I want to tell you all a little about why what I do is such an important service.
As I’m also a writer, you might guess that I love telling stories. That is just as true for my design work. Even if it’s a simple business card, my ultimate goal is to create an image that gives a narrative about who or what the contents are. In a word, a story.
This is why I love designing book covers. It allows me the opportunity to give a potential reader a little glimpse into a larger tale. My best work comes when I speak to an author about their novel or short story and hear all the excitement they have about their work. One-on-one relationships with authors give me insights into the stories that a reader might not get. For example, in doing a recent cover, the author told me about the history of his novel’s setting that was not included in the manuscript. As a result of my knowing this, he said he was amazed at how well I captured the look and feel of the place he had only imagined. As an artist who physically renders words into pictures, this is the highest praise I could possibly receive. It gives me a sense of true accomplishment. It’s what I strive for in all my creations.
So that’s my purpose. In a nutshell, I make pretty pictures, but with a very specific intention.
That intention is to sell the author’s product. It’s why what I do is important to writers.
You can find an infinite number of articles regarding the importance of the book cover. It is the first information any potential customer will have about the words within. I cannot tell you how often I’ve been jazzed about a new release solely based on its cover. Maybe it’s the bird part of me that screams “OOO SHINY!” and I can’t help it. Whatever it is, I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.
Here’s an example of what I mean. I was recently talking with a client about redesigning the covers for a series they had out in podcast form. They had been told by listener X that if they hadn’t known the book was that client’s, they never would have picked it up. As a result, this client wanted entirely new covers with a new look to appeal to new readers who might not be familiar with their earlier works. This is a very smart move on their part. A cover can make or break book sales for new or little known authors. If you’re Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, your name is probably going to be the big selling point of your book. As most folks aren’t either of those or a handful of others, an eye-catching design is what’s going to get your work noticed to new readers.
One of the articles I’ve read of late addressed the self-published author and their cover. Essentially, a quality design is going to tell people that there is likely a quality story inside. Whether or not that’s true is squarely on the author’s shoulders, but that’s another subject entirely. The point is, when readers see the work that has gone into a cover image, they are going to jump to a conclusion about the contents. If a reader sees a photo with some words sneezed on top of it, why would they assume there’d been so much as a spellcheck done on the words inside? The opposite is also true. What people see is what they expect to get.
But self-publishing writers are generally not well-off folks. Dropping $1000 or more on a mind-blowing cover image might not be in their budget (Kickstarter and Indie Go-Go aside). Because I *am* one of these broke writers and so are many of my friends, I’m hoping to provide my services to self-publishers for incredibly reasonable rates. No, really. I am fully supportive of this community and want to be a valuable resource for them.
As a result, I am currently offering my work for the following fees. An ebook cover (or podcast cover image) will run $125, and a print cover only $50 more at $175 (includes the ebook version as well). This is the flat fee for any and all image sizes required. What you get as a bonus is a personal relationship with someone who wants you to be successful and will be as passionate about your work as you are. I will listen to your ideas and do my utmost to ensure your expectations are met and (hopefully) exceeded.
To see samples of my work, head over to the Portfolio area. You can also find testimonials from a few of the authors I’ve worked with too, via a link in the sidebar, but I’m sure any of the folks I’ve done covers for would be happy to tell you about their experience with my work if you contact them personally.
In the Contact area, you can not only send me a message with questions or commission requests, but you can also find the basic Project Questionnaire for cover design. This questionnaire is a jumping off point so I can learn about your story and what types of images you require. Further discussion about specific concepts will be discussed with you after I review this form and cook up a few ideas for what will best represent your creative vision.
Other images for marketing purposes can be discussed and priced according to what is needed.
Are you new to epublishing and don’t know where to start? I can provide some guidance on that as well, but at this time I do not offer interior text layout or ebook generation. I am always willing to answer any questions I can, or point you to where you can find the information you need. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask! The publishing world is an ever-changing and often overwhelming one. My goal is to make your experience as easy as possible.
A naked book is a very sad thing. Badly designed ones are even more so. COVER YOUR BOOKS! ;P
Caroline Gill says
I have read over your website and like what I see. You are a bit ahead of me in graphics knowledge, as I am working on my first book cover atm. It is my first time using photoshop and while I think the cover is pretty close to perfect, I am wondering if I can get advice/opinion from you. My husband is placing the book into Indesign. What would I need beyond this image? Should I put the title in the border above or below? etc. These are the type of questions I have for you.
I am not certain what your fee would be to assist me, but I would be pleased to pay you for your time and expertise. Let me know if you can help. Thank you.
Starla Huchton says
I’d be happy to answer some questions for you and help where I can. If you go to the Contact page, you can get in touch with me via email and we can talk more.