There is a lot of advice on the internet about book cover design. How potential readers judge the contents by the cover (I don’t like to admit it, but it’s something I do all the time when skimming through Amazon pages), and how that cover should closely match other books in the same genre.
I’ve also read plenty of warnings about DIY covers; how you should ALWAYS hire a professional designer. But I’ve seen a lot of so-called professional covers that either look like the designer’s five-year-old child has run amok in Windows Paint, or (esp with traditionally published books) an overused photograph is wheeled out again and again, with a subtle tweak to the typography (see excellent post http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/19-book-cover-cliches for jaw-dropping examples).
Design is important. And I do love a great book cover. Done well, cover design is an art form in itself. But I do get the impression that a fair few (by no means all) ‘designers’ have set up shop in order to fleece newbie indie authors.
So, a bit like sourcing a new plumber, electrician or carpenter, it’s always best to get some recommendations from your peers. If you see a cover you really like, drop the author a note to find out who they used. I’m sure most indie authors would be only too pleased to send new customers to their designers.
Having said all that, I’ve gone the DIY route myself for the latest release in the Degrees of Separation series. The Third Estate will be published on 15th August in ebook on Amazon and Kobo. And here’s a sneak peek of the cover:
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