The Value of a Great Book Cover

I’ve been following a discussion on LinkedIn called, How much would you pay for a custom cover design?

First and foremost I want to say that a book cover design should not be measured by how much you paid for it, but whether the concept and design will be effective in advertising the content within.

You worked on the writing of that content perhaps for years. Are you saying that the cover that represents that heartache and struggle is not worth investing in? Something that will have your name on it and you will proudly hand out to others at events, conferences, and sell online?

The pricing can certainly vary depending on many factors.

  1. Does the cover need original artwork, such an illustration, photography or hand-lettering?
  2. Is the cover designer very experienced or fresh out of school?
  3. Is the author self-publishing their first book, or have they established themselves with many?
  4. Is the cover for the author or the publishing company?

I see in the comments some paid as little as a few hundred and others more, but they aren’t seeing the true value and importance.

In a previous post on what makes a great book cover, I wrote this: “Great book cover design comes from combining learned skills, marketing techniques and putting oneself in the shoes of the customer. At the same time, pleasing the publisher, editor-in-chief, book editor, marketing director, sales director, and most especially, the author.”

The steps you should take (or not take) to make sure that your cover design is a winner:

  1. Do not hire a friend or relative unless they are a professional book designer.
  2. Do your research and look at the designer’s portfolio. There are so many different styles and ways to go. Be sure when you see something you like, you show it to the designer.
  3. Get price quotes from the top 3 book designers you are considering.
  4. Don’t use one of those online barnyards of “I’ll hire everybody to work for free and then pick one that I kinda like.”
  5. Write down important aspects of the story to discuss with the designer, such as overall plot, the characters, important events, etc.
  6. Look at other books in your genre so you can discuss what you like or dislike with the designer.
  7. Ask a colleague whose cover you liked, who designed it, and if they are willing to disclose the price range, ask.
  8. In the bookstore, if you see a book cover you like, check the credit for design and Google them.

Remember this fact: That book cover will represent YOU forever. Your name is on it. Hire a professional.

Below is a cover that had an original illustration and hand-lettering:

Teen Treks - Great Arts Camps for Kids and Teens


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