In today’s world, books are definitely judged by their covers. Your cover is the first thing people see about your book. Frequently, it will influence whether the person goes on to read the book summary, or even click on the sample pages.
From that point, your writing – both on the summary and the sample pages – will hopefully sell your book. But without a good cover, they may never get to that point.
And if you’re doing a free promotion, your cover could mean the difference between people freeloading and actually reading your book, or freeloading and archiving it instead.
So, your cover needs to convey the tone of your book and be appropriate for the genre you’re writing in. It has to be eye-catching and it has to look professional. But it doesn’t have to be expensive.
A lot of aspiring indies are scared off by the assumed expense of covers, and think they can’t afford one. But you can get a professional looking cover for anywhere from $5 to $500 and up. Seriously. You can find covers for all budget constraints. Decide what you can afford to spend and go shopping.
Yes, there are cover designers who charge a lot of money, who will provide you with both e-book and paperback covers. But there are also designers who work with e-book covers only, at a much reduced rate. And there’s a world of pre-made covers, available at an even lower rate, that you can have the designer modify for a small fee.
And if you pick up an e-book cover, you can modify it into a print cover on your own, via Createspace’s cover wizard. It’s a fairly simple process, although you won’t get that cool graphic wraparound look, unless you have some mad design skills of your own. Just make sure the designer gives you a high-resolution image, (minimum resolution for print is 300 dpi).
Often, as indies, we don’t know how well a book will sell, so it’s tough to commit hundreds or thousands of dollars to the pre-production phase. But I hope this blog post shows you that you don’t have to. You can absolutely get professional covers at very affordable prices.
The covers I’ve had done for my serialized novel, The Gospel of Ruth, have cost between $5 and $50. I wish I could insert pictures into this blog, but I can’t, so you’ll have to check them out yourself on Amazon. Here’s the story of each cover:
Episode One: Cerridwen’s Cauldron cost $5 on Fiverr.com. It was designed by someone who was testing the waters of the cover design industry. Talk about a bargain. It’s a beautiful cover worth much more than $5, and I was thrilled with it.
Episode Two: Twice-Born was a pre-made. I asked the designer to add in the car (and possibly the hand -- I can’t remember if it was already there or not). With the modifications, the cover cost me $50. $30 for the pre-made, $20 for the additional artwork.
Episode Three: Demon Child was another pre-made cover. I found the image of the skull and I sent it to the designer. She added it in to her pre-made for me. This cover cost $40. $30 for the cover and $10 to add the additional design element. (Episode Three is not published yet, but you can see it on my FB page: www.facebook.com/christianamiller.author)
So, you see, you can totally customize pre-made covers or even get a custom cover, for a price that won’t break your budget.
Here is a list of cover designers who’ve done excellent work, many of whom offer fabulous pre-made covers. When you’re in the market for a cover, please check them out: