I don’t think there is any good argument for a cheesy cover and as an author myself, it’s pretty easy to spot the self-made covers by authors with no design skills. Indie covers are much better than they used to be, but readers are more savvy too and bad covers make them pre-judge the writing inside. As an author, when I see a really bad cover I wonder if the author self-edited too? Unless you’re a skilled designer, you’re sabotaging the success of your book by making your own cover.
This Pinterest user has even devoted a board to bad ebook covers that she pins from Amazon.
Point 1: The Cover is Everything!
It’s a very important consideration when publishing your ebook. It’s what catches the reader’s eye if they’re looking at several thumbnail book covers on one page at Amazon. This is called an impression and if you win the impression contest you’ll likely get the sale. A good cover will distinguish you from those do-it-yourselfers.
Profile of a do-it-yourselfer:
-Checks out Fiverr.com for an ebook cover.
-Decides they don’t even want to spend $5 on a cover.
-Boots up their Commodore 64 and creates a cover using the pre-Paint program in Windows.
It looks like this. Book designers across the world cry a little.
By contrast, a potential buyer sees your excellent cover and assumes the quality of the cover translates to a quality book and they click the buy button. I love this cover!
Point 2: Covers Don’t Matter!
It’s word of mouth, reviews and superb marketing skills that sell your book and even if it has a mediocre cover the potential buyer will still want it because everyone else says it’s great. Once you’ve earned some book royalties you can always reinvest it in a better book cover.
I agree with both points. I think indie authors, especially in the beginning, need to focus on putting out a quality, written product, garner good reviews and learn how to leverage those things to sell their book regardless of the cover. If it ever comes down to spending your money on editing or a cover. Spend it on editing. At the same time, to compete for attention, indie ebook covers should look like some effort has been made to make them compelling and attractive. Then, let your writing, reviews and marketing skills take it from there.
I’ve used the same designer for years for my nonfiction covers. KillerCovers.com I buy a stock photo that conveys the general message of my book and Killer Covers creates a design based on the stock photo. Someone might use the same stock photo but the design elements are unique.
Some Help for Budget Conscious Indies
This is a short list of indie cover designers who do ebook and print on demand covers. The focus of this list is AFFORDABILITY because, trust me, you can spend a lot more. That’s a different post. My advice to you is don’t judge a book designer by their covers either. Seek out recommendations from your indie author friends who have covers you like and ask for testimonials from the designer that you can verify. It’s your hard earned money. Power down your Commodore 64 and keep your covers OFF that bad ebook covers Pinterest board!
Know of any other good, budget friendly, indie cover designers? I’ll add them to the list. Just leave a comment below.