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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I know I'm new here, but I am currently trying to get a better idea of how writers feel about the current state of book design services, how (if at all) the industry can be improved to better serve self-published writers.

Would the admins mind if I posted a survey link?
 

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I had a look at the survey, but it's only for Australians it seems, and for people who want to spend $100s on formatting etc. I mean no disrespect, but if you want "real" data, you'll need more options. If I clicked anything, it would all be made up because none of it matches my world.
 

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Yeah, this survey is deeply flawed.

I'm not in Australia. I chose the option that I would design the cover myself, but then there were no options for not spending hundreds of dollars for a cover.

I didn't read any further, but I got the impression this was the kind of survey designed to give you the answers you wanted.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
NoahMullette-Gillman said:
Yeah, this survey is deeply flawed.

I'm not in Australia. I chose the option that I would design the cover myself, but then there were no options for not spending hundreds of dollars for a cover.

I didn't read any further, but I got the impression this was the kind of survey designed to give you the answers you wanted.... :(
I haven't been here in a while, but in reponse to your claim that "hundreds" of dollars for a cover is a lot, you're mistaken. Covers sell books. If you hire a lowly skilled amateur to create you a cover for $50, then you're going to get a $50 marketing response. You have to spend money to make money. Any successful business person will tell you that, and you won't be getting a skilled, qualified designer for $50.
 

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I know quite a few designers who will give you a great cover for less than 100. So... perhaps get to know the actual industry a little better and come back with a more relevant survey? :)
 

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QuestDesign said:
I haven't been here in a while, but in reponse to your claim that "hundreds" of dollars for a cover is a lot, you're mistaken. Covers sell books. If you hire a lowly skilled amateur to create you a cover for $50, then you're going to get a $50 marketing response. You have to spend money to make money. Any successful business person will tell you that, and you won't be getting a skilled, qualified designer for $50.
You're out of touch with the market. Do your research. There are a lot of professional designers and cover artists out there, some who advertise on these very boards, who charge $50 or less for covers. Best wishes with your business.
 

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Jim Johnson said:
You're out of touch with the market. Do your research. There are a lot of professional designers and cover artists out there, some who advertise on these very boards, who charge $50 or less for covers. Best wishes with your business.
I was browsing the work over at goonwrite.com last night. The premades there are less than $50 and I was impressed with the quality. (And the HILARIOUS mock titles!)
 

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The survey is highly flawed not so much because of the prices (although it should have open ended top and bottom tiers) but for assuming that the internet still operates within national boundaries.

I'm Australian, but my editor is an American and I'm buying covers from someone in England. And if I choose to make the covers myself (all of those in my sig file) I'll use materials from people all over the world.

My ARC readers are in Abu Dhabi, India, the US, Japan, Denmark and yes, in Australia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jim Johnson said:
You're out of touch with the market. Do your research. There are a lot of professional designers and cover artists out there, some who advertise on these very boards, who charge $50 or less for covers. Best wishes with your business.
People who own Photoshop and actual dsigners are two different things. I can show you thousands of "designers" on Elance who don't know even know how to write a design brief. A cover which is not specifically designed for the book's market is not going to be effective. Design is not simply about making something pretty, it is about creating something which will appeal to a specific group of people in order to boost a product's sales. Researching and knowing that market takes time. That, and the design can't be done in an hour.

In closing, what I will say, is that if someone thinks that spending a couple of hundred dollars is too much to make a success of something they have spent a couple of thousand hours writing, then I probably can't help them. Thanks for the wishes.
 

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QuestDesign said:
I haven't been here in a while, but in reponse to your claim that "hundreds" of dollars for a cover is a lot, you're mistaken. Covers sell books. If you hire a lowly skilled amateur to create you a cover for $50, then you're going to get a $50 marketing response. You have to spend money to make money. Any successful business person will tell you that, and you won't be getting a skilled, qualified designer for $50.
I have no training at all and I made my own covers. $29 for two covers- which I made back the first month I self published. I used software (Free) that came with an old scanner.

They were awful covers. I changed them a few times-learning and experimenting. Cost $0. (I found an old copy of Photoshop).
I recently updated the covers again and they made a huge difference. I did it myself for $2 each.

I've read horror stories on Kboards about cover artists not completing their work or doing substandard work or not wanting to do the next in series. I don't have time for nonsense and I really don't like relying on others. The old adage, "If you want something done right..." applies to me.

Not everyone is capable of making their own covers. Not everyone enjoys the challenge of making their own covers.

But if you want your survey to gather accurate data, you need to include other options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
dianapersaud said:
I have no training at all and I made my own covers. $29 for two covers- which I made back the first month I self published. I used software (Free) that came with an old scanner.

They were awful covers. I changed them a few times-learning and experimenting. Cost $0. (I found an old copy of Photoshop).
I recently updated the covers again and they made a huge difference. I did it myself for $2 each.

I've read horror stories on Kboards about cover artists not completing their work or doing substandard work or not wanting to do the next in series. I don't have time for nonsense and I really don't like relying on others. The old adage, "If you want something done right..." applies to me.

Not everyone is capable of making their own covers. Not everyone enjoys the challenge of making their own covers.

But if you want your survey to gather accurate data, you need to include other options.
Duly noted. I'll revise it for next time.
 

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A couple thousand hours to write a novel? Lolz.

It appears you are a cover designer? Study your competition perhaps? There are plenty of professional designers with lots of experience who don't charge hundreds per cover. There are also great designers who do. Just depends on your genre, your needs, and your budget.  While I agree that spending money on a cover is never a bad idea, it's hardly necessary in many cases to spend hundreds.  There's plenty of options and no need for anyone to settle for a sub-par product these days.
 

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In closing, what I will say, is that if someone thinks that spending a couple of hundred dollars is too much to make a success of something they have spent a couple of thousand hours writing, then I probably can't help them. Thanks for the wishes.
This says it all. This survey is not about finding out what people *actually* do. It's about selling or advertising your services. That's OK, but wrapping it up as a survey is misleading.

Also, there are a number of well known, really good designers out there that people will pay $$$$ for (if they have this money), but they never came in here to disparage either other designers or people who, for fun or out of necessity, did their own thing. I'm talking about people like Damonza or Tom Edwards who is doing some stuff for me.

This is a DYI forum. Help people, like Scarlett, or be a fly on the wall and show us some of your work and let the images do the talking.
 

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I am always surprised at the vendors who show up here, wanting the membership to do something, then when they don't get the answers they want, they proceed to alienate the entire board (including thousands who read but don't post) by proclaiming their way correct.

On the other hand, I patronize several vendors who have come here for answers and actually listened to what the authors said.

How you act when you don't get what you want says a lot more about the type of person you are (and whether anyone wants to work with you) than how you act when everyone agrees with you.

Myra....sigh. Edited slightly. PM me if you have any questions. --Betsy/KB Mod
 

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QuestDesign said:
People who own Photoshop and actual dsigners are two different things. I can show you thousands of "designers" on Elance who don't know even know how to write a design brief. A cover which is not specifically designed for the book's market is not going to be effective. Design is not simply about making something pretty, it is about creating something which will appeal to a specific group of people in order to boost a product's sales. Researching and knowing that market takes time. That, and the design can't be done in an hour.

In closing, what I will say, is that if someone thinks that spending a couple of hundred dollars is too much to make a success of something they have spent a couple of thousand hours writing, then I probably can't help them. Thanks for the wishes.
It's possible kboards might be the wrong venue for you, in that case. Most of the writers here don't spend a couple thousand of hours writing one story, and I'm willing to wager that most of them know they can go to professional, skilled designers for a cover for that story and spend well under $200. And they won't get talked down to in the process. If you take the time to read the posts and understand the authors here, most of us know perfectly well the information you provided in that first paragraph.
 

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Folks,

sometimes people put their foot in it...I know I've done it.  Let's keep our comments civil.  Tough is OK.  Just civil.

QuestDesign--

it's completely true that potential clients take cues from how service providers respond to comments here.  We've had several service providers have kind of rocky starts but were able to build good will by their even tempered and even generous responses to tough questions from our membership.  It can be a tough crowd.  Believe me, I know.  :eek:  But they look out for each other and for the new folk.  This can be a great place for a provider.

Betsy
KB Mod

 
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