They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it we all do. No matter how unfair it might be, it’s a reality which brings me to my point. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a well-illustrated book cover. It’s the first thing your reader will see and if they don’t connect with the graphics then chances are it will go right back on the shelf without another thought. You might have written the world’s best novel, but unfortunately no one will ever know and that’s a travesty!
There are thousands of book designers out there. You can purchase pre-made book covers or give them an idea of what you’re looking for and they can come up with something that’s unique and all your own! You can even join websites for a fee (i.e. deposit photos and canstock) and download your own cover art, if you’re good at that sort of thing. The possibilities are endless. Chances are you will see cover after cover of the same thing for different titles so if it’s important to you that your book will be the sole bearer of a particular photo, then you’ll want to ask the artist if they resell them. Some do and some don’t. I’ve never found it to be a deterrent one way or another, but I could see how the same image on twenty different books could pose a problem. Again some artist will download stock photo images and reuse them multiple times so be sure to ask questions.
The next thing is money. Self-publishing can get rather pricey so choose what’s most important to you and direct where you’re willing to invest the majority of your funds. (If you have a budget like I do!) If not then the sky’s the limit! Go crazy! Anyhow, taking into account that again, THE COVER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING other than your content, decide on an amount you feel comfortable with. When I began scoping out my graphic artist it seemed like I went through hundreds before I found the one that I felt was a good match at a reasonable price. (By the way she is fantastic!) Some places I checked into were very cheap which I was leery of (usually if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!) and then there were others who were completely out-of-their-mind’s. A lot of places will also offer you a package deal which is a great way to shave off some cost. For example, for a flat fee you might receive an eBook cover, a website cover, Facebook/Twitter banner and a cover for paperback if you are releasing in print format. Only you can decide which route is best for you, but I would urge you to do your research before settling. You are paying for a service to in turn sell a product so make sure you know what you’re getting! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the web and social media are great tools. Utilize them!
Here is the link to my graphic designer if you would like to check her out!