Author Topic: Some advice on book covers for new authors  (Read 3996 times)  

Offline jb1111

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Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2021, 03:15:18 am »
Interesting thread. I think a lot of the expense may depend on the genre. If one is starting out, it's probably a good thing for them to look over the competition and at least match the cheapest cover designs that actually sell, and then perhaps go up from there.

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    Offline Stagewalker

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #26 on: January 09, 2021, 07:32:02 am »
    Colleagues, I am an amateur photographer. I am comfortable with Photoshop Elements and AutoCadd. I created all the covers for the books you see in my signature. They all include manipulated photos I took or requested permission to use. Some include elements created in AutoCadd  I did this because I could. Not everyone has access to the photographic subjects I have in my area.

    In retrospect, I probably would have been better off hiring a professional cover designer, but these covers cost me only my time.

    Look at the covers and decide.

    Bob

     
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    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #27 on: January 09, 2021, 07:41:22 am »
    Colleagues, I am an amateur photographer. I am comfortable with Photoshop Elements and AutoCadd. I created all the covers for the books you see in my signature. They all include manipulated photos I took or requested permission to use. Some include elements created in AutoCadd  I did this because I could. Not everyone has access to the photographic subjects I have in my area.

    In retrospect, I probably would have been better off hiring a professional cover designer, but these covers cost me only my time.

    Look at the covers and decide.

    Bob
    Do you realise your links below don't go to your product page?

    Anyway, what I wanted to say was that many people make their own covers; I do myself and I have people asking if I would make them one. But, for what I write they are fairly basic and I use Photoshop. If I wanted to write fantasy or sci-fi I would definitely not attempt it myself. There are many good graphics that can be bought from stock photo sites and used with the text added, or I can manipulate a couple of stock photos. But not everyone can do this and I think those are the people the post was aimed at. Those and new authors who might be on a tight budget. For them, I would say get a premade, if you can't do it yourself. They should be fairly reasonably priced.


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    Offline Clay

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #28 on: January 10, 2021, 02:27:00 pm »
    No, most professional designers will not hand over the PSDs.

    You're speaking about your own business. A lot of professional designers WILL hand over the flattened PSD file so that you can edit the title in the future. There are tons that wont, probably true, but newcomers have the right to know before they purchase an expensive custom design they have the option to NOT work with cover artists who operate in that manner.




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    « Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 10:45:36 pm by Becca Mills »

    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #29 on: January 10, 2021, 03:53:14 pm »
    You're speaking about your own business. A lot of professional designers WILL hand over the flattened PSD file so that you can edit the title in the future.

    I'm speaking about a lot of cover designer's businesses. I know this, because I spend a lot of time in cover design groups, and we discuss things like this.

    There are tons that wont, probably true, but newcomers have the right to know before they purchase an expensive custom design they have the option to NOT work with cover artists who operate in that manner.

    Of course they have that right. They can work, or not work, with whoever they want.




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    « Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 10:47:50 pm by Becca Mills »
             

    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #30 on: January 10, 2021, 04:15:31 pm »
    Most designers won't hand over the file (flattened or otherwise) but some will for an extra fee.

    New authors certainly shouldn't expect it. And certainly not for free.

    It's true that designers sometimes go MIA mid series, or they become booked very far out, which can make it hard to get a cover on time.

    And, certainly, some designers are not so easy to work with or but that timely. IME a lot of issues with designers come from communication. Authors don't have a visual vocabulary. Designers don't always know how to work around that. They don't always keep authors posted on timelines. And different people have different processes. Sometimes they don't mesh well.

    But none of that includes scamming. It's hard working with other people sometimes, especially if you have something specific on mind... Or if you really don't know what your cover should look like.

    Offline Bite the Dusty

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #31 on: January 10, 2021, 04:35:56 pm »
    NikOK, please extend your pleasant vibes to every thread possible. It encourages discussion over fighting, and we need more of that, not less.




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    Offline boxer44

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #32 on: January 10, 2021, 04:36:10 pm »
    Like any kind of art, writing, photos, with copyright.  You can buy whatever rights you want, or will pay for, or that the artist is willing to sell.  If I were to pay an artist to do any artwork for me, I'd buy all rights, or go elsewhere. 

    I'd never want my book cover in any form to appear on any other books. AND, if that book hits the charts, then the artist still has the rights for peripheral promotions - Like T-shirts, posters, mugs, etc. But that's just me, and how I feel personally about it.  Then again, I create my own covers, or my wife does (an artist as well) ... so its more a personal issue with us.

    I believe new authors - unless can you bankroll yourself - don't need extravagant covers, depending on genre. Some genre almost insist on a great piece of art, fantasy and science fiction come to mind.  But others, like most romance, need a male or female model, or both, maybe neither, and don't require the time and effort that goes into those others.  In fact, success wears a lot of hats - cover, blurb, exposure, writing style, patience, and likely a piece of luck stirred into the pot.  Any one of those missing likely effects the success of an author or an artist.

    When e-books first appeared with an apparent seventy percent profit, authors jumped right out there with a 3.99 or 4.99 book, still thinking seventy percent.  Then the business end of publishing emerged, and that seventy percent became sixty, then fifty, the forty, then thirty or less when cover art, promotion, advertising, editing, took its bite.  When an author pays a hundred bucks for a cover, that author can recover that fairly soon - or even eat it. But when it costs eight or nine hundred, that's takes a bigger wallet, and a lot more sales to even break even on the cover alone.

    Then consider freebies, ARC, and other components of a publishing business. Computer, internet, programs, and operating fees.  Now, we're really getting up there in costs, and feeling a big chunk of that seventy percent disappearing.




    Offline Bite the Dusty

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #33 on: January 10, 2021, 04:39:21 pm »
    I've seen authors time and time again get upset over the ignorance of readers. Why won't they do x, don't they understand x, etc. Doesn't it make sense that designers might get frustrated with us sometimes, especially if we're talking about things we don't fully understand as if we do. It's so easy to assume the worst when you could just ask why something is standard instead.

    I think there's some truth to the saying you get what you pay for.
    « Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 10:04:11 am by Bite the Dusty »

    Offline Sam B

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #34 on: January 10, 2021, 04:45:29 pm »
    Yeah, I've worked with six different cover designers, all professional individuals whom I would thoroughly recommend, paid between $40 and $400 for a single cover, and think every single one of them was worth the cost--especially the $400 ones.

    Not a single one of those designers has given me a PSD, nor have I asked for one, because I paid to use their art, I don't own it. Also, usage laws are pretty strict about multiple people using stock photos that have only been paid for once.

    Pay what you can afford for the best cover you can get for your book. If it's $20, that's amazing. If it's $800 and you can afford it, good for you.

    Offline NikOK

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #35 on: January 10, 2021, 05:02:16 pm »
    I've seen authors time and time again get upset over the ignorance of readers. Why won't they do x, don't they understand x, etc. Doesn't it make sense that designers might get frustrated with us sometimes, especially if we're talking about things we don't fully understand as if we do. It's so easy to assume the worst when you could just ask why something is standard instead.


    I totally agree with you here.  Doing something for your job is always a lot different than you think it would be in your head.  I'd bet that there are a ton of things cover designers do that I would never even think about.  Super point!

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #36 on: January 10, 2021, 06:09:02 pm »
    Yeah, I've worked with six different cover designers, all professional individuals whom I would thoroughly recommend, paid between $40 and $400 for a single cover, and think every single one of them was worth the cost--especially the $400 ones.

    Not a single one of those designers has given me a PSD, nor have I asked for one, because I paid to use their art, I don't own it. Also, usage laws are pretty strict about multiple people using stock photos that have only been paid for once.

    Pay what you can afford for the best cover you can get for your book. If it's $20, that's amazing. If it's $800 and you can afford it, good for you.
    Same. And I agree completely. I sold initially based on my covers and my titles. 

    Paying a good cover designer is like paying a good repairman. Maybe the repair is easy, but did you know how to do it? My covers don't take my designer long, but she's incredibly good at hitting the tone I'm going for with that series, and locating me within the genre while still keeping me firmly on-brand.

    Your cover matters. If you have terrific design skills and are willing to invest serious time to learn how to create a knockout cover that fits in your genre--awesome. If not, pay somebody.

    And I didn't see anything wrong with Shayne's responses. Heck, I agree with him.

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #37 on: January 10, 2021, 10:07:42 pm »
    You're speaking about your own business. A lot of professional designers WILL hand over the flattened PSD file so that you can edit the title in the future.

    If they are flattened, they are not the source files. As Shayne said, he doesn't want anyone fiddling around with the individual layers and ruining the design. That's not the same as a flattened file with just an extra layer for the text.


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    Offline abgwriter

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #38 on: January 10, 2021, 11:38:05 pm »
    I find this debate interesting because I come to it from both sides of the spectrum. Three years ago, I was a brand new author who created their own cover, and today, I am a graphic designer that works with several authors and whose prices range from $50.00 to $225.00 (yes, I'm one of the mean designers according to this thread). I'm also in the same designer group Shayne mentioned, btw, so it's not some mythical lie they are making up. And for what it's worth, none of the 100+ designers of that group would give their PSD for free (some do for a fee, including me), because of many reasons, most of which are just as Shayne mentioned. All I want to say, is that as an author, none of us would skirt when it comes to editing, type-setting or proofreading our book, because it's the things that will make our art the best it can possibly be. A cover (although it may seem different to some people), it's not different. Designers don't do what they want and just charge you for it whatever price they want. They take every suggestion from the author into account, they spend hours adding details, changing things, scouring for fonts and stock for which they pay out of pocket, just to create a single work for an author. Those stock and fonts they might never use again in another cover.
    And we've talked about designers flaking authors, but nobody's mentioned the other way around. I've had plenty of authors that have started a series with me, used my artistry and expertise to create an original design for their first book, and then take that same design that I spent hours on to a cheaper designer for them to replicate or change slightly for the rest of the books of the series. And can I complain about that? Of course not, because they have every right to do whatever works best for their budget. I'm just mentioning it so that people following this thread may get another idea of why some designers charge the way they do.
    As a brand new author, I created my own covers, and they worked for me at the time, as I am sure they could work for any new author with an eye for aesthetic and art and some skills to pull it out. God knows there are several services that can help them create something they are happy with, either free or inexpensively. But you shouldn't belittle the work designers do just to hammer that point home. Also, be careful when you recommend new authors to always go for the cheaper options. The horror stories of authors who have bought covers on sites like Fiverr for a heavily discounted price and then found out that their art is either stolen or has copyright infringement are a dime a million. New authors don't have to know about the design market. They are new authors. The ones who know the design market are designers themselves, those who have been working it for a while and are familiar with how the rules work for the publishing world. Those experienced and knowledgeable designers usually charge more than $100 for a cover, so if you paint all the designers who charge more than $100 for a cover (with paperback included, if I understood your OP) as scamming sharks out to prey on the poor, gullible new authors, you are effectively closing the door on them learning exactly what the market entails, and setting them out for failure even more.
    I agree with the OP's underlying point, that new authors shouldn't have to pay $800.00 for a cover for their first book (hell, for my first book I paid for my editing with a service trade, save up where you can!), but belittling the work of an entire area of service professionals is hardly the right way to let them know this. 
    « Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 11:33:48 am by abgwriter »
     

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    Offline Gessert Books

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #39 on: January 11, 2021, 10:25:20 am »
    Yeah, providing source files for free is not something generally done in any area of graphic design. The usual practice is optionally sell them, usually for a pretty significant amount; some may offer em up for little to nothing but this isn't really the norm on the whole. So like with the sub-$100 covers thing: it's great when you can find someone that does that, and they do exist; but folks that don't aren't being dodgy or anything.

    Offline liamashe

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #40 on: January 12, 2021, 04:32:07 pm »
    I find this debate interesting because I come to it from both sides of the spectrum. Three years ago, I was a brand new author who created their own cover, and today, I am a graphic designer that works with several authors and whose prices range from $50.00 to $225.00 (yes, I'm one of the mean designers according to this thread). . .

    Very nicely put! Full time designer and part time author here, as well, and I truly appreciated your perspective on the discussion.



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    Offline edipet

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #41 on: January 13, 2021, 01:33:54 am »
    I made it clear that they can charge whatever they wish.  As to the tinfoil nice attempt to paint a different picture.

    I read your post on the top, the long one, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said. Yes, further down there was a rebuke from someone on every statement you made. It sounded conspicuously like a designer or someone in the e-cover design business.

    There is no excuse for any designer to charge $300 per cover, much less $800. There is no reason for them to charge even above $100 - all of them use and re-use the same free stock images/covers - shutterstock, bigstock, and any other pix site. There are couple of dozen fonts that are used across the genres and that's it. You don't have to 'pirate' fonts; they're free on download - tons of them. A custom cover means nothing. Most often it is the same as the premade covers they display on their sites. Those that cost $50 - $80.

    I know a cover designer who charged $800 per cover to an indie author who is well-established and making a living from self-publishing so he could afford it; but I saw the same cover with very minor alteration on the designer's website as a premade, for $80.

    I know for a fact that epublishers - small publishers - have cover designers on retainer or contract, and pay no more than $20 per cover. I got that from a graphic artist who has worked for a small publisher for the last twenty years. And it's still $20. But he makes money because it's volume. These are all facts when it comes to ebook cover costs.

    But there is another collection of facts that ecover designers don't want to hear about - and that is that 98% of indie authors, self-publishers do NOT make more than $1500 per year from their writing. They're artists. In my opinion they occupy a higher rung than ecover designers. But indie authors can't 'demand' or set their own price for their books because they would sink in that endless sea of self-published works.

    Your advice for novice writers actually applies to all indie writers. You need not - and should not - pay more than $80 or less for an ecover. Maybe $100 if you want a print wraparound but why would you spend money on trade paperback when Amazon is the only one making money from those. Amazon and third-party re-sellers who do not pass any royalties from trade-paperbacks to you. You spend all that money on making a paperback and Amazon 'entices' third parties to come to their marketplace by letting them sell, and re-sell your books, by-passing you with royalties. Stick to e-books and ecovers.

    Shop around all the ebook cover designers and their websites. Pick those who have premades and then make a choice from those. And if you ever make it as far as being able to make a good living from your writing, then you can get fanciful and go rub shoulders with artists who try to convince you that you're getting a unique masterpiece for $800 a pop. If you can afford it, it's fun to believe you are getting a unique product. But 98% of us can't afford it. So designers should come down from their artistic cloud and shake hands with reality.


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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #42 on: January 13, 2021, 03:27:11 am »
    From my perspective, I'm not sure why i would need to spend $200+ on a book cover. That's not because I don't think it's worth it or that designers aren't worth their prices, but I tend to think it helps if you have a specific idea in mind. Genre also makes a difference. Personally, as I have images and fonts in mind, some of the hard work is already done. While I will always think quality is important, I'm sometimes perturbed by this long list of things you absolutely MUST spend hundreds on or you'll be lost in the crowd - you have to get an expensive cover, an top editor, a top proof-reader, a top formatter. For most of us, the likelihood on ever seeing a return on this is very slim no matter how slick it appears. Again, I fully respect the craft and if I was making enough on sales, I'd happily pay someone to do just about everything other write the book itself. However, while I will always speculate to accumulate to some degree, I can't justify spending the kind of money that I'll never ever see back even if I live to be as old as Yoda.

    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #43 on: January 13, 2021, 11:10:17 am »
    But there is another collection of facts that ecover designers don't want to hear about - and that is that 98% of indie authors, self-publishers do NOT make more than $1500 per year from their writing. They're artists. In my opinion they occupy a higher rung than ecover designers. But indie authors can't 'demand' or set their own price for their books because they would sink in that endless sea of self-published works.

    Do you really think pricing for designers is different? If they charge more than their peers, they price themselves out of the market. It's the same situation. Yes, one is a service and one is a product, but both are subject to the whims of capitalism.

    If a designer is reselling the custom cover they made you, then, yes, they are cheating you. But I have never seen a designer do this. They may riff off the cover and make something similar. They may even have a signature look. I can usually tell when one of my designers did someone's cover. There's just something about her design. But they don't repeat designs.

    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #44 on: January 13, 2021, 12:01:09 pm »
    I read your post on the top, the long one, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said. Yes, further down there was a rebuke from someone on every statement you made. It sounded conspicuously like a designer or someone in the e-cover design business.

    I am a cover designer. There was no 'suspiciously' about it, because I said it straight out in at least one of my posts.

    And yes, I disagreed with the OP. Because a lot of what he was saying was incorrect. If he'd stopped at saying that authors don't need to spend a lot of money on covers, I would have agreed with him. If he'd stopped at saying beginner authors shouldn't spend a lot of money on covers, I would have agreed with that, too. But then he started casting aspersions on our entire industry, and that's when I disagreed with him. Because we're not all a bunch of scammers who don't care about our authors, and I won't stay silent while someone says we are.


    There is no excuse for any designer to charge $300 per cover, much less $800. There is no reason for them to charge even above $100 -

    How about all of our time and expertise? Or the fact that we need to eat and pay our bills just like you do? If you don't want to pay for a cover, that's totally up to you. But please don't crap on our entire industry just because you don't feel the need to use it.


    all of them use and re-use the same free stock images/covers - shutterstock, bigstock, and any other pix site. There are couple of dozen fonts that are used across the genres and that's it.

    This is totally incorrect. Shutterstock and Bigstock, as well as many other sites, are not 'free'. They are 'royalty free', which means the people who use them don't have to pay royalties for using them. But the stock costs us money to license. And yes, of course we use stock. That's how a lot of us offer covers at a much lower price than $800. Because we're not doing illustrations from scratch.

    And yes, there are certain fonts that tend to show up a lot in certain genres. That's because they represent the genres so well. But most of them cost money. Some are quite expensive. To a lot of people that's a value-add, because they like the really fancy fonts. They want a really nice cover that looks like a piece of art, and they're willing to spend the money to get it.



    ... 98% of indie authors, self-publishers do NOT make more than $1500 per year from their writing.

    This is very true. Well, I'm not sure about the 98% part, but a lot of authors don't make much money from their books. A lot of authors don't even make $1500 per year. Some make less. Some make none at all. But that's got nothing to do with cover designers. That's got to do with the fact that a lot of self-publishers don't treat their writing like a business. They don't advertise. They think they can just throw their books out there and they'll float on their own. But they won't. They go super cheap on the editing, or just don't do it at all, and then wonder why they keep getting reviews that complain about the poor editing. They don't understand things like genres, or the need to have a cover (even if it does only cost $50) that makes the genre clear at thumbnail. I've seen this so many times when a client comes to me and I ask them what genre their book is and they don't know. And they think it doesn't matter, but it does, because people are far less likely to click through to read the blurb if they can't tell what kind of book it is, or if they think it's not the kind of book they're looking for. This is why an on-genre cover is so important. Because it tells a potential reader that this book is the kind of book they're looking for. So when cover designers say that a beginner author would do better with a pro cover, that's why. Because a lot of authors don't know the genre conventions, or don't understand why they're important, and so they end up with a cover that doesn't speak to that book's potential readers. And that is likely a big part of the reason that so many indies don't do very well. Because the cover is all about marketing your product, and you can't do that if you hamstring yourself with a cover that says the wrong thing.



    They're artists. In my opinion they occupy a higher rung than ecover designers. But indie authors can't 'demand' or set their own price for their books because they would sink in that endless sea of self-published works.

    I really can't begin to wrap my head around this attitude you have. You say indie authors are artists, but cover designers are not. Aren't we all creatives? Haven't we all, as creatives, heard someone say that we should give away our art because 'art should be free'? If you, as an author, would like to be able to charge what you feel your stories are worth, how can you not understand why cover designers would also want to charge what we feel our art is worth?


    So designers should come down from their artistic cloud and shake hands with reality.

    Why should we? There are plenty of authors who want professional covers and will pay professional prices to get them. Because they understand the value that we provide. Cover design is a skilled trade and what we offer is worth while. Some authors want covers that are works of art. Some just want a nice cover because they spent a lot of time on their book and they think it deserves a cover that looks nice, one they can look at with pride. Some want pro covers because they know that pro covers will help them get Bookbubs. And some want a professional cover because they know that readers will judge the book by the cover on it. They know that if the cover looks unprofessional, readers will assume that the content of the book was treated with the same lax standards, and skip on to the next book. There are plenty of authors out there who will hire us because they see our value, so why should we drop our prices to what amounts to less than minimum wage just because a few people think what we offer is worthless?
             

    Offline EleanorRigby

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #45 on: January 13, 2021, 12:19:08 pm »
    I was recently searching for stock images, just for a little inspiration. A couple of days later I was looking at one of the pre-made covers sites and saw the exact same picture I'd seen on the stock site, only it had been darkened a little and had some text pasted over the top. It was available to buy for $90 + dollars!

    Original works are indeed an art form and worth paying for but some of those pre-made ones are a massive ripoff if you ask me

    Offline c'est la vie

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #46 on: January 13, 2021, 12:39:49 pm »
    This thread is so cringe.

    There's being smart and then there's being cheap.

    I don't know how they put up with us, honestly.

    Offline abgwriter

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #47 on: January 13, 2021, 01:13:57 pm »

    But there is another collection of facts that ecover designers don't want to hear about - and that is that 98% of indie authors, self-publishers do NOT make more than $1500 per year from their writing. They're artists. In my opinion they occupy a higher rung than ecover designers. But indie authors can't 'demand' or set their own price for their books because they would sink in that endless sea of self-published works.

    I wonder if you go to your landlord or local grocery store and tell them that, since you are an artist that makes less $1500 a year from their art, they should charge you only $50.00 for rent, or sell you food for the month for under $100 bucks. Or maybe when you are starting a hardware business, you go to the hardware store and tell them to give you the tools at a discount, because 50% of new business fail to make it to the 5 years mark. But still designers should know their place and charge less just because most authors won't make good money on their books?
    What makes authors different than any other business owner? Let's not call it art, because under that hat, we are all creatives, regardless of whether you think your art may or may not have more merit than ours (since you stated yourself that you consider author in a higher rung than designers). You are business owners, we are business owners. Just like authors would love to sell their books at $100 ea if the market allowed it, we set our prices at what we consider the market allows for our level of skill. The difference is that while the author might go on to make several times their starting price, the designer will only ever get that one time fee. And sure, writing may constitue arguably more work than designing if you look at it from a purely time-consuming standpoint, but when you pay a designer's price, you are not paying for the final cover alone. You are paying for their years of experience, their reputation in the market, and the expertise they have accumulated from working with dozens of other authors. You also pay for the security that they stand by every part of their product.
    We are providing a service, we stand by the quality of that service, and we also don't force anyone to purchase or do business with us. If you can find a reputable, skilled designer to create book covers for you at under $100.00 more power to you. But stating that all designers should "come down from their cloud" only because you don't consider their prices fair is very self-entitled.   
    « Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 01:17:53 pm by abgwriter »
     

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    Offline boxer44

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #48 on: January 13, 2021, 01:20:59 pm »
    I'd be curious how many 'do-overs' a designer does in order to satisfy lower cost covers vs. high cost covers.  I'm sure designers do both, I mean why turn away business if it take less time for a low cost cover if you have the time.  Plus, that's less hours - less money vs. more hours - more money. It probably evens out on the hourly revenue board anyway.

    But, I'm wondering, Do the higher end projects find more 'nit-pick' clients or generally the same in the sense of 'do it again', but 'this way' more often???

    I'd also think an e-book cover would cost less than a e-book and print. I would seem a little more complex to do artwork for both. One because you generally deal with a thumbnail and the other a wrap sheet that will be larger and even more visual if you hold it in your hand.  If you do a print cover, then the transition is fairly simple, a crop. but e-book to print cover, more time and more complex.

    Then there's the other half of the equation.  When I do my own covers, I know exactly what I want to see, and can read my own mind, and can do it in a few hours or so.  I'd expect the designer -- writer exchange of ideas may not happen that easily, and designers cannot read the minds of writers. 

    That old saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' - and I bet writers would need at least a good portion of those thousand words to describe a book concept and a cover idea to a designer, and may still not create that exact visual.  Maybe more, maybe less, in the mind's eye. 

    Offline abgwriter

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    Re: Some advice on book covers for new authors
    « Reply #49 on: January 13, 2021, 01:37:16 pm »
    I'd be curious how many 'do-overs' a designer does in order to satisfy lower cost covers vs. high cost covers.  I'm sure designers do both, I mean why turn away business if it take less time for a low cost cover if you have the time.  Plus, that's less hours - less money vs. more hours - more money. It probably evens out on the hourly revenue board anyway.

    But, I'm wondering, Do the higher end projects find more 'nit-pick' clients or generally the same in the sense of 'do it again', but 'this way' more often???

    Designers in the higher-end of the spectrum like the $800 that you've been reading about, usually do offer more exclusive perks, like more revisions and sometimes even custom photography or boutique stock. But beyond that, an author who goes to a designer in the $800 mark is not really looking for higher customization (since a lot of cheaper designers offer the same customization levels), they are looking for #1, the particular level of skill or detail that designer has, and #2, the prestige. A lot of $800.00 designers have covers featured in best-selling books or books that get constatly recommended in Zon. Authors want that same look for their covers, so that readers will see their book art and be reminded of those best-seller books.

    I'd also think an e-book cover would cost less than a e-book and print. I would seem a little more complex to do artwork for both. One because you generally deal with a thumbnail and the other a wrap sheet that will be larger and even more visual if you hold it in your hand.  If you do a print cover, then the transition is fairly simple, a crop. but e-book to print cover, more time and more complex.
    E-book and print combined do usually cost a bit more, but the reason why pricing usually revolves around ebook alone, is because a lot of authors never bother with a print design. It's an add-on to a product, not the product itself. Also, although it might seem that way, making an e-book cover into a print requires a complete re-structuring of the design, since the format of both types of cover is not the same. We have to adapt the covers to the format of each different print service, and often fine-tune it several times until it fits their specs.

    Then there's the other half of the equation.  When I do my own covers, I know exactly what I want to see, and can read my own mind, and can do it in a few hours or so.  I'd expect the designer -- writer exchange of ideas may not happen that easily, and designers cannot read the minds of writers. 

    That old saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' - and I bet writers would need at least a good portion of those thousand words to describe a book concept and a cover idea to a designer, and may still not create that exact visual.  Maybe more, maybe less, in the mind's eye. 
    We go back to that $800.00 mark. The authors who go the $800.00 designers trust the designer completely to come up with something that is well-branded, genre-appropriate and will fit their initial vision. They usually don't concern themselves with the little details because the designer's PROVEN track-record puts them at ease that the final product will be great.
    And even when the author has a very hands-on approach, most designers offer free style consultations regardless of their price. And yes, sometimes an author and a designer might not be a good fit, but that's why the market needs to remain varied and free, so that either can walk away and there are still plenty of options available for all tastes.
     

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