what to do about your book cover

Now this is basically a follow up from the post I wrote last week, talking about the importance of book covers.  This post will talk specifically about your book cover and what to do to ensure its beauty. 😉



So first off, self-publishing.  As a self-publisher, you might get to the part about the book cover, shrug your shoulders and ask, “Who cares?”  Well, book covers are important and you need to be ready to invest some time into yours.  So, what should you do?


I designed my own cover for my self-published book and actually, it wasn’t all that hard.  I used freedigitalphotos.com to find a photo I could use on the cover (you can’t use any old photo you find on the internet because of copyright reasons, so make sure you use a sight where you can find free photos to use, or buy the rights to use).  I basically found the photo and used Microsoft Publisher to create the title and my name at the bottom.  Super easy.


Now, if you’re wanting a more professional look, or what you’re looking for isn’t going to be an easy task, you might want to consider hiring a cover designer.  Luckily, with the rise in popularity of self-publishing, there are people out there whose job is a freelance cover designer.  Pretty awesome.  Just do an online search and you’ll find TONS of designers.  A lot of the time, they’ll have pre-made covers, where they would then insert your title and name, that are below $100, and usually below $50.  If you want something custom made, it can get more expensive, but it all depends on the specific designer, so do some shopping around.


Traditional Publishing

Now, for traditional publishing.  As I’ve said before in a few previous posts, the cover really is up to the publisher once you sign the contract for your novel.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t get a say at all, or that you shouldn’t let your opinion be made known.  Now, I only have experience with a few smaller publishing houses, but for the most part they were pretty nice about it.  I was given a cover art questionnaire with a bunch of questions about what types of covers I like or don’t like etc.  And even if you don’t get something like that, don’t be afraid to tell the cover designer upfront what you’re thinking of in terms of a cover.  The publisher most likely wants you to like the cover of your book, so your input is important – just make sure it isn’t insulting or demanding.


Be polite about it.  The cover is the cover designer’s job.  You don’t want to be rude and even if you have a specific idea for the cover, don’t get in the way of their creativity.  And remember, the publisher has the final say – it may be your book, but they’re the ones who are trying to sell it.


And most importantly, don’t stress too much.  You’ve already written the book, and you’re already publishing it.  This is the fun part. 🙂


I hope this helps and good luck with your covers!


~ Pauline

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