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Cover Art

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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G.G. Rebimik

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I keep reading, and believe, that the book cover must look great and fit the story in a nutshell.

Can anyone recommend a designer for self publishing? And, what should expect to pay?

Much thanks,

jack.
 

RevanWright

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Welcome, Jack.
First, are you really planning to self-publish? It can be a strenuous and involved process, and getting the right cover is not the easiest thing in the world.
Some use established companies like Bookfly for their cover designs and editing. An ebook cover will cost you 500 bucks. A print cover will cost 600. But I've heard they do great jobs, so if you're looking to invest, you may want to check them or similar companies out.
http://www.bookflydesign.com/cover-design/

Another option is to go to the forums of an art site like DeviantArt and hire the services of a freelance author. This can cost you anywhere from $5 to $500, depending on the artist and what you want as a cover. It's also fairly risky, as you'll need to develop a working relationship with the artist and communicate with them so that both of you are on the same page.
And, closer to home, AW has an Art & Design board that may be of some use to you.

The last option is just to do it yourself, but I'd advise against this unless you're talented and researched in what you'll need to do.

Your cover should not just fit the story, it should convey the feel of your story. You want a cover that draws eyes, but still lets the reader know what they're getting to a certain extent. "That's got to be a fantasy" or "Ooh, a mystery novel". You want to get their attention just enough to make them reach for it, turn it over to read the blurb, open it to the first page.
Your cover needs to get them to the first page, and your story must do the rest.
I just made that quote up. If that's not already a famous quote, then I said it. You all saw it.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
 
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G.G. Rebimik

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I was thinking of using SmashWords. But seriously, with thousands of titles being published each day, how in the world is anyone able to even find your work?

jack.
 
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But seriously, with thousands of titles be published each day, how in the world is anyone able to even find your work?

And that's the 6-million dollar question.

Regarding cover art, the only advice I can give is to work with a freelance designer, as opposed to so-called "self-publishing companies". There are probably lots of folks here who can recommend their designers.
 

Old Hack

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I think this is better suited to our Art and Design room than our Self Publishing room, so I'm going to move it over. Give me a second.
 

RevanWright

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I was thinking of using SmashWords. But seriously, with thousands of titles be published each day, how in the world is anyone able to even find your work?

jack.

Well, that's the difficulty of self-publishing, isn't it? You've got to put a lot of work in. It starts with writing a good story. Once you're polished up and you've got the cover you want, you'll need to choose how to go about it. Just an ebook format, or print as well? Then you'll need to choose between CreateSpace or a PoD like Ingram Spark. Do a lot of research, make sure you know everything before making a decision. Smashwords can help, as can KDP Select in certain ways. Goodreads can get your name out if you get involved with the community and sign up to do giveaways. There are sites like Bookbub that can promote you when you cut the price or do a free period, or if you're listing it cheap. Reviews are vital, especially on Amazon. Promotions (free periods/countdown deals, etc) can also help.

You'll need to read up on the stickies here on AW and seek out promotion info further abroad. There are many ways to get noticed, but most of the time it takes a lot of work and determination, and it all starts with a solid story.
 

G.G. Rebimik

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Great advice and help...

Well, that's the difficulty of self-publishing, isn't it? You've got to put a lot of work in. It starts with writing a good story. Once you're polished up and you've got the cover you want, you'll need to choose how to go about it. Just an ebook format, or print as well? Then you'll need to choose between CreateSpace or a PoD like Ingram Spark. Do a lot of research, make sure you know everything before making a decision. Smashwords can help, as can KDP Select in certain ways. Goodreads can get your name out if you get involved with the community and sign up to do giveaways. There are sites like Bookbub that can promote you when you cut the price or do a free period, or if you're listing it cheap. Reviews are vital, especially on Amazon. Promotions (free periods/countdown deals, etc) can also help.

You'll need to read up on the stickies here on AW and seek out promotion info further abroad. There are many ways to get noticed, but most of the time it takes a lot of work and determination, and it all starts with a solid story.


If I may ask, what would you do with your first book?

best, jack.
 

RevanWright

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If I may ask, what would you do with your first book?

best, jack.

I went in half-blind and flew by the seat of my pants for most of it, and it's caused a lot of difficulties.
For starters, I painted my own cover but didn't research printing press procedures and CMYK, so I ended up with a lot of problems when I got around to submitting.
I published the ebook with Amazon and signed up for KDP Select, using a 4 day free period right off the bat to get some exposure and maybe a couple of reviews. It worked well in its own way. But signing up for KDP Select means the ebook is exclusive to Amazon for at least 90 days, so I can't upload to Smashwords, B&N, etc. until that 90 days is over.
For the hardback, I went with Ingram Spark, a print-on-demand press with worldwide distribution. I recommend just going paperback instead of hardback, because it's way more cost-efficient and easier to manage. If you want an easier way, go with CreateSpace through Amazon for physical copies. You'll probably never get into B&N that way, but that doesn't make much difference for a self-published author. Amazon is your ticket to success.
I also joined Goodreads and signed up as an author, uploaded my book there. Goodreads is a great resource for getting readers and reviews, especially if you do a giveaway.

I'm still learning as I go, though. There are other ways to get your name out, but don't expect a lot to happen early on. The longer your books are available and the more books you put out, the more you'll be noticed.
 

G.G. Rebimik

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Wow, very helpful....much thanks!!

I went in half-blind and flew by the seat of my pants for most of it, and it's caused a lot of difficulties.
For starters, I painted my own cover but didn't research printing press procedures and CMYK, so I ended up with a lot of problems when I got around to submitting.
I published the ebook with Amazon and signed up for KDP Select, using a 4 day free period right off the bat to get some exposure and maybe a couple of reviews. It worked well in its own way. But signing up for KDP Select means the ebook is exclusive to Amazon for at least 90 days, so I can't upload to Smashwords, B&N, etc. until that 90 days is over.
For the hardback, I went with Ingram Spark, a print-on-demand press with worldwide distribution. I recommend just going paperback instead of hardback, because it's way more cost-efficient and easier to manage. If you want an easier way, go with CreateSpace through Amazon for physical copies. You'll probably never get into B&N that way, but that doesn't make much difference for a self-published author. Amazon is your ticket to success.
I also joined Goodreads and signed up as an author, uploaded my book there. Goodreads is a great resource for getting readers and reviews, especially if you do a giveaway.

I'm still learning as I go, though. There are other ways to get your name out, but don't expect a lot to happen early on. The longer your books are available and the more books you put out, the more you'll be noticed.

Super thanks! Would you do KDP again with a new book?

jack.
 

RevanWright

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Super thanks! Would you do KDP again with a new book?

jack.

Haven't decided if I'll go Select for the 2nd book, but I'll probably upload directly to Amazon through KDP. There's no denying Select got me a little more exposure through the first few weeks than I would have gotten otherwise. It's a good program for new authors, but it's restrictive.
 

Laer Carroll

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I've self-published six books. But with my latest and future works I'm trying the trade publishing route, starting with finding an agent. Self-pub convinced me I could regularly turn out stuff that was at least OK, but trade pubbers do a better job of distribution. I've made modest money with my ebooks, almost nothing with POD, but self-pub is enormously risky for someone who wants to be a pro.
 

veinglory

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No cover is going to be a nutshell explanation of the story. It is more realistic to have it match and convey the genre and tone, and maybe an element of special interest.
 

NicaCurt

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If you decide to hire a freelancer, please make sure you research their work. I've heard some horror stories in regards to stolen designs and people not being able to track down designers once they've sent the money. Also, make sure you own the rights to your cover. If a designer hires a photog to take photos for you, you should have it in writing that the rights to those photos are signed over to you or that you have license to use those photos on the book/promotional material as you please.
 
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