View Full Version : Considering deep sixing my cover

12-19-2010, 09:15 AM
I am publishing my book through CreateSpace, and I am presently waiting on my 2nd proof from them. It has been a great experience thusfar and I can't say enough good things about CreateSpace. However, with my book being only a couple weeks away from being ready for publication, I amhaving serious reservations about my cover.

Due to lack of discretionary income, I am using one of the CreateSpace cover templates. I changed the default color and text on the template to try to keep my book from looking like a zillion others. I took the cover photograph myself. Now, after looking at the first proof copy, I am not happy with the cover and I am considering deep sixing it. It looks hokey and amatuerish, in my opinion. My wife says it looks fine, but she is a little biased.

I can't spent a fortune on a graphic designer, but I am convinced that I need a better cover. Does any one know anything about the cover templates on Selfpublishing.com? Are they any better than the ones on CreateSpace? Are there any other options for a cash-strapped author?

12-19-2010, 10:29 AM
I worked as an amateur graphic designer in college. Mostly web graphics and such. I would be willing to do it for free. Mind, it's been years since I did anything major so I'm a bit rusty but I reckon I can do better than a template.

Also, you can try fiverr.com or http://www.reddit.com/r/FiveDollarGigs/

I practically live on reddit and I know there are a lot of really talented graphic designers there.

12-19-2010, 04:29 PM
If $50 isn't outside your budget for a custom cover, I recommend Ronnell D. Porter. (http://www.wix.com/ronnelldporter/design) He's done two of mine, and I'll definitely use him in the future. One day I may have him re-do the cover for Venom (which I paid a another artist to do).

12-19-2010, 05:41 PM
My suggestion for what it's worth--and you may not like this--until you get a cover you're 100 percent delighted with, put the project on hold.

An attention-grabbing cover is probably the most important piece of promotion you'll invest in, so be very careful about what you choose.

I would scour public domain images before I'd choose a generic, stock cover image.

Although I disagree with A.S. Peterson on some POD fundamentals, I am in total agreement with him that nothing screams "AMATEUR!" like a poorly rendered or designed cover.

12-19-2010, 11:03 PM
Thanks to all for your advice. Axler, you are right. A poorly designed cover screams "amateur." If I think the cover looks bad, then potential readers definitely will.

I can definitely afford $50 for a cover. I just can't afford $500 to $1500, which is the price range of quotes I have gotten for custom designed covers. And Michelle, I greatly appreciate the offer to do it for free, but if I used your services for my cover design, I would pay you. It is a pride thing.

I appreciate the good advice from each of you. I am going to take Axler's advice to put the project on hold until I can resolve the cover issue to my satisfaction.

02-22-2011, 12:19 AM
Keith, I was wondering what decision you made regarding the cover. Did you hire one of the people suggested here? Also, did you use CreateSpace's free templates for text layout, or did you pay someone to design the interior of your book?

I have been reading your publishing saga with interest because I am also writing a biography. There seem to be very few of us biographers here!

02-22-2011, 12:25 AM
There are several good designers who will do a basic cover with stock photos for $50 that looks almost indistinguishable from a large press design. I think it would be well worth getting a custom cover done.

02-26-2011, 09:05 PM
I'll chime in as well. Not happy with cover = not happy with product. If you aren't happy with your product and you see room for improvement before it goes out to market then it's your responsibility as a creative artist/producer to create the best product possible for you and your customers:) In short, get a new cover that you think really represents your work. Don't short-change yourself. And don't worry about losing sales if you don't get the book out sooner. A better product will payoff.

02-27-2011, 02:43 AM
Good call by all, I think. On Amazon, a good cover can make me pause and consider a purchase. A bad cover? I zip on past.