In Part 1, we talked about resources for creating your own covers DIY style. Well, let’s say you want something gorgeous with multiple layers and complex color effects and a special font and there is no way you can make it yourself. Not with all the You Tube tutorials in the world! That means either a Premade or Custom Cover.
- I don’t want to throw stones but you get what you pay for. Any premade under $100 is probably not going to blow you or your potential readers away. Budget between $100-$300 for a decent premade. Custom can easily run up to $500 and beyond. But these are just ball park figures. If these amounts are just not in your budget, re-read the last blog. You can do it yourself with time and effort, large amounts of wine or coffee depending your preferences and probably a few tears.
- Both Premade and Custom designers give you copies of the covers that you can manipulate in JPEG form. If you don’t know what that means, this is the image form you need to upload onto most websites. As a JPEG, you can place it in banners and promotional material that you create for your website or campaigns or whatever.
I experimented with Premade Covers from Story Wrappers https://storywrappers.com
for two of my most recent occult thrillers: Cruel and Unusual Magic (the photo above) and Fear club 2: The Summoning. I felt like I was at the point where I was willing to pay for a product I could not create on my own.
For the basic price of a Premade Cover you get your author name, book title and generally subtitle over the image you’ve chosen
A little tweaking with positioning is accepted. Beyond that, you must pay extra for changes. Hair color, different clothing design, etc. will add to the price. Don’t think the designer will bend over backward making change after change. This is premade.
Choosing Premade means you have a limited number of designs and may have to build a little flexibility into your story to accommodate the cover you choose. I found a cover I liked for Fear Club 2: The Summoning. I tweaked my main character’s – Soul Lost Lexi Carpenter -- appearance slightly to sync with the image. I put in a line about Lexie dying her hair white blond. This worked because she is in Europe on the run from a gang of Soul Eaters and in disguise. I got the cover and it all worked out.
Custom Covers give you the chance to work creatively with the designer. This can be fun or terrifying depending on your abilities. If you have zero inspiration and zero design skills, working with a designer lets you hand over some essential info from your book and see what they come up with but you still need to give them some ideas about what you would like.
I've only done one custom cover so far and this was actually for my first book. Prices have gone up, of course. I told the designer what the book was about, the setting etc. She came up with several mock-ups. The one with the pagoda is an example. When I said I wanted to focus more on a single face and reduce the background, I finally decided on this.
There are so many great designers on the Net. You will have to do your homework. See what works for your book and price range. It’s going to take some time. Remember you are designing this cover to attract readers who will pay money for your book. All of us choose a book by its cover. Don’t rush it.
Type ‘custom book covers’ into your search engine. Most premade design studios of course make custom covers as well so you will see overlap. You can also refine the search terms exactly like Premade: custom covers fantasy; custom covers mystery; etc.
If you are wallowing in a black hole of creative despair, look for designers with a catalog of covers. Check through their backlist of designs for inspiration.
Here are a few totally random examples from a typical search in no special order. These are just to let you have a look at what I’m talking about.
I would love suggestions from readers for designers they have used and examples of your covers! We can feature them in a blog post.
The Cover Collection:
Premade EBook Cover Shop
SelfPub Book Covers.com
Paper and Sage