never read any of his work or, in fact, knew much of him, other than the genre.  I loved going to the book store, and browsing (now they even have coffee shops, no burger bars though!)   I walked down the horror/thriller section of the store – Richard Laymon, Stephen King, Graham Masterton, there were hundreds! Then I saw my first James Herbert book, “The Rats”!  It immediately grabbed my attention and I picked up the book, looked closely at the cover, excitedly turned it over and read the overview. It looked great and the story sounded amazing! I quickly went the counter and bought my first James Herbert book. This happened again and again, until I became a dedicated fan, buying and loving everything he wrote.

There are literally thousands and thousands of new published authors each year coming to market, helped greatly by being able to self-publish, and sell through eBook’s which is fabulous! It allows authors with an exceptionally good story to publish, without being side-lined by more established authors as was the case prior to the e-book revolution.

Just like authors, I am a creative person, I need that escape, without it I go a little crazy! Although I hold down a full time job as a manager, it provides no creative stimulus whatsoever, so I need an outside channel to direct this energy. It's that creative energy that makes me passionate about every single image I create, and keeps my prices low. For the amount of hours it takes to complete an image, the amount I charge will never be able to buy that dream car or  dream house, but by creating those images, I am abl to provide the author with a unique cover fitting their story and I receive the jo in that creative escape. Winners all around!

I set up Create Imaginations a few years ago, after having taught myself Photoshop by creating images for my then 3 year old son, putting him in pictures with the Dragons and Star Wars characters (amongst other things) that he was passionate about at the time.

Soon, friends and family were asking me to create personalized images for their children together with their favorite characters – they were a great hit!  Someone then suggested, "why not set up your own company and do this as a career?" So, I went for it and took the plunge! This decision was sustained by the many orders that followed

However, like everyone else I was hit hard by the credit crunch, and had to give up creating images full time to get a managerial job, again. After a few months I received an email from an Author in the U.S., Sherry Gammon, asking me whether I could convert my fantasy style imagery into a book cover for her. She sent me a brief overview of her book, I researched dimensions, file size and with my learned experience in Photoshop and qualification in typography put together what she had imagined for her cover. I emailed her what I had created then sat on tender hooks, nervous and hoping that I have captured the image that she had envisioned.  I finally received an email back from Sherry in the early hours, it read… “INCREDIBLE”!  I was SO happy she loved it!  This made me look more closely into the whole self-publishing business.  I realized there are a huge amount of authors out there looking for a professional and eye catching cover to help promote their works of art.Sherry contacted me a few months later, she was over the moon that her sales had gone from double figures on the previous cover she had used, into the thousands after adding my creation! She is now on many best seller lists on Amazon.  She recognizes that having an eye catching cover, along with a fantastice story, captures the attention of many new readers, especially when one is an unknown author.

I love creating images, like most artists I need that outlet. Like you I love telling stories, unlike you I’m not great at putting them into text, so I thrive on telling that story within an image.  All the images I have ever created tell some kind of story, usually emotive.  Since working for Sherry I have completed many new covers for authors and I am proud to say every single client has offered to refer me to others and have also happily provided so many written testimonial that my website is not big enough to hold them!

I have relatively straight forward images, where the author has an idea and lets me use my own creativity and develop the image with just a brief overview.  I also receive intricate in-depth briefs where the author provides very detailed instructions for me to follow. I love and welcome challenges!  I fully appreciate the need to get the image “right” and am not averse to "tweaks", as many as the author feels are required. Sometimes how an author envisions the cover in their head to how it can be portrayed in an actual image form can be different, so working on these images until I have it spot on is always my priority.

It sometimes annoys me when I see cover designers selling template covers that look cheap.  Instead of giving the author what they really wanted for the story, they sell a lo cost substandard alternative.  I  understand self-publishing a book is fraught with costs, getting it to print is an expensive business.  I charge £55 ($88.00) for an eBook cover, which includes 3D rendering for online marketing and full typography with the font of your choice included. Not bad for a custom designed cover! As I mentioned before I appreciate your possibly lower budget and try to understand and accomodate this.

I agree with the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” to some extent. The book has to be good to get those on-going sales, to capture your desired audience and to gain dedicated readers for years to come. To pick that book off the shelf, however, to capture the attention of that browsing Amazon reader, you need a cover that will shout your story.  Books are judged by their covers!  I believe with my creativity, patienceand sincere commitment to you, as an author, I can shout  that story for you.


Paul lives in south London with his long term partner and young son.

He loves creativity and adores being able to help like-minded people achieve their dreams.

You can contact Paul and see more of his work by visiting:  www.create-imaginations.com.


If you have found someone you feel should be featured in our "Rising Star" spotlight, please contact:                                                                          [email protected]