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Creating an eBook Cover - Should You DIY or Hire a Professional?
Want your eBook in everyone's eLibrary collection??
The Importance of an Awesome Cover
An ebook is an intangible thing. Potential customers cannot hold it in their hands. So it is really important to have a great cover for your ebook as it is the only thing your potential customers can see of your product besides your blurb about the contents (and possibly some reviews). A cover needs to be engaging and provide a good illustration of the style and atmosphere of the book. While you may think the content of your ebook is irresistable, it does need the addition of some visual information to inspire your reader's imagination.
Can you create your own ebook cover? Certainly, and you don't need a a huge amount of skills. Hiring a professional is the alternative. Either way you may need to spend some money.
Do It Yourself
You can start from scratch and make your own book cover. This blog has a user-friendly step-by-step lesson on making an ebook cover using Powerpoint. You can also use Photoshop, GIMP, MS Paint and many others. This hub has a tutorial using fotoflexer. There are many free programs as well as paid ones, not to mention a huge array of blogs offering advice and instructions. What you choose will depend on your skills and your budget, however it is very possible to make your own cover with a limited amount of computer savvy.
Writing eBooks is a popular activity, you need to stand out from the crowd
Hire a Professional
When I say professional, it's from the point of view that the ebook cover designer is getting paid for their work and (should) therefore be offering products that make their customers happy.
Fiverr has an array of offers to design ebook covers, from qualified graphic designers to people with a flair for design. Each has examples of their work displayed and the review system can give you an idea of the quality of their work is and how quickly they can turnaround your order. You can also use sites like Freelancer, oDesk and Elance to post a brief for your cover as well as what you are looking to pay. You might even know a graphic designer or someone with the requisite skills to create a cover and you could offer them the job (or maybe trade some of your expertise in return).
So What Should I Do?
Deciding whether to make your own ebook cover or hire a professional to do it comes down to the resources you have.
If you want to do it yourself, do you have the time available plus the appropriate computer skills, or the ability and willingness to learn them? Do you already have images available to use or can make or find these? How would you describe your graphic design skills? How quickly do you want your ebook to be available for sale or free distribution? Can you make an ebook cover using free software options or will you need to buy packages and templates?
Alternatively you can hire a professional. This will cost money, although not necessarily a lot of money. How good the result is depends on how well you brief your designer and whether they translate that briefing into a cover that you are happy with. Timing is the other consideration. A designer might deliver your cover to you in 24 hours or you may have to wait some time.
Ultimately it depends on what resource you have more of. If you have a lot of time available, you can utilize the skills you have or learn new ones and make your own cover. If you have the money available (even $5) and not a lot of time then hiring someone to design a cover makes sense.
Whichever you decide, if you've put in the effort to write an ebook, it's worth having a cover that does both does justice to your work and also encourages people to read it.
What's Your Experience?
If you have created your own cover, or hired someone to design one for you, I'd love to hear about your experience and what worked and what didn't.