5 Ways to Design a Book Cover By Simone Collins, ArtCorgi Co-Founder and COO
Today we welcome a new guest writer to Writer’s Fun Zone, Simone Collins who is stopping by to chat with us today about “5 Ways to Design a Book Cover.” Enjoy!
If you draw a blank when it comes to having cover art made for your book, rest assured you have many budget-friendly options and need not rely on a publisher or agent to connect you to a book cover artist or designer.
Having spent years working with an interviewing authors, working with artists, and creating graphics for a wide range of professional projects, I can share with you five straightforward paths leading to high quality and memorable cover art.
Find an Artist on Amazon.com
In the summer of 2013, I interviewed hundreds of authors about their secrets to success when building a course on independent authorship for a site I built called Gigaverse (it offers free courses on a broad range of freelance professions).
The most popular cover art sourcing practice shared by self-publishing authors I interviewed involved going to Amazon.com, finding covers they liked, finding contact information for the authors of the books to which those covers belonged, emailing those authors, and garnering introductions to their cover artists.
This process is excellent if you would prefer to work with an artist who has a proven track record creating compelling book cover designs.
Find an Artist on an Art Network
Mainstream artist platforms offer more straightforward means by which you can contact promising book cover artists. Most competent artists are capable of creating compelling book covers. They need not have a specialization in creating them.
Behance is the most professional of the three. A higher proportion of those who showcase work on Behance.com are likely to be full time, formally-trained artists. DeviantART features more amateur artists, but on that platform you will also find a higher proportion of skilled artists that are open to creating cover art at lower price points. The same goes for Tumblr, which, while primarily a blogging platform, has a vibrant artist community and is commonly used as a tool for facilitating high quality, low cost art commissions.
Reaching out to potential artist matches on online artist platforms involves a significant amount of patience and time. In addition to spending time searching for potential cover artists, you may need to reach out to quite a few good matches before finding someone who is not only available to create cover art for you, but also willing to do so at a price point and with licensing and logistical terms that work for you
That said, if you have time and patience, this method can yield the best deals and incredibly high quality results.
Full disclosure: I founded and run an art commissioning platform called ArtCorgi.com. It is by building this business that I have discovered many ins and outs of finding artists and having art made online. We recently launched a targeted storefront powered by ArtCorgi called ArtforAuthors.com.
Though this site, you can order specific packages (e.g. just book cover design, book cover + social media graphic design, author portraits, etc.) and select your budget upfront, then have our team match you with the perfect artist based on your style preference and unique vision.
If you would like to have cover art made while expending minimal effort and time on your end, commissioning art through ArtforAuthors.com may be your best option. We handle payment, licensing negotiation, artist and client communication, and quality control. The artists within our network have been carefully vetted. If your chosen artist falls through due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not leave you in the lurch.
Though I created this site and clearly want people to use it, I designed it based on what I had learned about authors’ challenges with cover art, so I like to think the benefits we offer are legitimate.
Given how many free image editing tools available online, there is no reason why you cannot design a book cover independently. If you are a particularly talented photographer, consider tapping into your personal collection of photographs and using a free editing tool like Pixlr.com to design a cover that meets your specifications perfectly.
Just as we saw a blossoming of companies that made it easy to create gorgeous websites using ready-made and customizable templates, we are now enjoying an explosion of companies that make it easy to create stunning designs and graphics.
Canva.com is the most user-friendly design design program I know. If you are uncomfortable using image editing software and/or lack photos and graphics of your own to incorporate into a cover, never fear: this tool boasts an extensive library of free and low cost templates, graphics, illustrations, and photographs that you can drag, drop, and customize to create everything from cover photos to promotional graphics and social media imagery.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simone Collins is co-founder and COO of ArtCorgi.com, an online marketplace that connects everyday people with up-and-coming artists who can illustrate anything imaginable. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Simone was Director of Marketing at HubPages, one of the world’s largest online publishing platforms for freelance writers, where she managed a large community of active and aspiring novelists and writers.