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Archived Workshop No New Posts > Student Study: Where do you guys look for book cover designers?

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message 1: by Hampton (new)

Hampton Lamoureux (midj916) | 8 comments Hello everyone,

I'm Hampton, a senior design student and freelance artist here on Goodreads. I've have the pleasure of working with a few different authors here on Goodreads and know it can be difficult to find the right cover artist for the job.

I was wondering if everyone could share how they go about finding a cover artist or designer for their books and what resources they use. This would be greatly helpful in developing my senior thesis as I have an app and website in mind that could better connect authors to artists and designers.

Thank you in advance for your input, I look forward to hearing your responses!


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Hi Hampton, I'm having a couple of interim covers made by someone on Fiverr (they're better than I can produce, I'm not good with graphic design, but not on a professional level) for the final covers that will be on both paperback and ebook versions I have gone with derangeddoctordesign.com
They are very professional, do excellent work at prices I consider reasonable for what they offer, and have a good back and forth between author and designer to get the right cover. The only downside is they've become popular and now have a wait list of several months to get a project to completion - hence the need for interim covers from Fiverr.

I hope this has been useful for you.

Alex


message 3: by Hampton (new)

Hampton Lamoureux (midj916) | 8 comments Alex wrote: "Hi Hampton, I'm having a couple of interim covers made by someone on Fiverr (they're better than I can produce, I'm not good with graphic design, but not on a professional level) for the final cove..."

Hello Aex,

Thank you so much for your input! That was very helpful. I am familiar with Fiverr as I have been an active seller there myself.


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Standafer | 57 comments I used 99Designs and ended up with a fabulous designer. When I was ready to have a cover designed for my first book, I didn't really know what I wanted. 99Designs provided me with hundreds of different ideas to choose from. After narrowing down my choices, I was able to work more closely with a few designers before making my final choice on a designer. Once that decision was made, the communication and the fine-tuning of the design was quick and easy. I have since had two more covers designed by the same person, working directly with her and skipping the contest phase.


message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Mariner Primarily I've used either this group or Google for searching. There have been a couple of really good threads here that have provided a wealth of options for cover design which has been an invaluable resource for me, and I'm sure others in the group. Google is less reliable because there is just sooooo much nonsense to sift through. There are a lot of free options out there, but very few of them are viable for a really good looking cover.

P.S. Hampton did my cover for The Golden Hourglass and it's fantastic! So if you're looking for a good, affordable option, he's your guy.


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments That is good, very nice work Hampton


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 263 comments I do my own artwork and usually have some rough ideas and concept drafts to work with. I wanted a designer who could provide advice and suggestions on how to turn raw artwork into a good cover and (especially first time around) I wanted to start off with a face-to-face discussion. I Googled book design services locally and checked out their websites, then went and interviewed two of them in person before settling on one to work with.

I used the same designer for my second cover and worked entirely by phone and email. Now I'm more used to the process I'd be more comfortable using services entirely remotely which frees me up from the geographical restriction.


message 8: by J C (new)

J C Steel (jcsteel) Hampton wrote: "Hello everyone,

I'm Hampton, a senior design student and freelance artist here on Goodreads. I've have the pleasure of working with a few different authors here on Goodreads and know it can be dif..."


I found mine on Twitter, which is actually where I come across most of my author resources. Good luck with your thesis!


message 9: by K.R. (new)

K.R. Reese (authorkrreese) | 41 comments I do my own covers and designs for Ebook and Paperback. I looked into someone doing the covers, but it either wasn't what I wanted or I couldn't afford it. I've always been good with computers and taught myself how everything works, graphic design, web design, etc. so doing my own wasn't a challenge.


message 10: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Mitchell (elliemitchell) | 1 comments I looked for Graphic artists that specialized in book cover design on Fiverr.com . I found a wonderful artist called Erwin Tito, who produces high quality work in good time, with great communication. :)


message 11: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
I am a graphic designer and artist, so for my covers I have looked within. :)


message 12: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments DIY only, because I'm a stubborn old bat and I want everything to be out of my head -which is a very strange place


message 13: by G.G. (last edited Oct 25, 2016 01:14PM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Although it's not his work, it's my son's passion so I turned to him for my covers. I thought that if I had to pay someone, I might as well pay him. :P


message 14: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments I browsed DeviantArt until I found a style I liked.


message 15: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments I googled cover designers and checked out portfolios and prices until I found someone who fit my needs.


message 16: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 240 comments SelfPubBookCovers.com... the most affordable covers I can manage that still look like covers I would want representing my books.


message 18: by Christina (last edited Oct 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Jane Jago wrote: "DIY only, because I'm a stubborn old bat and I want everything to be out of my head -which is a very strange place"

Same as Jane for me. If I could afford to pay, I would go with one of my artist friends before paying a stranger.

Now, for both the OP and everyone chiming in: please don't turn this into a service whack. It's okay to discuss what you are looking for, but let's not plug services here since that's against our rules.


message 19: by Hampton (new)

Hampton Lamoureux (midj916) | 8 comments Hello all,

Thank you so much for your input thus far! I have been getting great responses and I sincerely appreciate the feedback on this topic.


message 20: by Annabelle (new)

Annabelle Costa | 62 comments I got a recommendation to use fiverr for book covers, but to choose a NEW designer rather than a highly reviewed one, because they would spend more time and energy on the cover due to having less clients and needing good reviews more.

BIG MISTAKE.

Worst covers ever. Gave them a few chances, but just kept getting worse. I gave them 3 stars, which was me being nice... then they begged me for another chance. I've got the Catholic guilt so I wanted to help them, but I knew it was a waste of both our time. I could have given them more stars, but that felt disingenuous, like I'd be tricking future authors.

Anyway, that's what NOT to do.


message 21: by K.R. (new)

K.R. Reese (authorkrreese) | 41 comments I looked on Fivrr first, then decided I'd do my own because I didn't like anything they had. I also looked into Etsy for premade covers.


message 22: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments I did the fiverr thing as well. And although the cover was good I just felt that it was something that I could try my hand at (which I did for my last two books).


message 23: by Rose (new)

Rose Collins | 10 comments I use both the fiverr and freelancer sites.
Freelancer are the best for designing covers, fiverr best for flyers.

Referrals between designers are a great resource, several designers from freelancer have recommended other designers to me when they are booked up or they feel the theme/style isn't a good fit for them.
All the referrals have been perfect.


message 24: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Dever | 4 comments Hi, Hampton and all —

I've been a professional book designer for 25 years and am sorry that some of you had bad experiences. I'm happy to chat with you, Hampton, specifically about your project.

Annabelle, I understand your thought process in thinking someone less busy might take more time with your cover (and that you learned it wasn't a wise choice). I'm sorry you learned the hard way. It always pains us to hear authors say that. Though we are steadily busy, we take many, many hours in author interviews, research, development, and designing just the front cover, not to mention the back, spine, and interior. For a current project, we've designed 40+ covers so far, just in developing ideas. We will continue until we believe we have 5–8 covers that would be worth printing. At that point, we would move on to finessing the one or couple that the author really loves and then to finalize the front. Every other part of the book's design will follow the branding that began on the front. Not every designer will go through this process, but those who have been around a while are there because they know their craft and treat their clients well.

Your book's design is similar to how you present yourself for an interview. People will judge what's on the inside by what they first see. It's so important that the cover represents your writing, the topic, and treats your potential readers with respect. If you shortcut your cover, it can send a message that you don't care about them (or perhaps even yourself) enough to provide your very best.

I hope all of you enjoy your publishing journey!


message 25: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 266 comments I do my own covers and sometimes I get hired to design covers for other folks. So far no complaints...


message 26: by C.L. (last edited Oct 30, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments One thing I thought I'd mention - when I was shopping for cover designers I narrowed things down to two, and I emailed both.

One of them replied to my questions with "look at my web page."
I replied and said that I HAD, and pointed out that my questions were more in-depth that on her webpage, and I wanted to know how it would pertain to my particular book.

She emailed back again with a bland, almost rote answer - yes, I would charge extra to make changes to text, here is the cost of a package.

No interest in my book, no encouragement, no actual sign that she was at all interested in the job.

The other one, who was more expensive, answered with detailed info, and made comments about how she would apply it to my book specifically. She said the cover idea sounded fun.

Guess who got the job?


message 27: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments I have a friend who does 3D modeling. She asked if she could do the cover for my current novel and if I'd be willing to take a chance since it would be her first cover. I said sure. She did a crackerjack job on it.


message 28: by Hampton (new)

Hampton Lamoureux (midj916) | 8 comments Annabelle wrote: "I got a recommendation to use fiverr for book covers, but to choose a NEW designer rather than a highly reviewed one, because they would spend more time and energy on the cover due to having less c..."

Hi Annabelle! I'm sorry you had a bad experience on there. I am an active seller on there but don't provide design services there anymore. I personally don't recommend hiring artists on there since Fiverr takes a large portion of earnings away from the artist after already enclosing the artists with very low rates. Regardless thank you for sharing your input. :)


message 29: by Hampton (new)

Hampton Lamoureux (midj916) | 8 comments C.L. wrote: "One thing I thought I'd mention - when I was shopping for cover designers I narrowed things down to two, and I emailed both.

One of them replied to my questions with "look at my web page."
I repl..."


Hello C.L.! Very interesting experience, thank you for sharing! I noticed that what you encountered is sadly a common situation. I have worked with authors who said they received similar feedback from other artists and designers when trying to find someone to illustrate their cover.


message 30: by J. (new)

J. | 10 comments I posted on a variety of forums frequented by artists as well as looking at actual sites pulled from Google search which specified in cover design.

I posted my requirements and potential budget, making it as accurate as possible as to what I wanted. I had a good number of responses, both to my posts and emails directly to individuals, but ended up settling for an artist with a really distinct style that I loved. I ended up finding him with Reddit out of all places!


message 31: by Ember-Raine (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 99 comments I found my cover artist on a writer's group on Facebook. We ended up becoming friends and when it came time to think about cover art I did a status update asking friends if anyone knew where to find a cover artist, and she said she could do it! It was a good thing because it was super cheap and I was on a tight budget! She still does all my graphics and covers! It was basically a dumb luck kind of thing! Lol!


message 32: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments I stumbled on my cover artist. She was learning 3D modeling, and I was looking for a new cover. So it was an experiment on both sides. I liked what she did so much, I've contracted with her to do the cover for my next book, too.


message 33: by Julie (new)

Julie Round | 41 comments I found my cover designer at Winchester Writers' Festival. We work together. I suggest ideas and check out copyright free pictures on line and he blends my ideas and his own until we agree.
It works for us.


message 34: by Luke (new)

Luke Narlee (lukepnarlee) | 4 comments I hired both my cover designers on the freelancing website "Upwork.com" and I've had fantastic results. I get compliments about them all the time (only one is published so far). If you ever sign up, I'd be happy to recommend someone to you. I think freelancers are a great way to go though. There's some really talented people on there and they won't charge you a fortune. You can set the price.


message 35: by Noah (new)

Noah Nichols (nanmanme) No one should ever go to Fiverr for a book cover—unless you want something that looks stock-photoed to the max. I'm more of an original artwork kind of guy. Places like your feed on Facebook (scoping artistic potential in your friends) and 99Designs are the areas I dig the most.

And believe it or not, local coffee shops displaying art pieces are extremely helpful for hiring, aspiring writers.

Just a few months ago, I came across an awesome piece and immediately wanted to get in touch with the guy who did it. Luckily enough...they had all his contact info above the painting, so it was straight cake. Keep your eyes and your ideas open.


message 36: by Dan (new)

Dan Cummings | 3 comments Hi guys. Have you checked out Book Beaver? They just did a cover for me. Good price, helpful, quick and I personally am made up with the results.


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