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There is an old adage that says:
you can’t judge a book by its cover
Although the general spirit of that proverb is true, a pretty book cover, doesn’t guarantee a good read awaits you inside, as an author we are judged by our cover. So even if you have written a good book, but you slap on a bad cover, you will have prospective readers (aka customers) pass you by.
This is even more important, if your an unknown fiction writer, but even world famous authors are judged by their covers. JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame, will be publishing her first “non-Potter” book in September. As her publisher ramps out the publicity for her new book, they released a picture of her new book cover and the fans reacted to it, big time. And the reviews weren’t good. Now JK Rowling doesn’t have to worry about it, her new book, “The Casual Vacancy” is already #85 in Amazon’s Top 100 and it hasn’t been published yet (as of this post date).
Most of us, however, don’t have that luxury. So you really need to focus on your book cover. It is a critical component of your book marketing process. And unless you’re a professional graphic artist, that means hiring a professional book cover designer. If you’re hoping to get the attention of as many prospective readers as possible, you should set a decent budget for your book cover.
This is so critical, because of the sheer volume of books available out there. You’re competing not just with other self published authors, but with power house publishing houses. Think about it, there are so many books out there, especially on Amazon, that your book cover will be what determines if a reader, perusing Amazon for new books to read, will stop and click on your book or simply moving on to another of the umpteenth choices they have at their fingertips.
When I speak about book covers or I show other folks my book cover, I’m always asked how much? The price will of course vary wildly, depending on the experience and skill of the designer. In some of the writing forums, I’ve read folks advising people to go a micro job site like Fiverr for their book cover. Even if you’re planning to just go the Kindle route, do not expect to get a well designed book cover for five bucks. It’s just not going to happen. So how much?
When I was looking for a book cover designer, the prices varied from the very cheap ($50) to the expensive ($2,000+). I budgeted $150 for my book cover and went out looking for my designer. There are three places I recommend looking:
- Freelance websites (I posted on oDesk and eLance).
- Writer forums (Writers Cafe is a good forum to find good designers).
In tomorrow’s post, I’ll walk you through the entire process I went through in searching, hiring, paying, and ending up with a cover that represented my vision nicely.