We have a question about covers this week: “How do I get a great cover for my book?”
First, let me emphasize how important it is to have a truly eye-catching, genre-appropriate cover for your book. The reason? That’s how your book will get noticed in the ever-increasing number of ebooks available online. You’ll want to promote your ebook using email services such as BookBub and Ereader News Today, which alert subscribers to books on sale in their preferred genres.
Is the ebook going to be free? (The first in a series, for example.) Don’t skimp on the cover. The free ones have to be even better than the others, because they’ll be seen more widely and serve as carrots for your work. In fact, if you have a cover that you notice isn’t attracting readers much and isn’t being picked up by BookBub/ENT, then get another cover. The cost of a new cover at 99Designs.com is $299, considerably less than a BookBub ad, which runs around $500.
Unless you are a trained graphic designer, forget doing it yourself.
How to proceed?
- Take a good look at similar books in your genre, to see what readers are expecting to find as covers on a book like yours.
- If you have an artist or two in mind, ask them to send you a concept before you commit. If you commit to one artist right off the bat, you’re limiting your options.
- A design competition at 99Designs.com yields plenty of possibilities. As the week-long competition goes by, you ask designers to tweak their designs, submit new designs, or cease and desist from sending you things.
In our recent experience, 99Designs’ cheapest level at $299 will bring designs from a number of newbie artists who don’t understand design concepts very well, as well as a few veterans. The veterans are most likely to participate if you have guaranteed the contest. In other words, you agree to pay a winner and not back out.
In sorting through these offerings, you need some design expertise. So if you don’t have it yourself, enlist a friend who is a trained graphic designer. Also, enlist some avid readers in your genre to help you review the entries. Designers and avid readers are the two groups you need to please in your cover choice. You can set up a poll at any time and ask friends to comment.