Joe Konrath has been stressing the importance of having the importance of having the right cover for your e-book for years. He says, “Covers sell books. And having a consistent cover style, which can be recognized by fans by sight before they even see the book's title, is smart business.”
But many new authors just don’t have the funds to pay to have a professional create their covers. Until I started to make some money from my royalties, one of my critique partners did my covers. She has Photoshop skills and did a great job within the limitations of that program.
For my upcoming winter release I had a professional cover done, but I did it economically by purchasing a stock photo from www.romancenovelcovers.com/, the site owned by cover model, Jimmy Thomas.
Like RNC, there are other sites that sell stock covers, like http://www.hotdamndesigns.com/bookcovers.asp and http://shinycovers.com/
There are the photo sites that now offer a way to select their photos and create your cover right on their site, like http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-12-colourful-book-ebook-covers-image4290036 ;
The only problem with buying stock cover or using a stock photo is that you take the risk of seeing the same cover on someone else’s book. This happens a lot with romance and chick-it books, but apparently also with mystery. There’s an entire site dedicated to the subject: http://therapsheet.blogspot.com/search/label/Copycat%20Covers
Whichever way you decide to go, here are some things to keep in mind when creating your cover:
What is the story about and what feeling do you want the cover to evoke in the reader?
What kind of image do you want the book to have?
Pretty and romanticSleek and sexy
Dark and scary
Warm and inviting
Cute and comical
Sharp and intellectual
For instance, cartoon covers fit comedy or chick-lit books more than they do a serious romance or women’s fiction story. And even if you have a sexy story, do you want a sexy cover? That’s what I had to ask myself about my Winter 2011 release, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.
The Real Thing (or TRT) is my second faith-based story, and it’s about a married couple. My new cover will most likely raise a few eyebrows, because it’s an inspirational story, but it’s also a sexy love story. Many readers of inspirational romance strongly dislike sexy covers. I can understand their reservations if the characters are single, but I strongly disagree if the main characters are married. I believe sex is an important part of our lives and good sex is a blessing from God.
All that being said, here are Michael and Dee Reese on the cover of The Real Thing. I know this one is going to cause a stir for more reasons than one ...
Kudos to Kimberly Matthews-Hooker and Jimmy Thomas for a great cover!
You can read the next entry in this e-book series here: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com/2011/10/writer-wednesday_19.html