So it is time to start thinking about cover artists and for some reason that makes me twitchy. Why you ask? At first, I wasn’t sure myself. I mean, I was the picture of rational decision making when it came to choosing my editor, after all. Which I thought would be much harder to choose than covers…
So let’s go back to the beginning. I started with research (don’t I always). Asking several authors who they use… Looking at covers that I liked and then reviewing the copyright page to see if the cover artist was mentioned…Finding several loops/websites with listings of cover artists…deep breath in – exhaustion is setting in already!
And I compiled my list of websites to review. Now onto the fun part, right? Well yes, but don’t get too carried away. You also can’t lose sight of the business side of this as well…so before you look at those wonderful portfolios on the sites take a look at the following:
1) Pricing – what is this going to cost me? Cause it is real easy to get lost in the ‘ohh, pretty’ aspect of the covers BEFORE you realize that they are cost prohibitive. Covers can run from $25 dollars (for prefab covers) to several thousand dollars (custom covers with photo shoots). You have to figure out what you can afford and balance that with a professional looking cover.
2) Packages – what is included? Does the designer just do e book covers? Do they do print covers? Do they do web banners? Etc. What do you need? For me, I want someone who will do both e and print.
3) Timing – when can the designer work with you? On some sites (not all) they actually will tell you that they are booked several months in advance. If they don’t tell you this up front then that is one of the important questions you need to ask them.
4) Process – how does the designer work with you? Many sites outline the steps of what is included in the pricing/packaging. For example, some designers may provide you with 2 concept designs and you get to choose. Others will work with you until they get it right. Others state that they will only make a certain number of changes before they charge extra. Pay close attention to this!
5) Vision – how does the designer understand what your vision is of the cover? For most designers, they have a list of questions that they ask you. What do your characters look like? What is your story about? What is your genre? What is common theme? What other covers do you like that would fit within your vision of your cover? If they don’t ask you for SOME insight I would be wary of them.
So once you have figured all this out (Gulp), now you can fall in love with all the pretty pictures on the websites and narrow down your field to a few designers. Do you see what I mean by being twitchy? Glad you’re there with me now!
Next week, I will talk about my next steps of communicating with my potential list of designers, so please stay tuned!