First novel complete! Any advice about cover art?

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  1. Cerebral Aspect profile image73
    Cerebral Aspectposted 9 years ago

    Over the last year, I took a hiatus from publishing hubs.  Due to the limited amount of time in my day that I had to write, I took up writing my first novel.  It is titled Medusa: Betrayal of the Faithful.  I plan on self publishing it on kindle.  The only step left is the cover.  Is it possible for someone like myself to design a decent cover with no background in graphics?  Or am I going to have to pay someone over $200 to do it for me?  Have any of you had a successful novel by self designing your cover?

    1. The-skyelight profile image73
      The-skyelightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Your cover is an important factor that may make or break your book since it is the first thing that will hook people in on amazon. It is possible to design your own cover, but that can be a bit difficult since you have no background in graphics.

      If you decide to make it yourself you have to consider the tools you will be using to create it such as indesign, Photoshop, or a free program like gimp. You will also have to consider learning the above design tools if you do not know how to already (it can be a bit time consuming). Then when it's time to create your book cover you have the factor of looking for commercial use images (you can purchase stock photography) or using your own photography.

      Some people take the option of creating a cover with just text in Microsoft word (which I don't really recommend). But you can create a successful eBook cover with just plain text on the cover.

      If you choose the option of hiring a designer that is a lot less work for yourself, but you will be paying a bit of money.

      Some self published authors use 99designs for their book covers since it has hundreds of designers pitching multiple covers at them, but 99designs takes extra money from you to create a $200.00 contest (you have to pay $299 I think).

      If you think your book is really worth it, and you love it I would recommend hiring a designer since they have an eye for what looks good and would get people buying.

      If you choose to design it yourself (this doesn't mean that you don't love your book,  just that you want to save money, and try something new) I would recommend having a lot of your honest friends and family members review your work. If you know most of them sugarcoat what you do, because they care about you pretend that what you're designing is a random cover that you found online, and ask them if they would click on the book at first glance. If they don't know its yours their answer will most likely be genuine.

      If you design the book yourself this is my most important tip:

      Make sure your cover looks good as a small thumbnail—this is how potential buyers see your book on Amazon at first glance. If you can't recognize it as a small thumbnail fix it until you can. This is the most important factor in drawing in potential buyers.

      Experience: Graphic Artist with 4 years of training and 2 years of book cover designing

    2. Gabriel Wilson profile image91
      Gabriel Wilsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Why not do a dramatic cover: black with silver writing; red with gold writing; a symbol of faith; a symbol of Medusa. Whatever you choose your book cover should be memorable even if that means disturbing. Surf the net for images using tag words: faith; belief; Medusa etc.

      For example: The picture below was a free download from the net: you can always contact the owners to ask for permission to use their work and give them the credit. Good luck smile

      1. lisavollrath profile image93
        lisavollrathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Seriously? That's like someone coming by and "using" the entire text of one of your hubs, and expecting you to give permission for credit.

        Someone spent a lot of hours creating that artwork, and they deserve to be paid for it. And they are being paid for it, since it's part of an HD wallpaper app---assuming that the app developer didn't just grab random images from a bunch of hardworking artists off Google Image, and "use" them.

        1. Gabriel Wilson profile image91
          Gabriel Wilsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I guess I must be very fortunate that I have been allowed to use images and give credit. Of course there are many artists out there that are looking to promote their work, it's all about research and finding the right person. As a writer, that works for me.
          I got my first paid writing assignment through a company that had seen an upaid article of mine on a site (originally a copied article without my permission, the site then asked for my permission and I later granted it). So, bottom line: I gave permission for credit; got publicity; got hired; got paid = success story. If you want to succeed your work must be seen and you must be dedicated to getting your work out there smile

    3. Sed-me profile image79
      Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      How fun! Good for you. I think you should just go to google images and find something there. I don't think anyone will mind. smile

      1. lisavollrath profile image93
        lisavollrathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I'm giving you the serious stink eye over here...

        1. Sed-me profile image79
          Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this


    4. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Amateur covers generally do look amateur.  If you hunt around you can probably find a nice looking pre-made cover for less than $50.

  2. taiwokareem profile image61
    taiwokareemposted 9 years ago

    I haven't published a novel before but the option depends on you.  If you are good at graphics editing, why not do it yourself and the option of using simple images is also left for you but i would recommend using a catch image.

  3. CuAllaidh profile image80
    CuAllaidhposted 9 years ago

    I'd pay for artwork, people DO judge a book by it's cover. If you are worried about costs, crowdfund it on idiegogo or something. I would also not just publish in eBook format. Take a look at CreateSpace they do excellent self publishing work and such and there is no upfront cost.

    I used to run a small press publishing company that we ran as kind of a co-op... I definitely found that a good book cover makes a HUGE difference.

  4. LotusLandry profile image60
    LotusLandryposted 9 years ago

    My novels are not promoted.   I took a photograph of a nature scene (in the Olympic Forest) for the first novel and I paid an unemployed artist to do a black and white cover for the second (75$).  I  formatted and loaded the books myself.   I had virtually no outside expenses.  Congratulations on completing your novel.

  5. Jayne Lancer profile image93
    Jayne Lancerposted 9 years ago

    You no doubt know Smashwords, which I think is a great place to go for information on most aspects of self-publishing, including cover design: https://www(dot) You'll also find free informational ebooks on Smashwords, like 'Ebook Publishing Success', 'Smashwords Book Marketing Guide', 'Smashwords Style Guide'. These are useful, no matter where you intend to self-publish.

    1. CuAllaidh profile image80
      CuAllaidhposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I second the recommendation to check out Smashwords, they have some wonderful resources...

  6. carny profile image90
    carnyposted 9 years ago

    I've bought artwork at DeviantArt before (never a book cover though) and there's lots of talented and hungry artists there. You should be able to find someone who would do it for a reasonable price.

  7. Linda BookLady profile image81
    Linda BookLadyposted 9 years ago

    I went through this a couple years ago for my book, "River Girl." At first I paid an artist (whose work I admired) 100 dollars to create a cover image for me. When it was done I had to decline the page (he kept the money) as it was not appropriate. BTW this was an artist from Deviant Art... and I like most of his art but what he created for me made it look like the little girl standing next to the river was making an obscene gesture with her hand... I asked him to fix it but he delivered it to me that way so I lost interest in wanting to communicate with him. (I must mention he was quite sick at the time so I didn't hold this all against him and I don't think he was intentionally trying to upset me.)

    Oh well... 100 dollars down... I decided I had to do my own artwork for the cover. I am not a practiced artist but I worked on it for about a month until I got what I wanted. You can see the book cover at Amazon - put "River Girl by Linda Jo Martin" into the search box there ... there are other "River Girl" books that rank better, so you need to use my name to find it easily.

    A couple of months ago another writer suggested I hire an artist to re-do the cover for me! LOL... just goes to show you can't please everyone, but the local Chamber of Commerce of the town I wrote about in the book liked the cover so much they enlarged it and framed it so it is hanging on the wall of their public office!

    If you're publishing through CreateSpace there are a lot of pre-made covers you could use. Or you might be able to alter their cover designs with your own photographs, if that works better for you.

  8. Jcpuddles profile image60
    Jcpuddlesposted 9 years ago

    If you're going to self publish via Amazon (which is what I assume), then you'll probably have to pay someone. I believe they (Amazon) also have cover art you can play with somewhere.

  9. esmonaco profile image68
    esmonacoposted 9 years ago

    I can't offer any advice on cover art, but I would like to Congratulate!! You on your first novel smile Good Luck to you.

  10. deathwalk60 profile image60
    deathwalk60posted 9 years ago

    Do you have graphic design software? If you don't its under $100  and if you get GIMP it's free.  I could never figure how to use it out. I use Corel Paintshop Ultimate Pro Version  Pro X4 pay extra for the CD in case your computer crashes. plus it comes with directions.  I paid $50.00 a little more for shipping.  You have a few options you can go to fiver and have a person their create a cover for you, just tell the what you want.  It might cost you $5-20.

  11. Stress-Master profile image60
    Stress-Masterposted 9 years ago

    Hi Cerebral Aspect, have you taken a look at Fiverr for front cover designs? I used to be on there my self a while back and they had some really good graphic designers. The basic gig is just that, basic. But once you start adding the gig extra's you should be able to get a good cover designed for you.


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