I should have chapter 4, or 1.1, completed today and up for review….maybe. I try not to push myself harder than a chapter a week with my job and family time, always, and rightly, taking my time away. But on to happier news.
I got my bookcover! Yayyyyy! No it wasn’t free, and as I have a rather limited and anonymous fanbase, I decided I was going to pay for it. I first started looking into book covers and where to find an artist a few years ago, and did a quick writeup on fiverr and royal road a few months ago as part of my “writing tips” section. It can be found here: link
The tricky thing about Royal Road, is if you don’t have a book cover on the website, your submissions look like straight trash. The image below is a view of what you get with and without a cover. Do I think it makes a difference in readership? Absolutely. If you have a book cover, it shows you either put in the effort to get it commissioned, you drew it yourself or have people who like you and can draw (colloquially called friends), or you’re really good at google and not getting caught for copyright. Do I hope to get more readership? Absolutely. But this is a cover I paid good money for (little over 200+), and as I mold and morph my serial at around chapter 1.92, I’ll likely use it for my digital book cover as well (because I paid over 200+).
So, what steps were taken to find the right cover artist for me? The quick breakdown is below:
- Find a website that has “starving artists” on it. Don’t think negatively of me, all starting authors are starving artists too. According to Mercedes Lackey, a professional cover artist charges at least 1k, and if you want it exclusively it’s 3k+. I paid 200+ for what I consider a professional book cover, and was promised exclusivity by the artist (information at the bottom). This was done at Fiverr.com
- You can look through categories, or search book cover, and find the Right artist. For The Boy and the Stick, whenever I get around to finishing it, I see pastels in my head. For Grey, I wanted a more realistic version and less of a cartoon. For Creation, I’m interested in a style that is a bit like Terry Brooks in the 80’s. You can look through the artists body of work on the website, then look at the packages and decide what’s right for you. Many offer a 3d mockup (spine, cover, sometimes placed next to each other), but I’m not sure if I’ll ever need the full bang (for my buck).
- Find the artist you like, then talk to them a bit. You need to have an idea for what the cover should look like, and provide images, even if they’re out there (crazy), so they have an idea to work off of. The below image that I’ve settled on (and quite happily) started with a bunch of google images showing the transition of colors in greyscale, and I sent my artist a description of what the character looks like and what they’re holding. Then we started a discussion for what I’m interested in.
- Now you pay. Can you get ripped off? Not on Fiverr. Fiverr requires that you move through all revisions (changes) and are happy with your final delivery before they submit pay. For the 200+ I spent, I was allowed 5 revisions but only asked for 2. I had him soften the background transition from white/black to grey, and changed the sword from a katana (his initial work) to a longsword (more in-line with my written work). I also had him change his left hand from holding a magical orb (my initial idea) to a fist. The whole process took about two weeks, and the artist was very professional about it. I received a final delivery yesterday, with a google drive link to all of my work, and it’s now on the artist’s (information below) example list.
Do you have to use fiverr? No probably not. Hell you can commission your friends if you want to. I don’t really have too many friends, and I especially don’t have friends who draw on this level (or create digitally). So this is what I did. I hope this guide helped anyone who wanted a professional book cover created, and that you continue reading my serial Grey (should have a new chapter soon). Thanks!
Artist who created the book cover: Terrell
Link to artists body of work: https://www.fiverr.com/nitelite_studio
Average charge for a standard package: 200+
Revisions allowed: 5
Time for creation of cover: 2 weeks, I believe normally it’s a bit faster.
I'm a high school English teacher in Texas. I also hold degrees in radiography and radio and television broadcasting. Though I obtained certain knowledge and skills from my prior degrees, I do not currently use them.