I’ve wanted to write this post for a while but what’s held me back is that I have so much to say it’s difficult to know where to start.
My Cover Designer for Ocean Heart was Original Book Cover Designs.
A guess a good place to start is on how I found my Cover Designer.
How I found my cover designer?
She ran a competition on Instagram to giveaway one of her design packages to a lucky winner. The winner of the competition was author J.D. Groom who had tagged me.
I don’t think I entered because at the time I was still planning to get a Literary Agent. Here’s the cover J.D. Groom received as her prize (it included eBook & paperback).
I loved the cover! As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted this designer to do my book cover…, if I self published. I then discovered other covers I loved were by the same designer.
Read Behind the Book & Book Review for JD Groom’s Sorceress of Truth (cover by Original Book Cover Designs).
Read Behind the Book & Book Review for Kara A Weaver's Crown of Conspiracy (cover by Original Book Cover Designs).
Read Behind the Book & Book Review for Cassidy Reyne’s Agent Undone (cover by Originam Book Cover Designs).
Where to find cover designers?
I’ve seen people speak about sites like Fivrr but I’ve not used them. Here’s where I’ve found Cover Designers.
Instagram: There are lots of cover designers on Instagram. It’s an image based platform so an ideal place to show off their designs.
Facebook: A lot of designers also have a Facebook group. It enables them to share offers with their fans and build connections.
World Indie Warriors: Joining WIW is free. It’s a great resource. You can connect with other authors and get recommendations and check out the WIW brochure to discover cover designers.
Visit World Indie Warriors to discover more about them.
How to choose your designer?
You must love it: You need to love the cover they create. It is essentially the first tool in your marketing arsenal. It needs to be something you’ll be proud to flaunt. Look at their portfolio and decide if you like their other designs.
Genre suitable: Each designer will have their own style, and it will likely be more suitable for a certain genre. I write Fantasy and Original Book Cover Designs definitely has a flair for it. Readers of your genre will expect a certain style so you don’t want them to pass your book assuming it’s not for them based on the cover.
Budget: We all have to operate within our means. People will judge a book by its cover but there are affordable options. Many designers do pre-made covers and if you can find one that suits your book, you can save on the cost of a bespoke design.
Extras: If you want to do eBook & Print, does the designer do a discount. Will they do other formats like hardback or audio. Do they offer some social media images or 3D Renders. Do they offer other services as a bundle discount (like formatting or blurb writing, etc).
Recommendations: If you can find authors the designer has worked with it can be very insightful. You could reach out to ask about their experience. You can also see if they have continued to use the designer and if they recommend then to others.
Benefits of a cover designer
Professional: I love creating my own covers. I often make them in Canva and use them on Wattpad. But, when it came to publishing my book, I wanted the cover to be perfect. I wanted my readers to find it hard to tell it is self published. It had to look professional.
Dimensions: I went a little cross eyed when I tried to figure out the spine for paperback. The width changes depending on paper type and page count. Ingram does have a tool to help you work it out and you can use the template in InDesign.
Technical Skills: I don’t know how to use Adobe or any other fancy design software I’d love to learn it but I just don’t have time. Outsourcing the cover design to a professional was a massive time saver.
Marketing: As mentioned earlier, your cover is the first thing anyone sees of your book. It needs to be eye catching, genre appropriate, and you need to be proud of showing it off. If it looks nice, other people might show it off too!
Working with your cover designer
Quote: Firstly, you’ll need to reach out to your chosen designer for a quote. I liked that Original Book Cover Design’s has some packages on their website so I knew they were within my budget and had already started putting money aside for it.
Timeframe: A good cover designer will likely have other projects on the go. You need to tell them when you’d like the job done by so they can confirm if they can do meet your deadline.
The deadline will need to be before your anticipated release date. This is because you should market your book before you release it. This period is often referred to as your book launch. Mine was about 2-3 months.
You also need the files before release to upload to the site you are using to create your book. I used Ingram Sparks. You’ll want to order a proof to check it is printing right, so allow time for quality control.
Also, if you are doing a print version, your cover designer will need to know what size to do the spine. Your manuscript will need to be edited and formatted.
Ideas: You’ll need to tell the designer about your book and your ideas for the cover. My cover designer had me complete an in depth questionnaire. She then worked with me to create a cover I love for my book Ocean Heart.
Final design: The first draft looked incredible. I gave myself a little cooling down period – it was crazy exciting seeing my book – to look at it critically. I then requested some minor changes which my designer made. I was in love. It was a dream come true.
I hope this has helped you decide on whether you want to use a cover designer for your book, where to look for a designer, and how to pick one.
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