Originally published 24-Jul-2012

Luckily, this was one lesson I didn’t learn the hard way.

  1. A good cover will help your book sell!

This is no joke. I think most of my sales for As Night Falls and The Dustman are due, largely, to the great covers. I was so lucky to have a friend who’s a fantastic cover artist.

If you’re starting out on the self-publishing road, find yourself  a good cover artist that has reasonable rates! THIS is an investment that’s worth the money, but to be fair, it’s not that big of an expense. You can get good covers from $75-$200 depending on if you need just an e-cover, or if you need an e-cover and a paperback cover.

Here are just a FEW cover artists to choose from. They’re busy, guys, so plan in advance. You want a cover on your site at least three months  before you launch the book. That’s a schedule most of these guys can work with.

This is by NO means a comprehensive list! These are links that I saved after doing my searches for cover artists. Some of these guys are pricier than others, sure, but I like the quality of their covers, and they all see the way I do, which is important.

Now, then. When the cover artist asks you for information about your book, it’s up to you to ensure that you give them the right information. When your readers review the book and say, “I don’t know why the main character had red hair on the cover when she’s blonde,” that’s on you. Your artist isn’t going to read your book. They just don’t have time.

Ask yourself a couple of key questions before you contact artists:

  1. What’s the color theme you want for this book?
  2. Live models or artwork or no models?
  3. Is there a key element you want to incorporate in your cover?
  4. What genre is this? How are you going to visually represent this on your cover?
  5. What do the characters look like?
  6. What’s the feel you want the reader to have as soon as they see your book?

I have one cover that didn’t work out well, and it’s because I didn’t apply all of that thought. It’s still a great cover, but the color scheme does not draw any attention. *shrug* Live and learn.

When you’re coming up with your game plan, set aside about $200 for a cover. This is an investment that will pay off!