Your book cover design will become the face of your work and as such will always play a very important role, it gives the viewer an immediate idea as to the contents and whether or not they’re going to look any further.
So, understanding this purpose (more than it just looking pretty) is important to you as an author, if you want your book to be taken seriously and ultimately sell, then you need to understand that its advertising, presentation and design will need to be both professional and able to compete within the market.
Most serious authors get this, knowing that their competition is vast and full of big name publishing houses (as well as indie authors) leads them to adopt a professional approach to the launch of their publication. There are close to 2,000 books published every day in the US alone, so without a focused plan you may find it challenging to get people to see your new book.
But the basics of having a great cover to begin with is a must, when faced with masses of competition you can’t cut corners and expect to gain a huge audience. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend thousands upon a book cover design, and some authors do create their own, but unless you have the talent to create something that you’d expect to see in your local Barnes & Noble store, it’s best to get a professional to create one for you.
So, what should you look for with a professional book cover?
Well first you need to think about what it is you want for the cover, what do other books within your genre look like? Who are the big name authors within your genre and how do theirs look? Once you know what your competition looks like you should have a better idea as to how you should approach your own book.
This is important as it will help you find a design team which can match your expectations, every design service will have examples of previous book covers upon their website, this will show quite clearly if they would be a good match for you and your book.
Sometimes you may find a designer that you like but don’t see examples close to your own ideas upon the website, it’s always worth just getting in touch and asking if they have ever done something similar and if so, if they could send some examples. We have completed hundreds of covers over the years and only have a small portion of them upon our own website (it can make websites too cumbersome for use, especially for mobile devices).
Also ask to see examples of previous covers as they appear on Amazon or other online book stores, you should find out if they’ve created for the main publishers such as KDP, Ingram Spark, Lulu, Smashwords, Nook, B&N etc.
Along with the cover you should look at revisions offered within the service, drafts offered and any promotional designs which may or may not come with the service, promotional designs such as banners, 3Ds, posters, GIFs and so on are also very useful in the ongoing promotion of your book.
So, how much should you pay?
This will vary from service to service, some charging prices up to $1500 (depending upon the complexity and designs offered), but on average most covers and advertising comes in at around the $600 mark, you can spend less, but again, it does depend upon what your book needs and how much promotional designs you may need.
But regardless of how much you spend upon a book cover, the most important thing to remember is to give your book the best chance possible, making it look professional and taking a proactive approach to advertising and promotion will give you the best chance of making sales.
Book cover designers.