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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having trouble finding affordable art, creating covers for my ebooks.  I am very cash strapped, so paying for a professional is out of the question at the moment.  Later I hope to go back and replace the covers with professionally made ones, but I need to earn some money first.

My genres are Heroic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.
 

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I don't have any data on it, but my guess is that an ebook with no cover at all will not sell well at all. Even the title on a colorful background will do better than nothing.

Have you looked into your local college/university? Even high school? Some students will gladly exchange cover art for a reference, and a chance to put something in their portfolio.
 

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If you can't find a student to undertake this, then try www.fiverr.com where you should find several graphic artists able to do a cover for $5. It is worth checking their feedback and see samples, but for a fiver it isn't too great a risk ;)

In answer to your question ... a cover is hugely important, without it you'll lose many potential sales. It is the same as in a bookshop, if someone is just browsing ... the cover, the author and the blurb are what most people base their buying decision on.
 

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Maybe trade with another author? Offer to put a chapter of their book on the end of yours in exchange for some cover art? Or have a contest on your blog and the winner who creates the best cover art gets a free ebook copy of your book.

I wouldn't try selling it without a cover.

Vicki
 

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How much would be too expensive for you? You dont have to spend a hundred bucks or more for a quality cover. My artist charged me 60 for an awesome cover.

http://www.tarawest.com/

If that price range is still too high, you still have a lot of options. Dara's premade clearance covers are only 15 bucks.
http://mycoverart.wordpress.com/clearance/

I believe razzle dazzle do some affordable pre-made covers as well, maybe check around the boards for their name.

You definitely want a cover. If you decide to use smashwords in addition to kindle, I believe they require you to have a cover in order to get premium distribution.
 

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TWGallier said:
I'm having trouble finding affordable art, creating covers for my ebooks. I am very cash strapped, so paying for a professional is out of the question at the moment. Later I hope to go back and replace the covers with professionally made ones, but I need to earn some money first.

My genres are Heroic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.
Just PMed you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Third Man said:
If you can't find a student to undertake this, then try www.fiverr.com where you should find several graphic artists able to do a cover for $5. It is worth checking their feedback and see samples, but for a fiver it isn't too great a risk ;)

In answer to your question ... a cover is hugely important, without it you'll lose many potential sales. It is the same as in a bookshop, if someone is just browsing ... the cover, the author and the blurb are what most people base their buying decision on.
Thanks, that site looks promising.
 

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Rachel Schurig said:
How much would be too expensive for you? You dont have to spend a hundred bucks or more for a quality cover. My artist charged me 60 for an awesome cover.

http://www.tarawest.com/

If that price range is still too high, you still have a lot of options. Dara's premade clearance covers are only 15 bucks.
http://mycoverart.wordpress.com/clearance/
Great couple of sites, this thread is a very useful reference already, thanks.
 

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Victorine said:
Or have a contest on your blog and the winner who creates the best cover art gets a free ebook copy of your book.

Vicki
That's a good idea, as I'm sure there a several readers who'd love to be responsible for the cover of the book they read.
 
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TWGallier said:
I'm having trouble finding affordable art, creating covers for my ebooks. I am very cash strapped, so paying for a professional is out of the question at the moment. Later I hope to go back and replace the covers with professionally made ones, but I need to earn some money first.

My genres are Heroic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.
It ain't going to happen, especially in those two genres. A heroic fantasy without even a mediocre cover is doomed to be ignored.
 

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I wouldn't buy one. If an author can't even put together a cover, there's no way I'd trust him to tell a good story.
 

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TWGallier said:
Thanks, that site looks promising.
I've used fiver before and been pleased. There are several ebook cover designers there.
 

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I agree with David.

The good news is, a lot of the premade covers mentioned early work really well for urban fantasy :).  Plus, there are a ton of great stock photos out there you could use if you'd like to try to DIY.
 

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When I first uploaded my very first ebook, I had no cover.  At the time, I was young and innocent in the ways of publishing.  And yes, I did sell a few copies.

I think it greatly depends on genre.  I had some non-fiction up for a long time with no cover and I still made sales.  All of my free flash fiction on Smashwords is coverless and make consistent downloads.  But... they're free  ;D

But covers are definitely worth it.  If nothing else, you start to take your own work more seriously.
 

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TWGallier said:
I'm having trouble finding affordable art, creating covers for my ebooks. I am very cash strapped, so paying for a professional is out of the question at the moment. Later I hope to go back and replace the covers with professionally made ones, but I need to earn some money first.

My genres are Heroic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.
Can you do your own type? Can you crop or resize an image? How comfortable ARE you with image software of any kind? (Dean Wesley Smith does his short fiction covers in Power Point -- which horrifies me, but frankly, the key is whether you are comfortable using a software package -- can you make it do what you want?)

If you can do that, you might try some of the "free textures" sites to look for a good background, and then just put text over it. (Just remember that the more detailed textures smooth out to plain in the thumbnail.)

Fotalia has a lot of good art for cheap. It depends on how clever and creative you are, though. I suspect you'll have an easier time finding good cover art for cheap for your urban fantasy (gritty urban landscapes) than for heroic fantasy. But they have some nice images which might do. Still, a leather book cover or something like that might look good with the right typography.

You won't be mistaken for a professional without a great cover. That's just the way it is. So the question is, if you CAN'T do a professional job, what does the least damage?

IMHO, a simple cover is better than no cover, if you can master your type. But you could experiment while you search for a good cover option -- put some up without covers, some with simple covers. See if it DOES make a difference, and in the meantime, save your pennies or learn more about design, so you can get a real cover -- and see how that goes.

Camille
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
RebeccaKnight said:
I agree with David.

The good news is, a lot of the premade covers mentioned early work really well for urban fantasy :). Plus, there are a ton of great stock photos out there you could use if you'd like to try to DIY.
I agree. We're just going through a very "spartan" time at home right now. I made one cover from a stock photo, and for Urban Fantasy there are more options available from free to very cheap for do-it-yourself covers. But for Fantasy it really needs a certain look, and that is currently beyond my ability. I just started working with GIMP two weeks ago. Still struggling with layering. Simple stuff, I'm sure, but there's a learning curve.
 
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