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Cover Workshop > BOOK COVER DESIGN IMAGES - Help!

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message 1: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Okay, I admit it. I have been designing my own book covers and I am NOT a graphic artist. A local pro quoted $2,300 for 1 book cover; I had a few more quotes for $700-1000/each. I have six books with more to come and not anywhere near the funds! So, I subscribed to Shutterstock and Photoshop (love Photoshop) and have designed my own.

But a reader recently suggested I need better covers and should work with a graphic artist and another author suggested Fiverr as a less expensive route...I contacted someone and am waiting to hear back from them.

My issue - I write historical romance (wish I wrote fantasy/vampire books, lots of those on Shutterstock). After hours/days of searching on Shutterstock, there isn't one good historical romantic couple image that I see on so many other author's cover. Not half-naked men, they aren't that type of romances, but just romantic images of swashbuckler, cowboy, 1800s era couples.

Sorry, I'm just at a loss here. I really loved designing my own yet agree, they do not look professional. And it stinks because my dad passed away 25 years ago and he WAS a graphic artist! I suck.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much.


message 2: by E.D. (new)

E.D. Robson | 11 comments Gail, although I am budget limited I now tend to go with pre-made covers from one particular company which I find quite reasonably priced with a large range of covers to pick from. I will message their details to you if you wish.


message 3: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Caston | 109 comments Hi Gail, I have a few ideas I can message you about too if you like.


message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Bayes | 7 comments For some really good photos, have you tried Unsplash? I believe that as long as you include a credit to the photographer and to the site, you can use them without paying royalty fees. Good luck!


message 5: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Yes, Jeffrey, thank you!!!! And thank you, Barbara, I'll look that up. I appreciate your help!


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Bayes | 7 comments Hi Gail. Me again! Just went to check out the covers you've made so far and for the genre I think they're terrific. So my advice is....ignore whoever told you that you need better covers!


message 7: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Skilton | 17 comments I can recommend an author named Derek Murphy who also designs covers. He has a course on Creativindie that I found useful. Also, Canva is a viable design source for making book covers and it has both free and paid sign-ups.


message 8: by J.B. (new)

J.B. (goodreadscomjbmorrisauthor) | 23 comments Contact Carol Marrs Phipps. She is on twitter, She is
.
very professional and reasonable on her covers.
Ashley Lee London, Author


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 547 comments Barbara wrote: "Hi Gail. Me again! Just went to check out the covers you've made so far and for the genre I think they're terrific. So my advice is....ignore whoever told you that you need better covers!"

Gail, I wholeheartedly agree with Barbara; I also think they are terrific. I wouldn't waste any more time thinking about paying someone to design your covers. They're so good, you could be designing for others.


message 10: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 547 comments I knew how you felt, so I had to respond. I was about to change one of my book covers and wondered what could be done. Then I received a review which said the person had bought it because she was attracted to the cover. I've not changed it!

I'd be interested to know if you find any historical genre couple images, they seem to be few and far between so maybe there's a gap in the market for someone to develop a free site with suitable couples and make money by advertising. Any takers?


message 11: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 723 comments Mod
I've found my cover artist on Fiverr, and it cost me ~300€, but that was fantasy, not historical romance... no idea how much the genre affects it.


message 12: by T.E. (new)

T.E. Stouyer | 10 comments You could also try 99designs. You run a contest and get to choose from different designs. I've found a cover designer for my first book there and it was nowhere near as expensive as the quote you mentioned.


message 13: by Randall (new)

Randall Davis Fiverr is the best place to look. You might even find someone to read the whole book rather than the small blurb you give them. And many of them give unlimited revisions. Many of the established designers will cost you upwards of 500 dollars with maybe 3 revisions. Put the add in and set a 100 dollar price. You will probably get twenty or thirty responders. I found one and he only charged me 39 dollars - and he was brilliant.
Hope that helps.


message 14: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments I've used one designer in the past, but last week went to Fiverr for reasonable prices I've used the site for various services). I picked up a lady who has done hundreds of covers and has good reviews for a fraction of the price. I'll get the proofs next week.


message 15: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments For premade covers I've used goonwrite dotcom. For custom covers I used damonza dotcom. It's not exactly cheap to have custom covers designed but the prices you quote are definitely over the top.


message 16: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 896 comments If you are looking for a designer....100Covers. They charge $100 for an e-book, with unlimited changes. $300 for e-book, paperback and hardcover with advertising images. I've used them several times. They do ask for a lot of information to get a feel for your story. I've given them an image and they added to it for a great cover.


message 17: by Dana (new)

Dana (danaarmstrong) | 2 comments Gail wrote: "Okay, I admit it. I have been designing my own book covers and I am NOT a graphic artist. A local pro quoted $2,300 for 1 book cover; I had a few more quotes for $700-1000/each. I have six books wi..."

Hi Gail, I also do my own covers. I used Illustrator and Photoshop from Adobe Creative Cloud. I can't afford designers right now and feel that a lot of covers are the same ole, same ole. With CC, you have access to Adobe Stock which has a lot of the same pics and graphics as Shutterstock. That said, though, I have found some pics on Shutterstock that are not on Adobe and vice versa. Might be good to do both.

One thing I'm going to consider doing differently is purchasing some font packs. Fontbundle has a ton of bundles that are inexpensive.

Hope this helps!


message 18: by Dana (new)

Dana (danaarmstrong) | 2 comments Also, you can download many fonts for free!


message 19: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 896 comments Warning, don't go too far from those tropes that you see. If you do, you may stand out, but the readers of that genre won't read the book because that cover doesn't "fit" that genre. As I mentioned in another thread, there is 100covers who charge $100 for an e-book cover with unlimited changes. They use a long questionaire to get the information and ask for covers that you like and will accept a picture you might like also. There are also a lot of premades out there for less than $100. If you aren't a graphics person or a designer, keep it simple. If you can't use Adobe, look at Canva or BookBrush to design a simple cover. Again, be careful as there are tropes and things you need to know about cover design to make a really good looking one.


message 20: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thanks, Dana. I use 1001 fonts for free downloads. I appreciate your suggestion about CC, trouble is...my genre...historical romance. I have used images of women which are very appropriate for some books since I couldn't find any good romantic couples. There are literally none! Lots of contemporary, tho. I do like my images and love Photoshop, but how many books with historical women images can you have? lol.


message 21: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thanks, B.A. I'll check 100covers - didn't see your post on that, but again, I've been everywhere, including fiverr, and I'd be willing to pay for a decent cover...still waiting to hear back from 2 graphic free-lancers from fiverr after I showed/explained what I was looking for. I'm thinking I need a pro, which I can't afford.


message 22: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1 comments Hi Gail. Did you try PaperbackModel?
They have plenty of beautiful guys. Quite a few with their tops off, but there are some classic faces there if you are thinking outside of the generic image farms that are non-exclusive.


message 23: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thank you for the suggestion, Daniel. I have a great cover designer now, but always looking for good images!


message 24: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Barker | 3 comments Gail, I just checked out your book covers. Girl, you do a great job!! I especially LOVE the Jacquelyn cover with the castle. Did you do that yourself? I would love to know how to do that. I've created the last three of my covers simply using Word. Before that, I just used Createspace Cover Creator. When KDP replaced Createspace, they changed the cover creator and it is really poor now. Thus, I began creating my own covers, I also always use my own photography.
BUT, they are really pitiful compared with your works of art!!


message 25: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Haha, Sandra, you are WAY too kind! Your covers are great!! I can't believe you created those in Word!! Using your own photography makes a huge difference - I've struggled finding the right images.

Awhile ago I tried using the Cover Creator but I agree, it was so limited and lame. I used Photoshop for most of my covers. I actually had a lot of fun with that and still use it for promos. Mine are okay, I guess, but they obviously look 'self-designed'. I did find a great cover designer in Australia who designed my last book and I'm really happy with it. Thanks again!


message 26: by William (last edited Jun 25, 2021 09:10AM) (new)

William Dean (williammdean) | 12 comments Gail, I totally agree with Sandra's evaluation of your covers. They're terrific. I'm jealous. I doubt you'd get better from any budget designer. The only one that I thought could use a tweak was Path of Treasures (the girl looks a little too cut & paste to me) but I don't know your genre and it might fit in just fine, for all I know. Great job on the covers. I'd ignore the critics.


message 27: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thank you, William. I appreciate your comment...I agree with Path of Treasures and just may see if I can improve that!!!! Have a great weekend!


message 28: by Reyna (new)

Reyna Favis (reynafavis) | 11 comments Most of them look okay. For the ones that need work, one thing that strikes me are the fonts used. For Fire Blossom, the title doesn't stand out because of the color choice. Maybe a fiery orange would work better? Two of them seem like there might be a better choice of font or sizing and positioning of font to create better balance (Scandal in Boston, Path of Treasures). These last two and Holbrook Manor need work on the images. They seem too stark. Maybe an overlay would help? If you go to the Facebook group Book Cover Design 101, they are friendly and will offer suggestions on how to fix things. I also suck at graphic design, but I'm trying to learn.


message 29: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments I appreciate your comments, Reyna, and I'll take a look at the Facebook group. It's funny - I had fiery orange on the original and changed it. :)


message 30: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Happy July 4th everyone!!! And a HUGE thank you!!! I re-worked Fire Blossom, Scandal in Boston and Holbrook Manor, Reyna - I very much appreciate your input, believe me. I should receive an award for the most "editions" to a book....aka, change in book covers. Seriously, I MUST have the most, which is the downfall of doing your own, I suppose. But I am happy with the new ones, much happier with them than I was before. And William, I'm going to take look at Path of Treasures, but right now, I've run out of creative ideas....lol. I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! xoxoxox


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 268 comments I'm absolutely not an expert in the historical romance genre, but from a quick flick through your books, Gail, it seems to me they stand up very well in comparison to others on the shelves.

The one I had some trouble with was Scandal in Boston. The wineglass floating in front of the landscape didn't gel for me. It just looked like a random superposition of images rather than a meaningful composition. But that's just me :)


message 32: by Gail (last edited Jul 04, 2021 12:10PM) (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thank you, Ian, for your thoughts. The use of champagne poison is very pertinent in the book and I was hoping to capture that, but alas, again, I fall short. Ugh. This book has a good story to it...the cover is exasperating...I have looked at every pre-made, tried all avenues...and I hate to even ask a designer or spend money since the theme is complex. Again, I appreciate your thoughts very much.


message 33: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 5 comments Gail wrote: "Thank you, Ian, for your thoughts. The use of champagne poison is very pertinent in the book and I was hoping to capture that, but alas, again, I fall short. Ugh. This book has a good story to it....."

Servian Stock Images is very affordable

I use Period Images, and also deposit photos for hair

If you're kicking around PS, may I suggest Phlearn. They have 30 free classes on the basics. Between them and a 4 hr crash course on youtube, I made my own covers. You can find them under my pen name of Gilmore for reference

Best of luck


message 34: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Thanks, Shannon.


message 35: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 237 comments Ian wrote: "I'm absolutely not an expert in the historical romance genre, but from a quick flick through your books, Gail, it seems to me they stand up very well in comparison to others on the shelves.

Thank you, Ian. You were right about the Scandal cover and I have redesigned it, hopefully improved it. I do appreciate your suggestion!!!!!



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