Workshops & Coaching Sessions
on How to Write a Book Yourself

How do authors get covers for their books

Today’s self-published authors are competing with big publishing houses in the online marketplace for new readers. Opting to forgo lower royalty rates from publishers to keep more of their profits, self-published authors enjoy a lot of freedom and control over the work that they publish to the world.

But while that offers many advantages, there are certainly drawbacks to an author taking on this responsibility.

For example, self-published authors are responsible for their own marketing. Every decision about marketing is the author’s responsibility. This means that an author will need to decide where to advertise, how to advertise, and how much money to spend on advertising. And of course, the author has to foot that bill.

One important area of publishing that many authors do not even think about when they decide to publish their own books is the book cover.

Fair or not, a book cover is one of the most important pieces of a book’s success or failure. Even though we all know not to judge a book by its cover, most prospective readers use book covers to determine whether or not they plan to purchase and read the book.

An author with a good book cover can attract new readers quickly and easily, building their potential audience and growing their business.

But an author that chooses the wrong book cover design for their latest book could be leaving a lot of money on the table. An unattractive or inappropriate book cover can severely hamper sales, leading to far less success and profits than would be enjoyed if the author had invested the proper amount of money and time into their cover design.

If you are new to self publishing, you may be wondering what your options are to get a book cover designed for your book. The following is a list of different ways that you can obtain a book cover design for your book. Some of these are cheaper than others. Others might be more expensive. All of them can be successful strategies, and they all can fail.

The truth is, no matter what book cover design you choose, you need to be mindful of what kind of designer you work with, as well as how professional the design is. Just because you spend a lot of money on a book cover design doesn’t mean that it’s the best one for you.

Use an online design program

Our first option is to design the cover yourself using an online design program. There are many different online design programs available today, and some of them even focus exclusively on book cover design.

Canva is one of the most popular online design programs on the market today. You can use Canva for free, and they have templates that you can use to build a sharp-looking book cover rather quickly.

Canva is great for those authors who want to design their own book cover, but they don’t have much design experience. The cover that you design with Canva will probably not blow readers away. But, you can get a clean and simple design using this free tool. This may be enough for you to use it. After all, any book cover design is probably better than no book cover design at all. If budget is a concern, using an online design program is probably your best bet.

Go deeper with Photoshop

Building on the last option, a book cover design can be built professionally with Photoshop.

Of course, Photoshop can be a rather advanced tool. If you are familiar with design and its software, Photoshop might be a good option for you. There are plenty of templates available online today that you can use to build your book cover from scratch.

The only risk in using Photoshop or an online design tool is that you are assuming that you know the design principles that make a good book cover. That’s not to say that you don’t. There are plenty of successful self-published authors who designed their own covers. They save a bundle of money, and they have a product that sells.

However, given all the risks that you have to take on yourself when you self-publish a book, you may want to consider some of the other options on this list rather than doing it yourself.

Buy a pre-made book cover

This may seem like it’s not going to be a very effective solution, but there are scores of designers available online today that offer pre-made book covers for you.

Here’s how it works: a designer builds a website and loads it up with images of pre-built book covers. Some of them specialize in particular genres, and others like to cast a wider net. They post the images with placeholder language on the covers, and you are free to place orders for those book covers. Once you place the order, the designer takes that design off of their website, as it is now yours. They pop your copy into the placeholder copy on the cover, and now you have a professionally designed book cover.

This is a great middle ground between designing it yourself and hiring a designer to build a custom design for you. Pre-built book covers are very professional-looking, and many designers are willing to tweak the designs to better fit your book’s subject matter.

But not all pre-built book covers are created equal. There are some designers out there who do not know enough about quality book cover design. And because they are selling their designs for so cheap, you run the risk of picking the wrong design just because it looks good, and it has no effect on your sales.

If you can do your due diligence and figure out exactly what makes a good book cover, you might be able to find a prebuilt book cover design that works for you. And in that case, you will likely save hundreds of dollars on your book cover design with this option.

Go to Fiverr

Fiverr is a controversial marketplace among many freelancers. You may be familiar with it as a place where you can get $5 gigs from a lot of people who don’t seem to value their own time. But you can take advantage of it for cheap.

There happens to be a marketplace of talented designers on Fiverr that can whip up a custom book cover design for you at a fraction of the cost of some of the more established solutions.

Why is that? I don’t really know. But the truth is, some Fiverr designers are very talented. And their fees come in a lot lower than some of the fees of the more professional designers. Turn around times tend to be rather quick, and the final results can be very good.

The drawback to Fiverr is the same as any of the others – you need to understand what you are buying. If you buy from the wrong designer, you run the risk of paying even a couple hundred dollars for a subpar book cover design that doesn’t do anything for your business.

Again, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad solution. If you know what you are looking for, you can score some major deals on Fiverr with international designers that are very talented. Just be sure you know what you are looking for.

Invest in a professional design

This, of course, is what everyone thinks of when they think about book cover design. Hiring a professional designer to build a custom book cover for you is going to be the most complete and professional solution. If you have the budget at all, this is the way to go.

A professional designer that specializes in book covers is going to work with established principles to build you a book cover design that not just attracts the eye but helps your sales.

The cost of a professional designer can range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars. And quality book cover designers that are in high demand may have a lengthy wait time for your order to be completed.

There are lots of things to consider in hiring a book cover designer, but if you can find the right fit for your books, it would be well worth the investment.

Regardless of whether you design it yourself or hire someone else to do it, spend a significant amount of time on your book cover design. It is a very important puzzle piece that you need to get just right if you hope to build a successful career in self-publishing.