One of the first items on my list now that my novel is complete is to get cover art. Now, keep in mind that I am a total novice at all of this. I’ve never published. I’ve never sold a novel. I’m doing all of this on my own. So bear with me.
I set a budget of $250 for my cover art, hoping that I would easily make that back within the first year of sales. (Or by doing other side-hustling, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
So I set off in search of an inexpensive cover artist.
I pretty much just googled “Self-Publish Cover Art” to see what would come up. I got some good hits, some duds, and some that had nothing to do with what I was looking for. Here were the top three that I am considering:
This website is where a lot of digital artists get their start. You can hire someone to create a cover for your book for as low as $5. Some artists charge $10, and others $15, and there are additional packages that you can request from the artist that may have an additional cost. But true to their name, most of the cover art only costs $5.
This is pretty cool for several reasons. First, I don’t have to be rich in order to publish a book, which is fantastic. Teenagers with no disposable income could afford this if they forego their Starbucks frappaccino for a day.
Second, I like the thought that if I don’t like the cover art that they have presented me with, I can very easily hire a second artist and not get anywhere near the budget limit that I have set. And it’s all custom work. (There can be fees for stock photos, FYI.)
I worry a lot about receiving a quality product for only $5. Lots of stock photos and limited time spent. Some of the artists have their work on their site, and some don’t. Another concern is that there are a LOT of artists to go through. Just some things to think about.
This website has another few inexpensive options for authors and writers on a tight budget–in fact, they only have 3 options to choose from.
Pre-made—They have a gallery of pre-designed covers to which you can add your book title and name. They are high quality and only cost $99. The added perk is that once you have purchased the design, they remove it from the market. In this case, pre-made doesn’t mean you can’t get something unique.
Dynamic—Their second option is for $249, a custom cover designed for you. It comes with 3 images, 2 revisions and will be delivered in 14 days. Pretty sweet, but they will use a lot of stock photos.
Premium—Their most expensive option at $349 is a Premium package that comes with custom design using unlimited photos, 4 revisions, and will be delivered within 7 days.
Different price options for those on a budget. Tells you exactly what you get and gives you lots of previously made work to look through.
If I chose this option, I would spend my entire budget and only get one design. Yes, the covers do look more professional and nicer than the ones on Fiverr, but if I chose the Dynamic option and didn’t like the cover, I’d be totally stuck with whatever they delivered.
This one is my favorite so far. The starting price is a bit above my price range, but it’s not like I’m hurting for cash, so I might go for it.
99Designs is a site where you open a CONTEST to allow artists to compete for the job. Anwhere from 10 to hundreds of artists may choose to complete your project, according to specific guidelines you have laid out for them. They send their covers to you, and you select a few to be finalists, you give them instructions for revisions, and then have to choose a winner.
I am quite excited about this one. To open a competition starts at $299 and goes upwards of $1000. But (at least according to their site homepage) they have a money-back guarantee… so if you don’t receive a design that you like, you don’t have to pay for a design you don’t want.
Very custom, lots of options. There is a large gallery of prior projects that you can look through to get ideas and inspiration. You would receive many different covers to choose from, and you can request revisions from the artists.
Over my budget.
My plan is this: I will likely try out Fiverr just to see what kind of product I get (it’s only $5, after all). If it is not the quality I’m looking for, I will likely open a contest on 99designs.
I’ll let you know what happens…. Here goes nothing….