The Evolution of a Book Cover

I’ve always enjoyed looking at book covers. In fact, choosing a cover is my favorite part of the Indie Book Publishing process. In the beginning, I didn’t care too much about the cover and that was cool. But then, as I matured, I started to look at my writing differently. I stopped looking at my writing alone and started looking at the book as a complete package. In doing so, I’ve learned that the best chances of a book succeeding is not just one thing, but a collection of things. Not just a nice cover alone or a well-written story alone, but everything together. That is what I’ve learned and that is how I will look at book publishing from now on. I will look at the process as a complete piece, a body that I must dress not just outwardly but inwardly and not just inwardly but outwardly.

I’ve been having a little success with I am Soul so I thought I’d talk a little bit about the evolution of the cover and how I think it has played a major role in that success.

To start, I wasn’t going to even release this book when I did. I was supposed to release book two of Nora December 20, 2017, my mothers birthday. Instead, I pushed that book back (it wasn’t ready) and released I am Soul.

I am Soul is a collection of poems from this blog as well as my personal journal, collected, compiled and edited into what is now my 4th collection of poetry. I call it I am Soul because some of the poems are personal, some of them are centered around the African American experience (a people of Soul) and also because people have always said that I have an old soul. Even as a kid people have said that I was mature for my age. For these reasons, I am Soul.

Grainy pic of me and I am Soul with old cover.

The first cover was decent. I liked it a lot. A purple book with a heart-shaped bible page. It was nice enough to land me the #7 spot in the African Literature category of Amazon before release day. It started at number 17, then dropped to number 9 and then number 7.

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But…

I liked the cover a lot but I didn’t love it. I couldn’t help but notice that the cover looked better electronically, to me, than it did when the paperback arrived. It also didn’t stand out very well on Amazon.

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I still think this is a cute cover but it doesn’t look all that great offline. Once the book printed it didn’t look the same. The dark blue on top the purple didn’t pop. In fact, this is still the cover on Goodreads. I don’t know how to change it. At first I didn’t care but after awhile I had to follow my heart and change the cover. (A privilege of publishing books Independently. You can change what you want, when you want.)

I decided to try something that matched the name of the book and the content in full. When you think of Soul you think of something deeply personal and connected to that individual.

Soul is something Israelites (Blacks) have always had (think Soul Train), from our hair styles to our creative way of dance, the way that we dress, the way that we sing, and the way that we speak. We set the trends and nothing was more trendy than the Afro at the peak of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. From the practice of shaving the head to pass as a free person in the antebellum south, to the Afro of the 60s and 70s that said that Blacks were proud of who they were and free to be so openly, natural hair had made a comeback.

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Young, beautiful Cicely Tyson.

In the 1950s-60s it was common for Black women in Africa to wear their hair in small bushes. In America, Black women stopped straightening their hair. Women like Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln are examples. And then Miriam Makeba (“Mama Africa”) emerged with a fro in the January 1960s issue of Look Magazine and Cicely Tyson wore her hair in a fro on episodes of the CBS drama East Side, West Side. And as college students and political activists like Jesse Jackson and Angela Davis started wearing fros, the fro had eased on into the mainstream.

Before and After

 

It wasn’t just about hair no more than Samson’s locs was about being trendy. Those locs were a representation of power and strength and so the Afro was a representation of the social-economic and political era of the time. A time when Black men and women were gaining strength and reclaiming parts of their lost heritage, one hairstyle at a time. A similar revolution is taking place today. Black men and woman are embracing more of their natural selves and waking up to the true knowledge of who they truly are.

For all of these reasons, I felt an image of a Black woman wearing a fro spoke volumes concerning the kind of messages I was seeking to give with the poetry inside of the book. Not just the soul of one woman but the soul of a people. The soul of an era.

I still think both covers are nice in their own right but the one that sticks out the most and which embodies a much more clear message; the one that will not just appeal to those who are biblically conscious but reach a larger audience; the one that makes people stop in their tracks, is the new cover.

When I uploaded this to social media, readers responded immediately. This had not happened with the first cover.

 

 

The new cover got me new reviews…

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I submitted this book to two different bookstores. One using the old cover and one using the new cover. The one with the new cover got a call back and the book is beginning to sell at the store. I am still waiting on a response from the store using the old cover.

 

I’ve learned that book covers really are important because I’ve experienced how important they are. Don’t get me wrong, content is just as important. At the end of the day if there’s nothing special to read there’s nothing special about the book. I am Soul still had to be edited and get through the bookstore’s professional reviewers to be stocked.

But, when I walked into the store yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that because of the cover, Soul stuck out more than some of the other books that I could tell, as an Indie Author, were also self-published. In fact, to my surprise, Soul was sitting right next to Nikki Giovanni’s A Good Cry. Whether someone just sat it there or not, I cannot be sure. But, I was sure enough proud. I wasn’t going to taint the moment with thoughts of how it got there. It was there nonetheless.

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FREE ONLINE BOOK MOCKUP MAKER | Derek Murphy

I use a combination of Photoshop and covervault templates to create my book mock-ups but there’s a simpler version available for those of you without Photoshop or technical knowledge of the software.

Derek Murphy just debuted his free book mock-up maker. It’s super easy to use and you don’t need Photoshop to use it. Simply upload your cover and spine (if needed) and download a JPEG or transparent PNG file. Here’s mine for Renaissance and Revolution. As you can see it looks pretty neat.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story – Book I

Revolution: The Nora White Story – Book II

GET STARTED HERE

I also found 3 more unique resources for cover design.

You’re welcome 🙂

Premade Book Covers: 2 Things to Keep in Mind

There’s a quote floating around somewhere that says:

“Don’t go broke trying to prove to broke people that you ain’t broke.”

Exactly. The reality that many authors are on budgets has created an entirely new source of income for graphic designers, many of whom offer premade book covers as well as custom made. These artists have made our life a little easier by offering professional covers at lower rates than custom covers. While custom covers are preferred, not everyone can afford a new custom cover for every book (the exception are those who make their own covers) so consider this post for those of us “balling on a budget.” I believe in investing in your best and if you can afford to pay for a custom cover and high-priced editing, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, just know you don’t have to go broke to publish your book. The same way we can find reasonable editing prices is the same way we can find reasonable book cover prices for covers that won’t look generic.

But Premades have a unique struggle.

All of the factors that go into articulating your story to a designer in a way that will help them to design a good cover is internal. By internal I mean that if you are choosing the premade, you have to make these decisions for yourself. You have to understand your target audience, your genre, and identify the key features enough mentally to know if the cover is a right fit for you.

Many people have asked me about the cover for Renaissance. The truth is that it was premade and I am blessed to have stumbled on this gem. All the artist did was edit the text. Here’s what a reader said when leaving a review for the book on Amazon:

“The first thing that drew me to this novel was its beautiful cover. A deep blue sky fading into a sunset which bakes an old country road golden brown.”

Guys, I didn’t spend a lot of money on this.

As soon as I saw the cover I knew it was the right fit for Renaissance. Though it’s a premade, there are some things that made it unique:

  • The photo is a real photo taken by Brittany Cox and then sold to designer Najla Qambers to be used for a premade book cover.
  • The elements fit the context of my story.
  • The book matches other books in it’s genre.

I looked at other covers and thought about purchasing a complete custom cover but my money wasn’t agreeing with that so I just went back to that same image, praying no one had taken it. It’s not out-of-this-world beautiful but it was perfect for me. The use of a real country road photo really set it apart. It was also the only of its kind being sold so I was anxious to get it as it was literally just one available. When I was ready, I contacted Najla Qambers of Brick-a-Brack Photography, and secured my cover.

So, two things to keep in mind:

  1. Watch Out for Overly Used Stock Photos

One of the things that made the Renaissance cover unique is the use of a real photograph. There are some great premade design covers out there but many designers use the same stock photos. All designers will have a message that says the book cover is not sold after you buy it, which is true. The same cover cannot be sold again but this doesn’t mean other designers won’t use the same stock photo in a different design. That particular cover may not be sold again but the same stock images can be used again. Keep this in mind when looking for your premade. 

Joshua Jadon sums it up pretty well:

“You also may get less attention from a generic cover because it may be a little easier to ignore. Readers are looking for something interesting and exciting that grabs their attention, and a book that might have the same cover—or at least the same images—as several others often won’t get that kind of attention. A unique style or look can influence readers’ selection process. If your cover doesn’t reflect that … well, it may not get noticed.”

But, your premade does not have to look generic.

It is possible to find a stunning premade that looks custom made. I got tons of compliments on this cover and requests for who designed it. People thought it was custom made.

When choosing your premade (which is great for those of us on budgets and timelines as they are usually both cheaper and delivered quickly), choose premades that are as set-apart as possible and preferably, premades that look custom made. (And speaking of timelines, once you are sure you want to publish a book, it helps to start saving for editing and book cover design months ahead of time. )

2. Watch out for Bulk Premade Deals

Book cover design is a skill. Period. Even though there are designers offering bulk book covers at discounted prices you can edit in Photoshop, it won’t do you any good without skill. I made the mistake of falling for this and while some are nice (and I am competent in editing covers in Photoshop), it is not something I will do again.  A clever move by designers but not too good for authors. Unless you are Photoshop Savvy or have someone on your team who is Photoshop Savvy, it will do little to benefit you. Unless you’re a Graphic Designer or you have a Graphic Designer on your team, you don’t want to put yourself in the position to edit the cover yourself IF YOU ARE NOT COMPETENT IN USING THE SOFTWARE NECESSARY TO DO SO.

While it may start off looking professional, your lack of skill can make it look generic  because graphic designers are skilled in typography, colors, blending colors, and anything else that may require a keen eye. You can mess up a nice cover not knowing what you’re doing which will lead you back to square one. If you go this route, choose covers that do not require much change.

So, two things to be aware of:

  1. Overly used stock photos

  2. Bulk Premade Deals

Here are some websites with some unique premade book covers. There are more, I am sure, but these are ones I’ve investigated myself. I rarely see the stock photos from their covers used by other designers.

For more posts on Indie Publishing, be sure to visit the new Writer Tips page.


Be sure to pick up your copy of Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) HERE.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)

The Nora White Story  – Coming 2017

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Title: The Nora White Story (Book One)

Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Publisher: Literary Korner Publishing

Photo by: Brick-a-Brack Photography, Cover by Najla Qamber

Edited by: Cynthia Brooks

Release: Saturday, July 15, 2017 (Online), Sunday, July 16, 2017 (Live)

Venue: The 2017 Tampa Indie Author Book Convention, Chic Venue

I’ve pushed the release date for this back to this summer instead of this spring and it is my sincere hope that it’s well worth the wait! As you all know I’ll be attending the upcoming Indie Author Conference in Tampa Florida next year. I pushed the release date back so that I can release the paperback edition there at the convention. The spot is beautiful and to be able to share this moment with my fellow authors is priceless. Be sure to support this event, promote it, and to view the guest list so far HERE.

About.

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When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.

The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.

Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embark on a frightening and gut wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be and struggles to accept her prestigious family’s dark secrets.

Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late? 

Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)
July 15th – 16th 2017

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Book Cover Release – The Nora White Story – Book One

Tomorrow (12/23) I am officially on vacation and considering I won’t return until after the new year I’ve decided to release this cover now before I leave (as was planned). You will see my social media banners begin to change as the new year settles in. Sorry Stella, 2017 is all about Nora!

From the Author of The Stella Trilogy

“Familiar with Yecheilyah Ysrayl through her Pearls Before Swine (PBS) blog, and a solid understanding of the many forms of slavery, the title Stella: Between Slavery and Freedom grabbed my attention, but the subtext hooked me. Following Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s blog for about a year I looked forward to an informed, thought provoking read. I wasn’t disappointed.”  – EVA Lambert

“In light of recent events in our world today, this read is important in remembering the racist past of the United States. I enjoyed the writing style of the author, who was able to capture different characters through their dialogue and how she wrote their accents. Though Ysrayl is not a white teenage boy, she is able to write his narration convincingly, while also being able to give other perspectives through the rest of the characters.”

–  Swimming Through Literature

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“Yecheilyah Ysrayl takes us on a colorful and thought provoking journey through the eyes of a mulatto slave woman Stella. Generations later, Stella’s descendant Cynthia May has no idea of Stella’s life as a slave, nor the true identity of their bloodline. Since Cynthia is a racist she is in for a rude awakening. Stella is reminiscent of a wonderfully written slave narrative, a story of history and pain, it is brilliant opener of the Stella series.“ – Kathryn Reed

“No people can truly be free until they know who they are.” This story maintains good pacing; it’s inspiring, and thought-provoking. Labels don’t make us who we are, but it’s what’s on the inside of us and being comfortable in our own skin. I truly enjoyed reading this. I’m going to read it again.”- Silver Pen Entertainment

How You Can Help

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 I think we all know that the self part of Self-Publishing can be deceiving in that everyone needs help or will need help at some point down the book publishing line. That said after thinking about it for a long time I have decided to step down from the Facebook platform for now.  (You can read more about where to find me online HERE.)

So, what I’d like is a little help in spreading the word about the pending release of this book, either across your Facebook pages or wherever. You can re-blog this post, you can share my cover on your social media (with proper credit), whatever it is you can afford to invest far as time is concerned in helping me to get the word out, I truly appreciate it and I don’t take it for granted. Time is a very precious commodity and I appreciate you spending it with me.

If you want to take your support further and you’re interested, I am putting together an Advanced Review Team. ARCs (Advanced Review Copies)  go out March, 2017 for those interested. Email me HERE for details.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow (12/23) for my final Book Review of the year. I have a very special Guest Author stopping in!


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of eight books, notably The Stella Trilogy, Blogger, and Poet. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Stay tuned for updates on this project, to include the book trailer, and sneak peeks. Be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE for exclusives.

Self-Publishing – Laying Bricks Ep 5: Decorating

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I want to be clear that this series does not intend to explain how to become a best seller, how to market and promote like a pro and all of that. I named this series Laying Bricks to demonstrate the importance of laying a proper foundation for producing a book. However, we are officially passed the ground work and are now ready to decorate a little bit.

I don’t have to tell you how important book cover design is. In fact, many of your favorite author blogs have already said as much a gazillion times. For this reason, I am not going to spend a lot of time on this topic. Hopefully, what I can provide instead is something a bit different than what you’ve already been told. Hopefully, we can spend this precious time of yours talking about something a bit more unique.

When it comes to Book Cover Design you have 3 choices. You can purchase a high priced professional book cover, purchase an affordable pre-made, or have someone you know who specializes in graphic design to do it for you.

Paying More

My first experience with paying more than I’d like to on a Book Cover design happened when I was tired of my books looking bootleg and I invested in 99 Designs, an online graphic design contest marketplace. The program sells all kinds of designs from Book Covers to Logos. The process is set up like a contest where you pay a certain amount of money to have more than one graphic designer to compete to design your perfect cover. As the days go by and the designers are working and submitting cover designs as if your their personal client, you’re reviewing and eliminating designs at various stages. Each designer is working to edit the cover to your liking at each step and you are eliminating them as you go on. I really enjoyed the process and it was a fun experience that I wouldn’t mind doing again.

What I loved about the experience was having talented graphic designers to work on my book covers. The reason I highlight this aspect is because when someone who is not a professional designer chooses a design for a book (let’s say an Independent Publisher / Self-Publisher designing their own book but is not a designer) they won’t necessarily have the same eye for those little things that can make a big difference in the design like a professional will have. We may not be familiar with elements, background, proper typography and all of that. I mention this because this can be one huge benefit to paying a little money for the right cover (That and y’all know how serious I am about investing in your business. Don’t always look for everything to be free or low cost and then expect the same quality).

However, 99 Designs was also too expensive.

Budgeting

The reality is that I’m broke. Many of these super professional covers, the ones that we’d all like to have are very expensive, priced anywhere from $300-$700 dollars’ minimum. Surely, I don’t have the kind of money to purchase a book cover at the same price I did for the 99 Designs (which I only made back by hosting a live event and selling paperback copies). This is where creativity comes in and with creativity comes pre-mades.

The benefit of having a pre-made Book Cover design is numerous. To start, you can purchase a cover for as low as $45 or even lower if you go through such places as Fiverr (which I wouldn’t really recommend getting anything too cheap, just saying).

Pre-mades are professionally designed Book Covers pre-designed by, for the most part, professional designers. They can be edited to fit the authors needs and some even give you options for changing colors and fonts to fit the style of your book.

I do have a concern about pre-made covers though that I cannot leave without warning you about. I have not yet heard anyone speak about this and while I’d highly recommend pre-mades (I use them myself), be sure you are on the lookout for covers that are a little too similar.

What am I talking about? Well, all pre-made book covers will have a disclaimer that sounds something like this:

“Once a cover is sold it is never sold again!”

Technically, this is true. Once you purchase a pre-made it cannot be sold again. The designer will remove it from their site and that design will be marked as sold. There is a loophole in this, though. That loophole is this: As long as the design is not exactly the same, the designer can sell a cover that is quite similar in taste. As long as there is something slightly different, the cover can be sold as a separate cover. It could even be as minimum as the font or maybe the person is standing on the chair instead of sitting in the chair.

This doesn’t always mean the similar cover is available I must add. Sometimes the designer will add the finished cover to the portfolio so we can see how the final version looks. However, there are many websites that are literally offering a similar cover for sale as the one that was sold with only minor changes. Just an adjustment here and there and it is literally the same cover.

If you purchase a pre-made, be sure it’s a truly unique one that is not like any of the others on that designers’ website. Check the bottom text of those that are similar and make sure it is only similar because the designer is showcasing the look of the final version.

When ordering premades try and look for exclusive premades or ask the designer if they make them. An exclusive premade is a pre-designed cover designed using photos from photographers who will only sell the photo used in the premade once. Otherwise the premade is pre-designed using photos from stock photos or from photographers who will sell the used photo in the premade again to other clients and covers. Although the premade cover is only sold once, the stock photo can be used again and again in other slightly different covers.

Either way, just find something that is unique.

An additional concern with pre-made covers is that rarely will you find pre-mades with anyone of a diverse nature. Rarely do I see pre-made book covers with Asians on them, Chinese, Blacks, Latinos, or Hispanics. For this reason, I often have to look into a custom made design or get a bit creative on my own if my cover will feature an African American person on the cover. (If you know of  designers who specialize in diverse covers, let me know!)

A Friend Who Designs

I’d just say here to make sure that this friend actually knows what they’re doing. Not all book cover designs (including pre-mades) have that professional look. Book Cover designers are everywhere now and graphic designer or no graphic designer some of these covers look like something you can just do yourself (free does not always mean quality).

Below are some pre-made book cover places to check out for those of you who are looking for covers. Many of them are really professional looking and the prices are reasonable:

The Book Cover Designer

https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/product-category/premade-book-covers/

The Cover Collection

http://www.thecovercollection.com/

Go On Write < Go On Write is currently running a sale on covers

http://www.goonwrite.com/

Self-Pub Book Covers

http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com/

Paper and Sage

http://paperandsage.com/site/

The Book Cover Machine

https://bookcovermachine.wordpress.com/

EBOOK Indie Covers

https://ebookindiecovers.com/

Remember, it’s not just about a cute design. Be sure that this design is also a visual representation of your book.

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Disclaimer. Everything I share on Self-Publishing is always based on my own experience and research because I believe you can’t advise people on stuff you haven’t really tried. It’s just best if you’ve walked those shoes. So, that said I do not profess to be an expert. There are too many of them out there for you to glean from. Now, should you find information on this blog useful? Whoo hoo! Go for it.

Missed the first four episodes of laying bricks? Check them out below:

Laying Bricks Ep 1: Guide The Bricks

(About Focusing on the Story)

Laying Bricks Ep 2: Mortar

(About the Revision)

Laying Bricks Ep 3: Cutting The Excess

(About Editing)

Laying Bricks Ep 4

(About Advanced Reviews, Pre-Launch)

Hot PBS Self-Publishing Topics to Date:

 


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters and the pending book cover release for this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

How Your Books Are Presented Matters Too – Tools You Can Use

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After posting my EC Quote Friday a thought struck me: “It’s not just book cover design, but even how your books are presented makes a big difference.” Here’s what I mean:

You’ve poured everything but the breath of life into your work. You’ve gotten it edited, formatted, converted, typesetting is tight, book cover is banging, everything. But what about presenting your book to the world? What about posting it online, presenting quotes, sample chapters, and all of that good stuff? Because I’m a person who strives for excellence, it can take me hours to produce just the right photo to post online. It can take me days to produce just the right image to parade up and down your social walls and timelines. Everything about writing to me, from penciling my soul into a blank piece of paper, to showing off my book cover requires the very best that I can give even if it doesn’t produce the result I want. At least then I can say that not only did I try, but I did and I did to the very best of my ability. Sometimes our books are not attractive to potential readers because we don’t take the time to put in the work that is necessary to produce our absolute best. Even sample chapters and excerpts should be presented a certain way. If you understand people, you know that we are, for the most part, lazy. A picture of a whole bunch of words on a screen is not exciting (Remember, less is always more). No, I’m not going to read your IG chapter post of 100 words screenshot from your smart phone. Boring. Below are some exclusive tips on how to increase your books online visibility by making sure the book looks as good as the writing:

  • Book Cover Design

So the most obvious thing here is to ensure you really do have an attractive book cover. If there is nothing else that you pay for in the publishing process, make sure it’s editing and book cover design. These are probably the two most important investments you’ll make. Not the only, but the most important. Plus, book cover reveals are fun!

  • Photoshop

Go to YouTube and learn how to use Photoshop to add special effects to those photos. No, seriously. I learned how to use Photoshop watching How To videos on YouTube. If I can learn, so can you. Then, go online and purchase Photoshop. This is probably your 3rd most important investment. OK well, maybe your fourth but you get the point. You don’t have to get the fancy versions either. I pay $10 a month to produce most of the images you see me posting, including the ones on this blog. Not bad for lunch money.

  • Subscribe

Subscribe to free mock-ups sites! What I love about technology is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer anymore. I do not, at this time, have a fancy camera. I want one but wants and needs are two different things. I’ll get one eventually. Until then, Book Mock-Ups are my best friends, especially when I find those people who are giving away free Book Mock-Ups. One person I absolutely love is Mark from Covervault. His book mock-ups are free and he always has freebies for those subscribed to his list. He also offers paid book mock-ups that are also off the chain. Because he does such excellent work, I would recommend supporting his paid mock-ups as well because he gives away so much for free. I would caution that in the editing phase, edit the mock-ups so that they’re original and uniquely you. One thing about Book Cover Designs and Mock-Ups is that, if they’re free it means lots of people are using them. To avoid having book twins, edit the mock-ups so they have your special signature. They’re editable so you don’t have to use the exact same format. However, Book Cover Mock-Ups is just a fraction of it. Subscribe to all kinds of mock-ups! Coffee, Computer, go crazy with it.

Photo Editing Websites

Don’t stop at Photoshop! Also look into photo editing websites. I like to combine more than one element to produce the best unique quality. Some you can explore are:

Remember, everything about your book, from the writing, to the editing, to the book cover design all the way down to how your baby is presented online, it all matters and shows readers the level of effort you are willing (or not willing) to put into your work.

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This is harder in heels

Book Cover Designs – 5 Resources for Self-Publishers

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Custom Book Cover for Pearls Before Swine by Andre Hawkings, Kenosis Design Innovations

One of the most exciting things for me as a Self-Publisher is the Book Cover reveal, especially if it’s a really neat one. Personally, I like to get an early start on purchasing book covers. It helps me to get that part of the process out of the way, keeps me excited as I polish off the book, secures the cover so that no one else can get it (if its premade), and helps me to schedule the Book Reveal to build momentum. Nonetheless, custom book covers are expensive. To secure a really great cover will run you at least $300+ dollars if you want it done right. There is an alternative however that can save you money and keep your cover looking fresh.

Pre-Made Book Cover Designs

Pre-Made Book Cover Design from Self-Pub for Pearls Before Swine Vol. #2
Pre-Made Book Cover Design from Self-Pub for Pearls Before Swine Vol. #2

As the Self-Publishing Industry blossoms, the web is flooded with resources. Everything from marketing and promotion to editing services and even book cover designs. If you have deep pockets, you’d really be able to take advantage of even paying for marketing and promotion if that’s not your cup of tea, so why not book cover design? After all, we are writers, not designers.

But with the amount of information now available, I realize there is no reason for an unattractive cover. For this reason, I am in the process of re-vamping all of my book covers to look more appealing. So of late, I have been looking to purchase a few book cover designs and found some great resources for Pre-Made designs. I am re-editing my novel and I would like to add a better book cover for the next edition. I am also shopping for a cover for my early poetry books and the third installment of the Stella series.

The great thing about Pre-Made Book Covers is that once you buy them they are no longer available anywhere else, so there’s no reason to be selfish about where you got your covers since no one else will have the exact same one. Pre-Made also does not have to mean amateur looking (though some of them are). But there are lots of striking professional looking covers to match your story at great prices. Just make sure your pre-made cover doesn’t look like a four-year-old did it because those ones exist too.

#1: Fiverr

Number 1 on my list is Fiverr. For those who are not familiar by now, Fiverr is an online service where individuals with various skills hire themselves out at very inexpensive rates. You can purchase editing or Book Cover designs for as low as $5! Now, I warn that you get what you pay for, so it is not wise to purchase a $5 cover (just saying). I would also not recommend them unless you really have to but will list it here first because I know some of our finances will work with this option. Be sure to have additional work done (such as 3D stock images added) by purchasing the sellers additional services. Even still, you can spend under $50 and come out with a great book cover design (and be sure to purchase a back and spine).

#2: Self-Pub Book Covers

Next on my list is Self-Pub Book Covers. I love them! I have so far purchased two of their covers already. To sign up is free and I love their variety. You can pretty much find something that fits your book (especially if you spend hours strolling through every single pic. I know, I’m a bit thorough. OK obsessed, whatever). My only thing with them is that you have to purchase a back and spine at a cost separate from the cover. Even still, you’d come out spending far less than you would a custom cover. (If you can afford a custom cover please do so. It is the best thing. This list is for those of us on budgets).

#3: The Cover Collection

My next favorite is The Cover Collection. I have not worked with them but they have great covers on their site at reasonable prices (I think the prices are in British Pounds so you’ll have to convert that if you’re in the U.S.).

#4: Paper and Sage

Another awesome site is Paper and Sage. Find neat pre-made e-book and print book cover designs at low prices. I’m currently seriously looking at their site. Their variety is good and the covers are professional. You can also order custom made covers through this service.

#5: Author Marketing Club

On this site, you’d get to explore the work of an individual artist who designs their own pre-made covers. If you like one, you will email them through the site but you will buy directly from the artist just as you would if you spoke to them directly. Their prices are also extremely affordable. I’ve seen some really professional looking covers for as low as $20.

PreMade Cover for my 3rd Poetry Book.
PreMade Cover for my 3rd Poetry Book.

This is just a fraction of the number of Pre-Made Book Cover Designs available out there for Self-Publishers. I didn’t include 99 Designs because though the process is off the charts (I really enjoyed working with the various professional artist to see who could make the best cover), it’s not ideal if you are on a budget and falls into the custom book cover category.

The benefit of pre-made covers (if you can’t afford a custom cover) is that they are professionally pre-designed by professional artists who understands exactly how to position the font and combine colors and everything that is important to a cover. With all of this information at our fingertips, there really is no reason for a crappy cover.

Remember: Books are judged by their covers! And in this age of technology, there really is no excuse.