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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

I just dropped £700 on the cover for my book, Flashback. I explain a bit more about the process in a blog post over at Me And My Big Mouth in the UK.

Here's a snippet. If you'd like the read the whole post, here's the link.

Tediously, it's me again. Not more than a few weeks ago, I was holding this blog hostage with a post about the tribulations of publishing my book, Déjà Vu. The traditional route hadn't worked. It hadn't worked for so long, in fact, that the 'future' in which the book was set was about to pass by with one of those 'whooshing' sounds. I was willing to turn to the Church of the Latter Day Kindle - can I get a 'Hell yes?' - and turn I did.

I am back to report, friends and neighbours, that I have got me some Holy Ghost power and a bad case of the born-agains.

No, verily.

The story so far: Déjà Vu is selling for 70p in the UK and 99c in the US. It's been selling since the beginning of March. In that month, I sold 320 copies in total; in April, 938; and in May (thus far)...um, 666 copies.

Riiiiight.
Cheers,
Ian
 

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Nice covers--both of them. 

I've been looking around for just the perfect cover for my latest project. It's very difficult because the style I want is different from my two current artists.  I've contacted the PERFECT artist...three or four different ones...and no response at all...

I'd blame it on me being a cheapskate, but when they don't respond at all, I can't very well blame myself.  The single biggest problem I've had with art is getting in contact with and getting a consistent, reliable response from the artist.  With one of the books, I contacted 9--NINE artists.  I finally was able to make arrangements with one.  Of the nine I tried only 3 responded.  One disappeared after initial contact, one "started" the project and then disappeared...and number 3 did the work in a few weeks.



 

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Ian, I love your cover. Did you hire a big name? To answer your question, I hired someone I trust to work on my covers. My bills are a fraction of what you paid, but it doesn't matter if you are happy with the result. And, you should be, because it looks great :)
 

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Short answer: Yes definitely

The cost depends on what you are getting and what you expect out of the process. If, for example, you want a custom photo shoot of your characters in accurate historical costume & styling PLUS three concept drafts of the design (to begin with) then even more edits on those said concepts...then expect to pay $1000-$5000.

However, if you only need a cover with maybe 3 stock images and only one concept with a handful of draft changes then you can certainly get a great looking cover for under 200$ (sometimes WAY under).

Whichever way an author decides to go it's always best to hire a professional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MariaESchneider said:
Nice covers--both of them.

I've been looking around for just the perfect cover for my latest project. It's very difficult because the style I want is different from my two current artists. I've contacted the PERFECT artist...three or four different ones...and no response at all...

I'd blame it on me being a cheapskate, but when they don't respond at all, I can't very well blame myself. The single biggest problem I've had with art is getting in contact with and getting a consistent, reliable response from the artist. With one of the books, I contacted 9--NINE artists. I finally was able to make arrangements with one. Of the nine I tried only 3 responded. One disappeared after initial contact, one "started" the project and then disappeared...and number 3 did the work in a few weeks.
Maria, I also contacted a cover artist via Joe Konrath's blog and he never got back to me. Ultimately, I decided to go for the professional option. It's steep but effective!

Cheers
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
R. Reed said:
I don't know the current exchange rate, but £700 is, like, a LOT of dollars. I paid less than $100 and I think I did pretty well.
You're right, R. Reed - it's a lot of money. And I do like your covers. But I think paying $100 would be a bit of gamble (though I agree it's paid off in your case).

Best wishes
Ian
 

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Illustrations can be really expensive. A lot of the novel covers with the photo-realistic people (Like Steve Erikson books or a lot of urban fantasy) are like 10k a pop.

A few hundred dollars is really a steal assuming you get decent work. A lot depends on your genre and what kind of cover you're going against I imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
aaronpolson said:
Brilliant covers Ian, but the cost. Whew. £700 is a mound of money.
You're right, Aaron! I should add that the first of the two covers - Déjà Vu, on the left there - is a home-bred one in that I bought a piece of clip art and created it myself. I knew how lucky I was to come up with a cover like that and was even more adamant that I wouldn't let the side down by having a crappy cover for the second book. I'm going to publish the next book in 2012, which gives me ample time to try and produce a cover myself!

Cheers
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
momilp said:
Ian, I love your cover. Did you hire a big name? To answer your question, I hired someone I trust to work on my covers. My bills are a fraction of what you paid, but it doesn't matter if you are happy with the result. And, you should be, because it looks great :)
Momilp, I did hire a 'big name' in the sense that the designer has a track record of producing great covers and is used as a freelance by companies such as The Friday Project (a UK division of HarperCollins). Her name is Emma Barnes and you can find her here

Cheers
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Amera said:
Illustrations can be really expensive. A lot of the novel covers with the photo-realistic people (Like Steve Erikson books or a lot of urban fantasy) are like 10k a pop.

A few hundred dollars is really a steal assuming you get decent work. A lot depends on your genre and what kind of cover you're going against I imagine.
10k sounds a bit steep, Amera, but a piece of original artwork seems to be de rigeur for fantasy, and when it's well done, it's hard to beat.

Cheers
Ian
 

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Lovely covers.  I think the cover itself is a testament of quality.  You would not sink that much into the cover if you did not believe in the novel's potential.  I dropped $500 for one of my covers because I believe the cover is a true sign of the excellence of the story.  Best of luck with the new novel!  It sounds like you are already on your way!
 

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Yesh. =/

I can't imagine paying that much for a cover, but if you can afford it, by all means! =]
 

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Ian Hocking said:
You're right, R. Reed - it's a lot of money. And I do like your covers. But I think paying $100 would be a bit of gamble (though I agree it's paid off in your case).

Best wishes
Ian
I have gone the cheap route a time or two and gotten artwork I can't use. I've also gotten some very good art for inexpensive. So it should be said somewhere in here that hiring someone is not a guarantee. Like anything else: Try to go with someone recommended. Know their portfolio of work. Make sure they communicate well and often. You're not just paying for their art ability--you're paying for professionalism--this includes answering emails in a timely manner, answering questions and being clear upfront how many changes you can ask for (some artists offer "none" and some will "tweak" while others will offer two or thee mock-ups early in the process to choose from.) Last but not least: You do NOT always get what you pay for. Quality art in some ways depends on the eye of the beholder. So like the style before you hire. Understand the contract. Ask a lot of questions upfront and specify a deadline. This last point can be critical if the artist "disappears." Make it clear that after a certain date, you will likely not be using the artwork and thus if a deadline has to move...communication is key!!!
 

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MariaESchneider said:
I'd blame it on me being a cheapskate, but when they don't respond at all, I can't very well blame myself. The single biggest problem I've had with art is getting in contact with and getting a consistent, reliable response from the artist.
I hear ya! I'm a huge cheapskate myself, but I'm in the same boat. I've contacted several artists, even artists that frequent KB, here. Notta. Nothing. If you found a good artist that you're happy with, can you PM me their info?? :)

Seriously, though, that's been one of my biggest issues as well.
 

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Ian Hocking said:
You're right, R. Reed - it's a lot of money. And I do like your covers. But I think paying $100 would be a bit of gamble (though I agree it's paid off in your case).

Best wishes
Ian
Ian,

Price alone does not predict quality.

Streetlight Graphics charges considerably less than you paid, and have delivered lovely covers to many authors. They did my cover for MOST LIKELY, but they also do original artwork covers.

And if you want to pay less than you've paid before, but still feel price = quality, Phatpuppy Art delivers mind-blowing covers for many authors here, from Amanda Hocking to J.L. Bryan to many others... and charges around $550 USD which I'm guessing is maybe 200 British pound or something...

Unless your purpose is just to brag about how much you paid. In which case, job well done, sir! Your covers are very nice! :)
 
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