Over the last few days I have been putting on Facebook and tweeting tips on why new authors should pay for a professional cover designer instead of doing it themselves. Here is why I pay for one to do my ebook covers.
When I first became an indie author, I thought I might try to create my own cover for my first ebook, The Railway Angel. I didn’t get very far, at all. I only managed to create the background and got stuck. I hadn’t the foggiest what I had to do next, how to do it, where to get fonts and layouts etc. I had, and still don’t have, no idea of designing a cover. What did I do? I found the list by Smashwords of their cover designers and formatters. I chose one designer who also wrote ebooks in the same genre as me – YA fantasy. It didn’t matter that they lived in the US, it still worked for me. I chose a stock image from a website, and asked the designer to create the rest for me eg my name, title of ebook, the series and number of the book, using whatever fonts and layouts she felt worked. She did a great job, one that I couldn’t do myself. The result was this:
It reflected the genre it was for eg YA fantasy. It showed what the story is all about – a teenage girl on a railway becoming an angel. Two things that the cover has to do for the author and the reader.
So, where do you find ideas for covers? One tip is to look on Amazon at the ebooks in the same genre you write. Go from there and see what you can come up with. There are lots of stock image websites you can use for the main photo eg Shutterstock, dreamstime.
So, if you are like me and are not a graphic designer, have no idea about layouts, fonts and what works for a cover, then the best thing to do is to find a professional cover designer and pay for them to do it for you. If they are professional and do it for a living, then they will know what works for each platform, and what size each platform requires. It is worth doing it properly and is a worthwhile investment in your writing career.