Publish or Perish: Cover Story

I\’ve made some headway in my search for a graphic designer/cover artist for Renna\’s Crossing. I finally got myself to sit and scroll down through tumblr tags that matched the general aesthetic I\’m going for with Renna. That resulted in a list of 11 potential artists and illustrators; now the selection process begins. And that selection goes both ways; I\’m unsure of how many of these artists are at all interested in a book cover project like mine. But the next step for me, at least, is to whittle down my first, second and third choices, and then to actually send The Email. If those three are no\’s, we continue ad nauseum.

I\’ve also peeked at some of the first-page hits on google to see what the high-SEO blogs are telling me, or at least what affiliate links they\’re pushing on me. There was some actual decent advice to be found, although you have to take it piece by piece. In totality, it becomes the same flavor of \”you-should soup\” that characterizes a lot of the whole \”writing about writing\” industry. It\’s all decent advice, in the most general sense, but most of it is also common sense.

The best nugget that I could dig out was about ranges of pricing for cover design. There is the \”free option\”, of course, where you overestimate your graphic design skills and make one yourself. Then there are the whole slew of freelance-aggregator sites like fiverr and whatnot that water down the competitive value of people\’s creative skills to a weak miso broth. If you want to spend $5-100 on a cover, there you have it.

Then there are the more \”boutique\” options, sites that curate and promote graphic designers with decent online portfolios, who also hopefully get clients from places other than fiverr. The prices here seem to hover around the $400-800 range, which sounds right for a professional book cover. I\’m still not interested in submerging myself in a middleman corporation\’s \”environment\” to do business with these artists, however, so I\’m still strongly considering contacting an illustrator through their own channels and going from there. Another thing I need to do is spend some time looking through book genres that are similar to Renna and finding examples of covers with elements I\’d like to emulate.

I\’m hoping to devote some time to this in the next couple days; once I get further in this process I\’ll update again.