If you’ve been following my FB and blog, you already know about my Indiegogo campaign which was funded to help cover costs of self-publishing. Part of the campaign funds were allotted for the cover art for book one and two of my Alliance series.
Prior to the campaign, I spent a lot of time researching and brainstorming to give myself a plan for the covers. I needed to have an idea for series cohesion, a possible budget, and I needed to choose concepts appropriate for my genre. Basically, I needed to right the wrongs of my previous self-publishing adventure. I already covered some of this information in a previous blog post, so click here to get info on planning covers for genres and series.
Okay, so you know your covers need to fit the book’s genre and you need cohesion for a series. Now what? Let’s get more specific.
Find a designer within your budget who has a great portfolio and testimonials. You can even research those books on Amazon to see if they are real. Basically, do your homework.
Make contact when you find a designer you like. From that first email/message you can see how long they take to response and if they seem professional. If you are working on a series, don’t forget to ask if they offer discounts for multiple books. Not all designers will advertise a discount, but I’ve found many who were willing to offer me one when I inquired.
If you are on a really strict budget, there are some designers who offer premade covers at a much more affordable price. This can be a great steal if you can stumble on a premade cover that fits your novel. They usually update their premade selection, so bookmark a designer’s site if you like their work even if you don’t currently see one to fit your story.
Make sure you also do research on design rules. For example, your cover needs to translate well when reduced to a thumbnail size. The book might look good to potential readers in a store, but remember many customers will be browsing sites like Amazon. Your thumbnail image is important whether it’s print or ebook.
You should also understand what makes a good layout for a cover and this includes the importance of a legible font. I cringe when I see indie books using some really odd and hard to read font. A good designer can help you avoid these mistakes, but it helps to know the basics yourself. Again, do your homework.
I hope this information is helpful to some fellow indie authors. Stay tuned for my next post discussing a plan for self-publishing on a budget.