Do you love the clean, light simplicity of the Apple logo? Or are your more into the zany black and green playfulness of Android?
There are many places to hire book cover designers. You get what you pay for.
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Designers who are able to charge 2k and up for the services, do so because their books SELL. The highest quality option is always to hire an independent book cover designer. Many of the best book cover designers in the world, who work regularly with major publishing houses, are available to hire on a freelance basis. There are a few ways to find these people.
One of the best options is Reedsy, a freelance marketplace designed specifically for authors.
The other option is to go to more general design sites, like Behance or Dribbble, and search for book designers there. They can be a bit slow to respond and difficult to get in touch with, but the quality there is outstanding as well. But the best method is to look inside your favorite books, and see who designed the cover. On 99Designs, you post a detailed brief with all the technical parameters and visual examples you pulled, and then their designers read this information and post their work. Dozens of designers take your brief, design a cover, and post it for your approval.
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That way you can see the designs, get some ideas, and hopefully find a great cover. But, if not, no harm, and you can go back to the drawing board with the other options. The next step up the quality ladder would be a freelance network like Upwork. The overall quality on Upwork is not high, but there are some quality designers hidden on there. Expect to take your time to find the right person on one of these sites, but you will be able to find them.
Job ads typically get dozens if not hundreds of responses, and designers typically link a portfolio of past work. Do a side by side comparison of the covers you liked when you did your research on Amazon. Do they appear to be of similar quality?
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Portfolios are the only thing that gives you a real picture into the quality of their work. Everything else is just marketing. There are a ton of book cover designers on Fiverr, but almost all of them are absolute garbage. Think of it this way. Here is where all that work you did before comes into play. Schedule your first call to be phone or video.
Email is very hard to effectively communicate with strangers, especially about abstract concepts like design.
Prior to the call, send them a cover design brief. This should include all the book covers you like, all the logos and other pictures you like, and everything else you assembled. Do this at least a day ahead of time, designers like to have time to digest images and ideas.
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This should be standard for good book cover designers. They will come up with an array of ideas, and show you at least 3 different ones. Once you get the mock-ups back, if one jumps out at you, great. Get back on the phone with the designer, and—while being polite—be as specific as possible about what you would like different. This is not about getting angry or frustrated with the cover designer. Remember this: your cover designer is a human who has feelings, but also a professional that wants to do a great job.
You are both on the same team.
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You can be firm, but also polite and understanding. This is crucial. Look at it from all angles; print it out and put it across the room.
Think of every possible way someone will look at it—on a screen, in a bookstore, etc—and make sure it stands out that way. Can you read the title? Is the image clear? Check it as a thumbnail too. Does your cover look good when you shrink it down to a tiny thumbnail? Establish a principal focus for the cover—nothing is more important than this one thing. Your book is about something, and the cover ought to reflect that one idea clearly.
You must have one element that takes control, that commands the overwhelming majority of attention, of space, of emphasis on the cover. This just confuses people, and confused people become repelled. Type needs to sit within the appropriate amount of emptiness in order to be readable. A quality designer will intimately know the appropriate font sizing for subtitles, blurbs and author titles. Asking for them to be bigger, is merely going to drain the impact from your design.
All done! You can leave it the way it is or add embellishments to make it your own. If you used blank cardstock for the cover, draw your favorite comic-book character on the front or add wiggle eyes, feathers, and a beak to make it look like a bird. Make a collage of your favorite photos, or decorate it with glitter glue, markers, or stickers.
Use your imagination! Want a book with more pages? Make multiple booklets by following steps , glue the booklets together, and then add your cover. Just make sure your cover is big enough to hold all your pages inside. Step 2 : Fold the paper it in half widthwise so it makes a short, fat rectangle. Step 6 : Fold the paper in half, following the previously made creases. Step 7 : Bring the sides together to form a booklet.
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