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Blenia
05-03-2013, 05:45 PM
Hello all. I've recently started a website where I sell premade book covers, but I'm really new to the business. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions so I can figure out what I can do to best serve writers.

Any feedback would be super helpful. I figured posting in the self publishing forum makes the most sense since I'd love feedback from all people who have already self pub'd or are thinking about it in the future. But if mods think this is more appropriate somewhere else, I apologize.

So here are my main questions (though anything more people are willing to tell me would be super awesome).

1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Thanks so much!

slhuang
05-03-2013, 06:11 PM
Sure. I looked into this. :)




1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)

On the younger side of adult. ;)

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)

Fiction, almost entirely SFF. Some very specific nonfiction, but that's not at all my focus or ambition.

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?

I currently have a series in the works (1st book done and in editing) that I am planning to self-publish.

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?

I looked extensively into hiring a cover artist, and even had a short list of artists (I made the decision almost exclusively by looking at cover artists' portfolios online and seeing what I liked). Then I decided to try my hand at making my own. The reason I decided to try was that I have training as a fine artist, so I thought I might have the ability to give it a shot (but my skills are rusty and I have no training as a graphic artist, which is why I was thinking about hiring someone in the first place). I also had an idea that I thought might work and couldn't stop doing concept sketches in my sketchbook, so I thought, heck, I should give it a try.

The cover is now done, and I'm going to submit it for critique here eventually. If the response is overwhelmingly "go hire someone instead," I'll do that. :)

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)

From looking at cover artists' portfolios, my impression is that a premade cover is a 1-use cover (as in, will not be sold to more than one author) that the cover artist will slot the title and author's name into without changing the graphic.

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?

No, I haven't purchased one. I would consider it, but it's very unlikely there would ever be something that would fit the books I'm writing unless it were something entirely abstract, or a picture of objects / places.

One huge reason for this is that I tend to write women who don't dress sexy and characters of color. It would be against my principles to "sexify" one of my female characters on my cover, and even more against my principles to whitewash one of my characters on my cover. Since most premade covers with humans seem to have sexy white people on them (which probably makes sense because of market demands), the only type of premade cover I could go with would be something abstract or setting-based.

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?

I think the ones I was seeing in my research went for $15-20. I probably wouldn't pay more than about $30. More than that and I'd want to pay the extra money to hire someone to do it custom.

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

If it's not too onerous, I'd recommend offering minor changes for a (small) extra fee. Like, if it's really easy to change the colors of objects in Photoshop, you can say you'll change the color of something for $5 (say). Then if someone has a girl in a blue dress who's important to the story and you have a girl in a white dress on your cover, that person can purchase it and pay the $5 for the blue dress.

The reason I recommend this is that when I was looking through premade covers, a lot of them hit the "I like that except . . ." place for me. (Most of my "excepts" were probably too hard to change, but I imagine this might not be the case for others.)

Anyway, just a thought. Like I said, I'm not a graphic designer, so if others jump in and tell you this would be opening up a huge can of worms and you don't want to go there, then listen to them. ;)

Blenia
05-03-2013, 06:21 PM
Yay! Thank you so much slhuang. You're answers are perfect. Just the kind of information I'm looking for. :D

Celeste Carrara
05-03-2013, 07:11 PM
1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)
Mid thirties

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)
Erotic Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?
Yes, three and one being released in 2 weeks

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?
I could never make my own cover, I don't have the skills. I'm lucky that I didn't have to pay for one either. I sleep with the designer lol ;-)

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)
To me, a premade cover is one that an artist has already made and they put your title and name on it to customize it for you.

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?
No I have not. I wouldn't purchase a premade cover. I want my cover to be very specific to my story and I need to have a lot of input on the design.

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?
If I were to buy a pre made cover I wouldn't spend more than $50 for it. JMHO and that's coming from someone who wouldn't buy one so take that with a grain of salt ;-)

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
I think for authors who aren't as much as a control freak as I am, they can benefit from a premade cover, especially if costs are low and budget is tight.


Hope my answers help!

LOTLOF
05-03-2013, 08:01 PM
Hello all. I've recently started a website where I sell premade book covers, but I'm really new to the business. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions so I can figure out what I can do to best serve writers.

Any feedback would be super helpful. I figured posting in the self publishing forum makes the most sense since I'd love feedback from all people who have already self pub'd or are thinking about it in the future. But if mods think this is more appropriate somewhere else, I apologize.

So here are my main questions (though anything more people are willing to tell me would be super awesome).

1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Thanks so much!

1) 42.

2) Fantasy, sci-fi, humor, tragedy.

3) Yes. One.

4) No. Cost, I didn't expect to make anything from my book so it wouldn't make sense to spend on a cover.

5) No. I am guessing they are pictures and art premade for book covers.

6) No. Yes. Because I used an image and cover from Createspace that I was very unhappy with. I have made some money on my first book so I wouldn't mind spending a little of it on the second.

7) $20 - $50.

8) The cover and the marketing can help, but what matters most is still what is between the covers.

stranger
05-03-2013, 08:37 PM
Hello all. I've recently started a website where I sell premade book covers, but I'm really new to the business. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions so I can figure out what I can do to best serve writers.

Any feedback would be super helpful. I figured posting in the self publishing forum makes the most sense since I'd love feedback from all people who have already self pub'd or are thinking about it in the future. But if mods think this is more appropriate somewhere else, I apologize.

So here are my main questions (though anything more people are willing to tell me would be super awesome).

1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Thanks so much!

1) My age? 37.

2) Young adult fantasy so far.

3) 3

4) Bought. (I've hired an illustrator because it suits my fantasy books.) I'm not much of a visual artist so would never make my own. With the low prices you can get a cover for, and the importance to the success of the book, it seems a no-brainer to buy a cover unless you are a talented designer/visual artist. (I have taken front cover designs and added a back and spine for print versions.)

5) Yes, I know what it is. It's a cover where the image/font is already designed. The seller owns all rights to the image/font and gives you exclusive rights to that image (though they may use same image in another cover.) The seller puts in the authors's title and name, maybe makes one or two tiny adjustments and hands it off.

6) I've never bought a premade, though I've scrolled though them sometimes looking for a cover which might fit a story of mine. I also look at them to judge the skill of the cover artist, so if someone has good premades I will be more likely to consider them for a custom cover. It's often hard to find exactly what you are looking for even with the choice of hundreds of premades.

7) A lot of prices I've seen have been 30-50 dollars, maybe slightly less if on sale. Sometimes up to 100. I've have no problem paying 30-50 for the right cover.

8) Seems that having plenty of great premades, plus the willingness to create a custom cover at a higher price is the way to go for most cover designers.

christwriter
05-03-2013, 09:11 PM
Hello all. I've recently started a website where I sell premade book covers, but I'm really new to the business. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions so I can figure out what I can do to best serve writers.

Any feedback would be super helpful. I figured posting in the self publishing forum makes the most sense since I'd love feedback from all people who have already self pub'd or are thinking about it in the future. But if mods think this is more appropriate somewhere else, I apologize.

So here are my main questions (though anything more people are willing to tell me would be super awesome).

1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Thanks so much!

1. 27

2. Fantasy and sci-fi. Seperate series for each.

3. Yes. Seven in the 20-30K word range, two or three short stories.

4. I made it myself. Because I'm a halfway decent digital painterand it's the one thing I can do competently.

5. I assume it's a picture that you either buy and customize yourself, or that the artist customizes for you, depending on the rules for the road. I'd add "Exclusive use" to that description, but I just googled "premade book covers" and damn have I been seeing a lot of those on Amazon. On many different books.

6. No, I haven't. I might. Maybe. Most likely if I decide to build a pen-name, I'd go with pre-mades. I feel that my art style is a part of my "brand". I'd use a pen-name if I went off-brand, like if I decided to do erotica or write chick-lit, and that would require a different art style. I'm considering it, but it's less "on the back burner" and more "On that stove in the guest house we don't use anymore".

7. It would depend on the cover. If it's a non-exclusive image, or the image has been minimally manipulated (like somebody threw a blue overlay layer over a pic of a girl in fairy wings) I'd pay ten bucks? Maybe twenty if the picture itself is good. If the artist put obvious effort into it and the apperance is slick, 30-50, and if it's ART, like drop dead gorgeous OMG I am drooling I WANT THAT ON MY BOOK NOW kind of art, I'd probably drop $100 for the privilege. Effort and beauty would get more money from me. Exclusive use, I'd probably pay 20, 30 bucks for the basic picture, probably go up to 250 for the VERY nice art (I'd pay more, but my budget would rise from the depths and throttle me in my sleep)

8. Not really. It sure does look like a good business to be in.

FionnJameson
05-03-2013, 10:05 PM
1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)
Mid twenties
2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)
Fiction with romantic elements (fantasy, horror, sci-fi, historical)
3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?
Yes. 2 for now.
4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?
Yes. I have both purchased covers and made covers them myself. I bought covers for when I'm having a hard time trying to put a concept together myself. The three covers in my signature are designed by someone else, while the one in my avatar is one I've designed myself.
5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me?
...I don't want to answer this. Of course I know what a premade cover is. Why are you asking? *getting all rant-y now*
6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?
Yes. I have. Look at number 4 for reason.
7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?
I'll spend upwards to 50. Anywhere from 25-50. 60 can get you custom art from several ebook cover designers.
8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
How do you plan on distinguishing yourself from the multitude of ebook designers out there? There's got to be thousands and thousands of them out there, myself included.

Blenia
05-03-2013, 10:36 PM
So many great, thought provoking responses! I'm so glad I posted this on here. These forums are always so helpful and informative. :D



5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me?
...I don't want to answer this. Of course I know what a premade cover is. Why are you asking? *getting all rant-y now*


The only reason I ask is because when I first posted on Facebook to my family and friends I was doing premade covers, most had no idea what I was talking about. Many of those people were authors.



1) My age?


I know, it feels weird asking, but I want to get a feel of what point in peoples lives they are when they're deciding to self publish. This just gives me another hint at who might and might not be my target market.



It sure does look like a good business to be in.


Hopefully! Any chance to put my 6 years of design experience to work is nice. Especially if I'm able to do something to help fellow writers.



4) No. Cost, I didn't expect to make anything from my book so it wouldn't make sense to spend on a cover.


I completely understand. I feel the same way. I can't afford to put any money into my books I won't potentially make back in sales.



I'm lucky that I didn't have to pay for one either. I sleep with the designer lol ;-)


This made me giggle. ;)

melindamusil
05-04-2013, 02:24 AM
Hello all. I've recently started a website where I sell premade book covers, but I'm really new to the business. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions so I can figure out what I can do to best serve writers.

Any feedback would be super helpful. I figured posting in the self publishing forum makes the most sense since I'd love feedback from all people who have already self pub'd or are thinking about it in the future. But if mods think this is more appropriate somewhere else, I apologize.

So here are my main questions (though anything more people are willing to tell me would be super awesome).

1. Age (or age range if your more comfortable with that)
Early 30s

2. What type of book(s) do you write? (Fiction, non fiction, genre, etc)
For several years I've written in the mystery/thriller genre, but there's a good chance my next WIP will be a romance.

3. Have you ever self-published a book? If so, how many?
Currently in the process of self-pubbing

4. Did you purchase a cover or make one yourself? Why did you make that choice?
My sister is a graphic designer, so we will be making the cover ourselves.

5. Do you know what a premade cover is? Can you explain it to me? (Please write whatever you think and do not worry about being wrong. There is no wrong. I really want to hear people's ideas and see if mine match)
You pay a fee and get to use a cover designed by someone else? It sounds like something similar to premium themes for Wordpress, Blogger, or some other CMS.

6. Have you ever purchased a premade? Would you? Why or why not?
No, as I said above, my sister is a graphic designer and hopefully I will never need to purchase a cover.

7. Roughly how much would you or have you spent on a premade cover?
Depends on quality. I could see anywhere from $20 to $200 - depends on the time and effort that went into the cover, and the level of support from the artist.

8. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
I second what was mentioned above about making small changes for a small fee. I could also see premades coming in subscription format (pay a certain amount per month to get 3/10/unlimited downloads per month). Another thought on cost - since people obviously want to get them for free - you could offer a limited number of "free" covers and also have premium/subscription covers. And/or you could have the cost of certain covers supported by advertising (which of course can be removed by paying a fee).

Thanks so much!

blacbird
05-04-2013, 06:26 AM
No.

caw

MacAllister
05-04-2013, 09:38 AM
You know, I'm really not a fan of surveys conducted on AW, for a wide variety of reasons.

Closing this.