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Cover Workshop > I need 9 covers.

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message 1: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments I have 9 works with complete text, needing only covers (plus front and back matter). I'd like to publish all 9 this year. What's the best way to get 9 covers? I designed my own cover for my last book and already have a cover for one of the 9. What do you recommend? What about 'branding'--should all nine have common elements or other features that make them look similar? Does branding really help sales? How to keep the cost reasonable? Any recommendations for cover artists or other sources?


message 2: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Well, knowing nothing about your books, I'm only guessing here, but a great way to do this fast is to hire a designer. For 9 books, assuming they're all the same genre or series, you can get a 'series' kind of deal where they all have a similar feel and text, etc. on the front. You'd get a break on price too. Lots of designers out there and it really takes the stress out of it. Many of them can get back to you within a day with a finished product.
Also, just some friendly advice - one thing you could try is publishing one a month. So, you have something new to put out there and a reason to market and appeal to fans rather than dumping it on them all at once.
But again, you're the one that knows your books and your situation.
Good luck!


message 3: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Perhaps you can go to fiver and ask for quotations for your covers. I have found knowledgeable artists on that site. As for publishing 9 books in one year, that's quite a lot to dump at the same time. You need a book to create momentum for the next book. If it were me, I would pub a book every three months. That'll will give the first buyer/reader time to read one book, hopefully write a review, and buy the next.


message 4: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 611 comments You can check out the website SelfPubBookCovers. They have pre-designed covers at affordable rates in every genre. All but one of my book covers came from them.


message 5: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Jenna wrote: "...I'm only guessing here, but a great way to do this fast is to hire a designer. For 9 books, assuming they're all the same genre or series, you can get a 'series' kind of deal where they all have a similar feel and text, etc. on the front..."

Thanks, Jenna. That's more or less the idea, except:
A) A True Map of the City is a literary novella
B) Sail Away on My Silver Dream is either MG or mainstream
C) Sherlock & the Twelve Apostles is a Holmesian collection
D) Moon Over the Lost City is a poetry collection
E) Stories From a Rolltop Desk is an anthology
F) The Perils of Tenirax is a picaresque adventure book
G) A Dozen Short One-Acts is a collection of short plays
H) Sorcerer of Death Mountain is fantasy*
I) Midnight in the Temple of Isis is a 3-act classical play
* may be too long for hard copy publishing

No two are the same genre, except maybe C, E, and G. Thickness will vary, too. I'm thinking of just using a common border and the same font to provide unity. There are some printing challenges for borders, however, so I may have to use a similar, fancy title header for all nine. Or something.

...one thing you could try is publishing one a month...

Definitely wise. I plan to sequence the books with enough time between releases to generate some prepublication buzz for each book. A month may be about right. I'll have to generate my own achieveable standard timeline and then create a master schedule.


message 6: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Wanjiru wrote: "Perhaps you can go to fiver and ask for quotations for your covers. I have found knowledgeable artists on that site. As for publishing 9 books in one year, that's quite a lot to dump at the same ti..."

True. And there's a LOT of promo activities that should come between releases.


message 7: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 241 comments Check out OWS Chrysalis. They have a pretty awesome team and offer package deals for multiple books. I've loved the covers they've done for me.


message 8: by J. (last edited Jul 02, 2018 11:25AM) (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Heidi wrote: "Check out OWS Chrysalis. They have a pretty awesome team and offer package deals for multiple books. I've loved the covers they've done for me."

Done.


message 9: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments I wish I had nine books waiting to be published.


message 10: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Jenna wrote: "I wish I had nine books waiting to be published."

Thanks, Jenna. It's a mixed blessing. There's a ton of work to be done, not much of it tasks I enjoy. Not to mention the 15 other works-in-haha-progress, some of which I consider better than the nine. An agent would help, but with no best-sellers and small platform, there's little chance, ja?


message 11: by P.J. (new)

P.J. DeVere | 5 comments I used Damonza and loved them.


message 12: by H. (new)

H. Glogau-Morgan (ddraigswife) | 8 comments This conversation came along at the perfect time! I had to quickly make the cover for my first novel, after the artist backed out at the 11th hour, and have been wanting to get a new one for it. Love seeing all the responses!


message 13: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Just out of curiosity...
How much does an artist ask for a book cover? I have seen this guy asking for 500 US dollars, very good artwork but that's too much, in my opinion. How much would be a baseline price?


message 14: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Haru wrote: "Just out of curiosity...
How much does an artist ask for a book cover? I have seen this guy asking for 500 US dollars, very good artwork but that's too much, in my opinion. How much would be a base..."


In my opinion, it depends on the genre. Fantasy covers tend to show realistic human figures with more detail. I'd like to hear more answers to this question.


message 15: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Rath (aaron_rath) | 26 comments It can vary a lot. It's not unusual for a professional designer to ask $500 to $1000 for a one-off cover design, especially if it's detailed artwork or there are multiple versions and revisions.

Plenty of folks will do it for less, for any number of reasons.

I've seen at least once site that will do them for $100, but you get one design, take it or leave it, with minimal adjustments.

Art's always a tough expense to manage, because it's not guaranteed that you'll get what you paid for. You might do fine going cheap. You might pay 10x the cost for something that's better, but not necessarily 10x better, and it's hard to know how much of a difference the cover design is going to make in the long run.


message 16: by Tony (new)

Tony Nash | 29 comments There are many excellent artists one can use on Fiverr and one can have a decent cover made for as little as $10. Most of them charge less than $50. I've had three done by different artists and been perfectly happy with them. View the covers of 'The Keys to the Castle' and 'No Tears Tomorrow' to give you some idea


message 17: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Rath (aaron_rath) | 26 comments Sorry, forgot to mention another, perhaps even a more important angle, is to consider total budget or anticipated income. There's no point spending $500 on a cover and then selling $300 in books.

That again is a tough one to know in advance, especially if it's your first book. When in doubt, it's probably sensible to aim small (but keep dreaming big.)


message 18: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Tony wrote: "There are many excellent artists one can use on Fiverr and one can have a decent cover made for as little as $10. Most of them charge less than $50. I've had three done by different artists and bee..."
The cover of the "Keys to the Castle" looks great. Are we allowed to seek referrals here? I would like to get a cover designed by such an artist.


message 19: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 915 comments Here is another option. There are a lot of sites which offer premade covers. Do a search under premade book covers and peruse the sites. You might find one you like among those. They range from the $30 range to a $100. If you want a custom design you are looking at $350 and up unless you go to fiverr and take your chances with the designers there. My experience with them is how they don't charge $5 if you want something that isn't exactly like another cover. Then there is 99designs which some authors love. I will admit to spending $350 for current WIP cover due to the type of book it is. I couldn't find a premade to fit it so contracted for a custom cover with some perks added to it. The next book will be a premade to which I'll own the rights to it and they won't resell that cover. You can also go to places like Upwork and put out a job offer for people who are willing to do a cover for a price you set. Hope that helps in the options category.


message 20: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Aaron wrote: "Sorry, forgot to mention another, perhaps even a more important angle, is to consider total budget or anticipated income. There's no point spending $500 on a cover and then selling $300 in books..."

True, but there's no way to know in advance the level of sales. And even after the book is out there, there's no way to say the sales were due to the cover. Could a case be made for releasing a book with a low-cost cover, then releasing it again with a better one?


message 21: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 915 comments Aaron, you could try a cover and if you don't get many sales, change it. Even though people spend less than 7 seconds on the cover, it can make or break a sale. Actually your blurb will do more for a sale but without a good cover, they won't get to the blurb. It isn't the cost of the cover, it's how well it's done and fits the genre. You can go to Creative indie book covers and he will explain what makes a good book covers and it certainly isn't the cost. (He was a designer for many years, so knows the business). In face, he is a fan of the premades...so check them out if you are on a budget.


message 22: by Anya (new)

Anya Semenenko | 1 comments If you want good covers for your books, it´s better to give manuscripts to designer and only then they can do really good covers. If you don't want to waste so much time, you should have (or write) annotation or synopsis to your books and follow the same steps as in the first option.
Beginners won't ask for a lot of money (as they're working for portfolio) and will do their work as good as they can.

Good luck with your books! Some titles sound very interesting.


message 23: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments B.A. wrote: "Aaron, you could try a cover and if you don't get many sales, change it. Even though people spend less than 7 seconds on the cover, it can make or break a sale....[W]ithout a good cover, they won't get to the blurb....[I]t's how well it's done and fits the genre. You can go to Creative indie book covers and he will explain what makes a good book covers and it certainly isn't the cost."

Thanks. I checked Creative indie. Looks like more good information and some useful (?) downloads.


message 24: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Anna wrote: "If you want good covers for your books, it´s better to give manuscripts to designer and only then they can do really good covers. If you don't want to waste so much time, you should have (or write)...Good luck with your books! Some titles sound very interesting..."

Thanks very much, Anna.


message 25: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Great replies! My curiosity is sated ^_^
About the covers... do remember that the most famous paranormal romance book's cover is a photo of two hands and an apple that looks like those gosh-darned religious books I had to read at Catholic school. While the most famous erotica book is a picture of a tie and letters in a font that altogether look like a mystery set in the Great Depression times to me.
That said, probably us independent authors do need a bigger show to be noticed.

Oh, and I just remembered something. I saw an erotica author with the exact same cover (a naked male torso...) in all her books, and only changed the lettering. Of course, it was a series.


message 26: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments P.J. wrote: "I used Damonza and loved them."

I agree they're very good, but they are rather expensive. Even their pre-made selection is a bit higher price than most pre-made covers.

I've also used goonwrite for pre-made covers. High quality and cheaper than Damonza. But I'd still use Damonza for custom designed covers.


message 27: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Micah wrote: "I agree they're very good [Damonza], but they are rather expensive. Even their pre-made selection is a bit higher price than most pre-made covers. I've also used goonwrite..."

That's what I noticed. I'll check out goonwrite. Many thanks.


message 28: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments Very helpful information. Thanks!


message 29: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Maybe I should clarify that it's GoOnWrite, not goonwrite.


message 30: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Romero Vargas (danielromerovargas) | 4 comments Congratulation on your books! And good luck!


message 31: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments The synopsis for A True Map of the City: Claustrophobe Horus Blassingame arrives by train in Deres-Thorm, where the unexpected ambushes him at every turn. Lost and hungry, he explores this surreal city, trying to find his hotel. Arrested for loitering, soliciting, and espionage, Horus Blassingame’s trip reaches a conclusion he never foresaw in his wildest imaginings.


message 32: by M.L. (last edited Jul 11, 2018 10:17AM) (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments I went through the various sites suggested. They came down to two categories. The pay-to-play went into the nope, nope, and nope category. The sites that were not direct and/or not user friendly, the same, along with high price. Anything else went into the 'maybe' category. :)


message 33: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments M.L. wrote: "I went through the various sites suggested. They came down to two categories. The pay-to-play went into the nope, nope, and nope category. The sites that were not direct and/or not user friendly, t..."

And what were the maybe sites?


message 34: by Joselyn (new)

Joselyn  Moreno (joselynraquel) | 41 comments Maybe buying from a designer some of them have covers already done, maybe one can suit each one of your works or you can ask for a batch price and do all the covers with them? I do know a designer his name is Joshua Jadon he is preetty good.


message 35: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Caitlyn wrote: "Never, ever, skimp on a cover. I've paid as much as..."

"Hire a professional" is not considered constructive feedback in this group, and is against the rules.

Also, removed your comment for sharing the contact information of your artist.


message 36: by Leah (new)

Leah Reise | 356 comments I used Ebook Launch for my debut. They do both ebook and paperback covers. I loved the results. Dane, the artist who did my book, did a beautiful job. It’s a very professional company. But if you have 9 covers, it gets pretty pricey. I bought the simplest cover art and it was $250. Then $150 more for the paperback version, I think.


message 37: by Frances (last edited Jul 17, 2018 11:13AM) (new)

Frances Ohanenye | 4 comments Hello J.:

I read through the posts. As they say in essay questions, "Answers will vary," and they do here. I will throw in my two pennies. I apologize for its length.

The question is, how professional do you want your cover for each genre to be?

As we know, each genre has its specifications even as we modern writers want to break the mold and strike out on our own.

I have been researching cover illustrators for the last EIGHT years, and I am still researching. I have explored (and am still exploring) cover designers through LinkedIn, Facebook, art-inclined relatives, art students, art teachers, Smashwords, Bookbaby, Ingramspark, you name it. I have been on their website.

Here are my answers/suggestions/observations:

You can use Canva. I discovered Canva, a DIY (Do-it-yourself) cover design company. It is the best thing since the invention of linotype... For a one-time payment, you can have unlimited access to beyond trillions of fonts, images, text, etc.

I have tried other DIY cover/art companies, but this is absolutely different. So far on Canva, I have designed nine covers for different genres, and they are great. Because of mixing trillions of art pieces and my own pictures, the probability of encountering another author with the same cover is near zero.

To save money, I have obtained my paid cover from the illustrator and uploaded it into Canva and designed my cover myself with text and font and any minor changes I wish to make and downloaded the cover into my computer as eBook (jpeg) and print (.pdf).
When I give credit in the book, I state: "Cover illustration by (artist's name)." "Cover and back designs by (me) Frances..."

WE NEED TO STOP PAYING COVER DESIGN COMPANIES FOR E-BOOK AND PRINT SEPARATELY. THAT IS A RIPOFF. SAVE THAT MONEY!!
Your computer will convert their cover designs into .pdf for your print books. Just go to "SAVE AS," choose PDF, and save.

You can take pictures of objects you want on your covers. For that one-time fee, Canva will create and allow you to download eBook covers (.jpg) and print covers and their backs (.pdf), and convert the covers to 30+ social media platforms and ads, to invitations, business cards, flyers, postcards, etc. You name it.

I struck GOLD!! You can, too!!

I am like you, J. I want to release 9 - 12 books this year in different genres and under different pen names. All the pen names are my real names.

As people stated in this forum, Damonza is expensive for cover, but I used them for formatting of my children's book. They had to give me a full refund.

For my first crime fiction novel (there are three in the set), nothing I created matched what I was aiming for in the level of professionalism I sought. Mind you, I paid for FOUR previous covers by four different cover designers FOR THE SAME CRIME FICTION NOVEL, but I never received that "Yay!!" reaction. There are those times.

I discovered Joel Friedlander eight years ago and ran across my DESTINED/"Yay!!" book cover early this month (July) through his Book Design Template (BDT). Tanja Prokop changed that pre-designed template so much that my jaw dropped when I saw it. Yay!!!

Unlike some book design templates elsewhere, once you choose a cover, Joel Friedlander will retire it. You will never face the embarrassment of seeing your cover as another author's cover. Derek Murphy (CreativIndie) wrote a blog on this.

This (BDT) is also expensive, but Joel runs a special once in a while. I will do it again out of desperation for that one-of-a-kind cover/feeling and when I can afford it.

In the meantime, you can discover Canva. I believe you will love it. It is very simple: drag and drop.

I love Derek Murphy (CreativIndie) and love his expertise. He is so generous with everything!! I will use him for any genre that matches what I see on his site.

Cover design is an unending journey. Right now, I am working simultaneously with four "reasonable" illustrators (a former student, a former art teacher, someone I met on Facebook, and someone I met on LinkedIn), and I am using Canva as well.

Thanks for letting me share.
Frances


message 38: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments So, I'd be interested in seeing what you do, how the covers look after all this, so keep us informed? :)


message 39: by Annalise (new)

Annalise | 5 comments Marie Silk wrote: "You can check out the website SelfPubBookCovers. They have pre-designed covers at affordable rates in every genre. All but one of my book covers came from them."

About SelfPubBookCovers, I've been designing author swag for a while and have wanted to start designing book covers, so after hearing your recommendation, I just joined them as an artist. They appear to have very nice, affordable covers. In addition, they have a section for artists, but that anyone can visit, where you can download some of their custom fonts and follow their template on Photoshop, if you wanted to design your own.

While we're on the subject of cover art, could anyone share with me what they tend to look for in a cover? I'm pretty decent in it and have my own opinions, but I would like to know if you prefer people/landscapes/lots of color, ect. Thank you!


message 40: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Jenna wrote: "So, I'd be interested in seeing what you do, how the covers look after all this, so keep us informed? :)"

Definitely. (1) I've discovered a few things that are useful. I'll summarize below, later. (2) My son removed an intrusive element from my primary cover photo. (3) I got a good font for the title and for the text (interior) headers from Google Fonts.

Good sources of info/content:
Damien Horner
Derek Murphy


message 41: by J. (last edited Jul 22, 2018 09:42PM) (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Frances wrote: "Hello J.: I read through the posts. As they say in essay questions, "Answers will vary," and they do here. I will throw in my two pennies. I apologize for its length...."

I'm not a fan of Canva. The user interface (photo searches) is clunky. I have to open thumbnails to see what they really look like, then I have to delete the photo from my draft image. The Work version is a bit pricey, but not bad if written off over 9 covers. The one-time payment you mention doesn't appear as an option, only two subscription plans.

I'll check out Joel Friedlander. I'm already trying to navigate through Derek Murphy's content. It seems endless. He's put a lot of time and effort into his multiple sites. Much useful information on covers, interior design, editing, etc.

Yes, this is an endless process and there are always surprises. One "artist" quoted me a price of $3500 for a single cover element.

Thanks for your input.


message 42: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Annalise wrote: "While we're on the subject of cover art, could anyone share with me what they tend to look for in a cover? I'm pretty decent in it and have my own opinions, but I would like to know if you prefer people/landscapes/lots of color, [etc.] Thank you."

It's genre dependent, of course, but I like Derek Murphy's "foolproof covers:"

A. Avoid collages. Use one simple picture, esp. tor serious readers. Image can be a 2 or 3 element composite to get the right sky, or foreground elements.
B. Use a foreground character with a b.g. scene. Use a small figure for an epic novel. Sometimes, show a personal artifact, but not one that requires reading the book to understand.
C. Incorporate a close-up face, esp. YA books, romance, horror.

Other details:

Use contrasting colors: e.g., teal+orange, yellow+blue, light+dark
Watch font spacing & kerning, avoid drop shadow, bevel fonts.
Use genre-specific title fonts (see Derek's PDF list)
Subtitle font should match interior headers & chapter titles
Don't try to illustrate a scene from the book.
Don't be too different [except non-fiction and literary]
The aim is to get readers to look inside*, not to buy the book.
Try to evoke a specific emotion.

* or read the Amazon synopsis or the back cover.


message 43: by Annalise (new)

Annalise | 5 comments Thank you for the advice! I, personally, don't like when there are big dramatic people on the cover, it feels too cheesy, but it's good to make a bit of everything, because not everyone is me. Yes, contrasting colors is a biggie, and I'm just starting to get the hang of finding the right balance.


message 44: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) | 52 comments Annalise wrote: "Thank you for the advice! I, personally, don't like when there are big dramatic people on the cover, it feels too cheesy, but it's good to make a bit of everything, because not everyone is me..."

Hey, some genres are cheesy!

And Derek Murphy makes the point that a cliché cover communicates the genre faster than a beautiful and clever artistic image. Those who love that genre will immediately grasp the idea, this is what I like to read. If the genre has pleasant associations, they'll want to read it or at least explore it further.


message 45: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
No links. Thanks.


message 46: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 915 comments J. wrote: "Frances wrote: "Hello J.: I read through the posts. As they say in essay questions, "Answers will vary," and they do here. I will throw in my two pennies. I apologize for its length....""

You can try upwork. Put out what you are looking for and a price you are willing to pay. You can chose who you want based on their porfolio and the mock up they may send. I used one from there. The first cover was $240 print and ebook ready. For the sequels he is doing it for a $100 a cover as they are same font but different pictures behind the titles. The turn around time was a week on each revision.


message 47: by Annalise (new)

Annalise | 5 comments Dwayne wrote: "No links. Thanks."

Sorry, I just don't know how to post pics not already on goodreads any other way (not an HTML person). Is there any way to do so?


message 48: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Testing:




message 49: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Jul 24, 2018 06:12AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Yes, apparently you can post pictures from other places. I have never tried it before, but it worked.

Just copy this and put your url between the quotes, and eliminate the spaces between "<" and "img", and the spaces before and after "/":

< img src="http..." / >


message 50: by Annalise (new)

Annalise | 5 comments Testing:
[image error]


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