We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” And yet, every single article and book I’ve read on self-publishing in the digital era suggests otherwise. According to one source, the three things readers judge most in deciding whether or not to purchase a book is cover, blurb, and sample, cover being the first. This isn’t shocking news; after all, it only makes sense considering the cover is the first part of your book the reader sees. So, it is important to make a good first impression.
So, how do you achieve a professional eye-catching cover? Simple answer. Don’t do it yourself! Hire someone with the right education, tools, and experience to do it for you. Artists can be found on websites such as Elance, DreamUP, deviantART, and Bibliocrunch, to name a few. These websites are designed to connect authors with freelance artists. And don’t assume you have to pay the iron price to get a high-quality professional cover. Proposals can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000. Most of the proposals I received ran about $200 to $500 for the project I submitted.
Speaking of my project . . .
I am currently in the process of designing the cover for my first novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other, an Arthurian parody that centers around a 12-year-old gongfarmer named Pig, the inglorious knight, Sir Kay, and their quest to find the Holy Bread Basket–Bread box–Whatever it is! The novel appeals to adult and young adult audiences and is comic in tone.
I’ve received several proposals from talented artists and book designers, but I’m undecided who I should choose. I need help in deciding who to go with, and your thoughts are invaluable at this stage in the process. Below, I’ve provided a sample or two from each artist’ portfolio. Please take a moment to look over them and then cast your vote on the poll at the bottom of the page. Feel free to support your vote in a comment. In advance, thank you for your help!
Jakub G. is a very talented artist on Elance. His style is unique, humorous, and eye-catching. I really like the more gritty style of the samurai, and think he could portray my characters very humorously. His sample book cover shows that he understands ebook and paperback cover formats. My only concern with his style is that it might be more appealing for a children’s book, but I am optimistic he could meet my expectations.
Kristie L. has a lot of experience in professional book design. She prefers to steer away from covers with characters on the front, favoring design and typography. Her works are very professional and I have no doubt she understands formatting. My only concern with her is that her work might be too contemporary, but considering her talents, she can no doubt meet the style and tone of my novel. Here are some samples from her portfolio.
Please take a minute to cast your vote or leave a comment stating your preference. Thank you!