You'll set your own price, see work from dozens of talented designers and choose from an average of 110+ original custom designs. We promise world class customer support (we're an American Business Awards Winner for Best Product/Service) and an easy to use process. With our money back guarantee, crowdSPRING offers a proven, fast, and risk-free way to buy a professional book cover design at an affordable price.
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The following was originally published on Andy Kaiser's blog.
Artists are expensive.
This is not a complaint - people should get paid what they're worth. I just mean that book cover design is a specialty profession requiring not only artistic ability, but specialized technical skill in publishing and layout design, which means it costs money.
When I first started down the route to have someone else create my book cover, here are some standard prices (all are accurate, though I've kept the names private because I don't know if the artists I approached want this information made public):
Artist 1: Will produce a very realistic, excellent quality, custom painting for the book cover of consisting of just about anything I want. He is the cover artist for a fairly popular children's book series. Price: $2500.
Artist 2: An artist who is completely self-employed with their artistic skillset, and they do a lot of custom graphic design, specializing in book covers. This artist does a lot of design work for self-published authors, and the results are the kind of work you see when you walk into a book store. Price: $1500.
Artist 3: The art wasn't this person's day job, but the artwork was excellent. They had done a several book covers. Price: $1000.
…and I should mention that of all these artists, they had long lead times (meaning it might take weeks or months to finish) and that the quoted prices were their average, but each one could go up by another $500 to $1000, depending on the project.
All of the above is why I signed up for crowdSPRING.
What is crowdSPRING?
crowdSPRING is a collection of "creatives" - designers and artists and people who are all way better at creating book covers than me.
crowdSPRING provides the talent network, financial transactions, and the logistic and legal project management structure from start to finish. I (as the buyer) provide the project and the payment.
It's a competition - I post a project, state what I'm willing to pay for that project, give details on what I want, then I watch the results roll in from any interested creatives. In my case, my project was about average for the amount of people participating: 17 artists submitted book cover concepts, and there were 65 total covers submitted
What does crowdSPRING cost?
t's a bit of a sliding scale, depending on how much you're willing to award for your project. In my case, here's what it cost me:
In order to give out a $500 award, I had to pay a total of $713. In exchange, crowdSPRING gives me access to their network of creatives, the freelance artists and designers who compete to create what I want.
Was crowdSPRING worth it?
Yes, yes, very much yes. I love the service. However, I love crowdSPRING because of the creative talent it's pulled together. Will that same level of talent be there tomorrow, or a year from now? Or when you start your own project? I certainly can't guarantee that. However, crowdSPRING does have methods of tracking and rating various creatives, as well as providing portfolios of their past projects - ones in which they've won and didn't win. You can browse this information free of charge, and I'd recommend doing so to make sure your expectations are met before you commit money.
With the above said, crowdSPRING also provides a money-back guarantee: If you're not happy with the results, you can cancel the project, and lose nothing apart from the listing fee. So a failed project (for whatever reason) doesn't mean you wasted a lot of project funds.
The short story: I used crowdSPRING to get a book cover designed by a great artist and I'm very happy with the result.
The world's best entrepreneurs and companies prefer crowdSPRING. Here's why: you'll have more choice, pay less and work with some of the most talented designers in the world. With our 100% money back guarantee, custom legal contracts and award-winning customer service, crowdSPRING offers a proven, fast, and risk-free way to buy custom design at affordable prices.
Your book is about something, and the book cover design should reinforce that theme. Pick an element that takes control and reflects that theme. Avoid including too many elements in your cover.
Think of your book cover design like a billboard that you see on the highway. If the billboard has too many elements, you'll never be able to figure out what's being marketed. Billboards usually have a few words and are intended to quickly communicate to people driving 60 miles per hour. Make sure your cover does the same thing. What is the genre of your book? Can you feel the tone of the book through the cover?
Yes! Every photo, image and word you include in the cover should reinforce the message you're trying to communicate to the reader.
Especially today, when books are sold mostly online, you should avoid white backgrounds. White backgrounds disappear on a page, especially when shown as a small thumbnail. Use a color, a texture, or a background illustration instead.
The size of the title is very important. Reduce your book cover design on screen to the size of a thumbnail on Amazon and see if you can read it (some online publishers use slightly larger thumbnails, but the Amazon book cover thumbnail is a good standard). Can you make out what your book is about from the thumbnail? If not, keep working on it and simplify the design.
When you reduce the cover to a small thumbnail, can you read the title? Avoid using script fonts - those can be very difficult to read, especially when someone is seeing a thumbnail of your cover design.
Look for imagery that expresses the mood or overall tone of the book. You want to provide a context, not a literal image.