Getting New Covers (and New Cover Reveals!)

One of the first things you hear when you start going the independent author route is that you need to get professional covers for your books.  You hear things like:  “Don’t try to do it yourself!” and “A bad cover can kill a book!”

So, of course, I tried to do my book covers myself.

And it was a mistake.

Now I’ve had professional covers designed for both of my independent books, and I will have professional covers on all new books moving forward.

Why?  Why spend the money?  Here are a couple of good reasons-

1. You have to be aware of your competition.

People really do judge a book by its cover, and your book will rarely be seen in a vacuum.  Unless you are hand delivering it to a family member, people are going to be looking at your book in the company of many other books – whether it’s on a website like Amazon, or, if you’re fortunate, the shelf of a bookstore.  You need your book to look just as good as the books around it.  If your cover looks homemade (and being homemade is not the point of your book), you’re operating at a disadvantage.  An independently published book already has enough disadvantages in the marketplace.

2. You have to know your limitations.

If you are not a cover designer, you have certain limitations as to the level of cover you can design.  I firmly believe in the power of learning, and I think you can learn to be a cover designer.  But if you aren’t one already, you will have to learn it.  Which leads to…

3. You have to decide where you want to spend your time.

Can I learn Photoshop and design and become a cover designer?  I probably can if given enough time.  And therein lies the problem – time.  Do I want to spend my time writing, or do I want to spend my time fooling around with Photoshop, coming up with something that’s only half as good as it needs to be?  What is the most efficient use of my time?

4.  You have to decide where you want to spend your money.

There are a lot of things you can spend money on these days.  But if you’re going to be an independent author, I submit to you that one of the things you definitely should spend money on is your cover.  Your cover, as well as editing and formatting, are the things that are real investments in your business because they make your products better.  You SHOULD invest money in your business.  But you don’t really need a Boogie Board because it would be oh so cool to write notes and have them go directly to your computer without having to retype them.  (I returned it…geez).

For these reasons and more, one of the major decisions I’ve made was to get professional covers for my books.  If I want people to take me seriously, I need to take myself seriously.  That means investing in making my books look as good as they can.  After all, the cover is the first impression someone will have of your book.  And you never have a second chance to make a first impression.  As they say.

So, here are the new covers!

 

These were designed by Dane Low at ebooklaunch.com.  The covers were reasonably priced, and Dane is just great to work with.  He was very patient with me as I bumbled about, flailing helplessly in my normal charming fashion.  If you want to know, I found Ebook Launch through the Alliance for Independent Authors (ALLI), a terrific organization you really should think about joining if you want to do the independent author gig.   Another source for cover designers is Joel Friedlander (thebookdesigner.com) and his monthly ebook cover design awards.

Now, as an object lesson, here are the covers I made compared to the ones I just got-

    

    

Everything from the font choices to the depth of color to the layout is a lot more refined and, well, professional.  Plus, it’s extremely evident that I didn’t exactly have the skill or knowledge I needed to pull off an effective cover. Although I know my friends and family appreciate the covers I made, the new ones really are a hundred million billion times better. 🙂

And the best part – for the new covers, I didn’t have to sweat over Photoshop for days…weeks…months….yay verily, years.

So, all in all, I think this was a very good decision. Now I just need to remember all the places I have the old covers and replace them with the new.  And we all know how that goes.  🙂

 

 

 

Share

Speak Your Mind

*

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.