- Decide if you need an artist or a designer: Yes both are technically artists and but when I say commission art I mean drawing/painting digital or otherwise. When I say designer, I mean someone who can take photos and make a cover that looks professional and not like you just discovered photoshop. If you are writing fantasy, children’s books, sci-fi or horror, you might want to go with an artist. You can choose art work over a photograph cover no matter what genre you write but you want to make sure that other covers in your genre are being well received by your audience. If no one will look at your book with a painted cover than you should be seeking a designer. After all your cover is your first line of marketing. It’s very important to make sure it fits your genres and what your readers are looking for.
- Where to start looking: For artists, there are two places we have found success. DeviantArt.com and comic cons. I prefer comic cons simply because you are actually meeting the person you will be having a business relationship with. However, if you need a cover and don’t have any local cons coming up, Deviant Art is another good option. I’ve also heard fivrr.com can be a good place but you have to be careful no matter where you look online.
Cover art is likely to be a little bit more expensive I’ve heard of people paying anywhere from $1000 to $150 for cover art. Again it just depends on the artist and how established they are and how much you can afford.
For designers, I have had great success with Instagram. I found one who’s covers looked professional and his prices were right on par with what I think is reasonable. For me an ebook cover should cost between $150 and $200. The other designer I found on there is phenomenal but more expansive, closer to $450 for an eBook cover. Covers are incredibly difficult to design as is evident by all the horrible covers out there. Look at their work and decide for yourself how much you’re willing to spend. Try not to break the bank on your first book though.
- Working with the Artist: I’ve received the best results simply telling the artist about a scene I think can work well for a cover or the synopsis and then letting them go. You are paying this person for their creativity. Let them use it! If you micro manage them your cover could suffer. This is your baby and it’s difficult to let go but if you do you will be pleasantly surprised. I have yet to be disappointed. Also make sure they know how you are paying. You want to commission a cover/piece of art. You don’t want to split royalties. Make that clear from the start.
Well that’s it! How do you find cover artists/designers? Were you happy with the results? Have you ever designed your own cover? Tell us in the comments!
Marissa Frosch is the head of marketing at Amphibian Press and all writes under the pseudonym Cameron J Quinn. She is the author of The Starsboro Chronicles. She can found on Facebook, Twitter, blog and her website.