How to find a book cover designer

How to find a book cover designer

You’ve decided to hire a designer to design your book cover!¬†Awesome!¬†So where does a writer start?

  • Google

Using search terms like “Book cover designer” or “book cover design for self publishing” is effective. The more refined you are the better results you’ll get. Add keywords like your location, your genre, ‘affordable‘, or ‘beautiful‘. Try “book cover design” and get familiar with different websites, designers, archives or galleries. If you see some that you love follow through to the website of the graphic designer to get in touch with them.How to find a book cover designer

  • Word of mouth

Facebook and Twitter are amazing resources as search engines. Get in touch with your writing community, ask other self published authors if they had good experiences with their designers or if there’s someone they can suggest. Try using this example:

“I’m looking for a book cover designer. Can anyone recommend a good one?”

This is an especially good resource to use since people’s experiences are usually a reliable way to find someone who will work well for you.

  • Looking at a book you love and checking on the inside for the designer.

The majority of books will mention the cover designer on the inside, possibly on the copyright page or at the back. Pick up a couple of paperbacks you like the look of and check inside. If you put their name in to your search engine that should populate their contact details so you can get in touch with them for a quote. If you can’t find the designer in the book get in touch with the publisher and ask them for the details.

  • Writing/author self publishing forums

Search your regular writing forum and see if there are posts about book designers, experiences, and/or results. Writer’s love showing the end product, and they’re more than willing to share the details of the designer with the forum. If they haven’t, PM the user and ask them if they can provide you the details.

 

What do you do to find the right designer?

  • Browse the work of the designer. You may like one of their covers but it’s important to be familiar with a variety of their work. The cover you like so much may be a one hit wonder, or you might find you’re drawn to their entire folio.

 

  • Consider their history and experience. Have they done only one or two covers, or do they have a large gallery? Are they a writer, which gives them the benefit of seeing things from your perspective? Do they have any testimonials? Are they a professional or hobbyist?

 

  • Go with your gut instinct. This is always the most important element. If it doesn’t feel right- don’t do it. Even if it’s a friend who has recommended them you’re not obligated to work with someone if you don’t want to. Writers are pretty instinctive people so if something rubs you the wrong way then keep shopping. You can always return to the website and get in contact with the designer!


What do you say when you want to get in contact with the designer?

  • What your book is about. Don’t go in to great detail but at least hit the main points, as well as the genre and sub-genre.

 

  • What design/theme you’re looking for. Try and find examples in other book designs so that you can give them a clear idea. If you don’t know then say that instead. Tell them you’re open to concepts and ideas they might have.

 

  • Your budget limitations. Whether it’s $10 or $1000 be honest. There’s no point is telling them you can afford more when you can’t, and you will be in a very tangled web at the end of the project when you are up against a contract that says you have to pay in full!

 

  • Tell them if you have a timeline you’re working with, or not.

 

That is usually enough information to get the ball rolling. Why not get out there now and start window shopping for your book cover? Or head over and read about the 4 things that will make you the perfect client for a designer, to prepare yourself.


Share your experiences below! Have you had difficulty finding a book cover designer? What would make it easier? What resources did you use to find the right designer for you?

2 thoughts on “How to find a book cover designer

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Links – Book Covers | Clary Books – Jennifer Powell

  2. This is good info — a succinct how-to for anyone searching for a cover (or new cover) for their book. I encourage self-published authors to take this seriously! The cover is most likely the first impression people will have of your book, especially strangers who are finding it on their own rather than through your (or a friend’s) personal recommendation. You only have one chance to make a good first impression!

    My experience looking for a designer, when I started looking at a complete redesign of the cover of my first self-published novel, was really quite negative. For a bit of background, I designed the original cover myself. I came up with several designs and ran them by multiple people. The one I chose was the one that had the most favorable comments, but I should have listened to the negative comments more than I did. After publishing the book with that cover, I got a LOT of negative feedback on it, and people were making some really wrong assumptions about the book. Clearly, I wasn’t making a good first impression.

    Anyway, I saw some covers designed for another self-published author who was in the same position of needing new covers, and I liked the work that I saw. Based on that author’s positive recommendation, I contracted through oDesk with the designer. It went all downhill from there. The designer kept trying to redefine the scope of the job as I’d described it in my oDesk listing, and then he finally went silent. He finally dropped out and left unfavorable feedback about me, claiming that I was changing the terms on him! (The only changes I agreed to were those that were to the designer’s benefit, not mine.)

    That experience was negative enough to really put me off the whole task for awhile. I made some changes to the ebook cover, to address a couple concerns people had voiced, but the paperback cover is still the same, and the ebook cover isn’t as different from the original as I’d like. I still want to replace the cover entirely (with the ebook and print editions having the same front cover), but it’s less “in the budget” than it was when I originally tried, so now it’s on hold until I can raise suitable funds to get what I want.

    Overall, my experience was very frustrating. If I’d followed the guidance here, I might have been able to avoid some of that. (However, things can sometimes go astray even when we try to be careful, so maybe it was just a bad roll of the dice, so to speak.) One of the obvious flaws in my situation was bad communication. If your designer does not communicate well, get out while you can. Naturally, that means making sure beforehand that you *can* get out if you need to.

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