Wednesday 1 February 2023

#IWSG February post - Book covers

 Hello all!

Our second posting for the year already. Hope you're all diving into 2023 with renewed vigour and hope.

February 1 question - If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

The question for the month of February is pretty simple - BOOK COVERS.

As a self-published author, I listen to my much-published friends who variously offer advice on what has worked for them.

Fiverr is cheap for beginning authors and a bit dodgy, so it helps to have recommendations. I admit I'm not overly happy with any of my Fiverr covers, but once I find my author feet I'll redo them all. 

I settled on designrans on Fiverr for my vampire novels.

Continued with pro-ebook covers on Fiverr for my first three books of short stories.

But found it difficult to find an illustrator for my Paris Dreams women's fiction novel. Finally, through a friend, I happened upon Kim Killion of The Killion Group.

I'm super happy with her cover and will use her again for my next Paris novel with the working title - Le Petit Paris Kitchen Cookery School. And as a bonus, you can pay for a blurb. Read some examples HERE.

All my covers can be seen HERE.

We're told ad infinitum that the book cover is super important as yes, we do judge a book by its cover. A good cover should reflect the genre. This is enhanced by the right fonts. I look for a great tagline which tells the buyer so much.

Next most important. Flip over to the blurb. Most of us find the blurbs excruciating to write. I get a lot of help with mine and am still unhappy with all of them. But the blurb needs to sit nicely on the back, whether there is an image in the background or colors to match the front cover, the text needs to be clear. At times the blurb gets lost in the back image.

Anyway I'm no expert, but I hope there is a little takeaway within my ramblings. Looking forward to reading what you have to say.

And if you lack funds for cover artists, there are free Canva and other programs. I'm a little too impatient and find Canva a bit annoying, but I did rush one for a Book Funnel promo of a short story. My story had hundreds of downloads which added to my newsletter list, so the amateur cover didn't put readers off too much. But I won't repeat the experience as I believe even a free book deserves a professional cover. That said, I know authors who use the paid Canva option to create amazing covers and a wide variety of clip art for formatting the inside. Go you beautiful  people!


WEP (Write...Edit...Publish) starts today with a bang! Please join us this Valentine's month for the first of our 2023 prompts based on a favorite movie of each Team WEP member.

February's prompt is the controversial film:

Details are published on February 1 on our new-look website. Come across and have a sticky beak!

Posting of entries is between Feb 15 -17.

Submit Flash Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Photo Essays

Winners this month receive a critique from the IWSG's own L Diane Wolfe ... and ...a DRUMROLL ... place in WEP's anthology of the best of WEP in 2023, published early 2024.

Here is a mock up of a cover, simply used as a placeholder. 

Until next time!



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm thankful I don't have to struggle with covers. My publisher creates them with a little input from me. And I've never been disappointed.

Elephant's Child said...

Yet more unseen work for writers...

Denise Covey said...

Hello Alex and Elephant's Child. Alex, one of the perks of going with a small press. EC, for sure. Never ending work for writers.

Kyra Lennon said...

I used to make my own covers, but they were just... yuck lol. Now I have an amazing designer. She doesn't come cheap but she is worth every penny! <3

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Fiverr is cheap for a reason.

Covers are SO important and need to be unique.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I really like your Paris cover. I would struggle to make my own covers too.

A Hundred Quills said...

Paris Dreams has a beautiful cover, Denise. The colours pull you into the world of the book. I've done a temporary cover through Canva to keep me going with my story. I will probably take help with the final thing.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I haven't had to struggle with covers either. Good thing, because they'd turn out frightful.

H. R. Sinclair said...

Your Paris cover hits on all marks! Covers are hard for indie authors no matter how they are made, because indies have to make the final decision on what to use. 🙄😁

cleemckenzie said...

Great job on the covers, Denise! Worth all the effort.

Computer Tutor said...

I see Fiverr a lot on this blog hop. I had never considered them for a book cover!

Jemi Fraser said...

Creating covers requires more skills than I possess, although I had a great time learning the process for Dancing With Dementia

Fundy Blue said...

I like your Paris book cover a lot, Denise. As for me, I know I'd need a professional. Have a good IWSG Day.

Olga Godim said...

I love your Paris book cover. Bright and perky. And I love that it is a painting, not a photograph.

emaginette said...

I love your Paris Dream cover. Stick with them. They have the spark. :-)

Denise Covey said...

@Kyra - I'm with you on that.
@Diane - i'm well aware
@Natalia and @Sonia and @Holly = thanks, It's my fave
@Lee - thanks
@Jacqui - that's all I use them for but I've never been overly happy. You get what you pay for, LOL.
@Jemi - we could all do it if we had the time!
@Fundy Blue - thanks. Me too.
@Olga - yep. I like that too.

Steph W. said...

It sounds like you know a lot about having to do things on your own! I appreciate the advice!

Erika Beebe said...

I love the designs too! I think you've made excellent choices for your books.

Denise Covey said...

@Steph - still heaps to learn.
@Erika - thanks so much.

Diane Burton said...

Love your Paris cover. Makes me feel as if I could step into the scene.

Gwen Gardner said...

I definitely judge a book by its cover, then the blurb, then the first few pages. I guess I'm hard to please. LOL.

Damyanti Biswas said...

I'm familiar with all your book covers, yes!! Look forward to the February WEP--I hope to participate.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love your Paris cover especially the font used for the author's name, I think it nails the genre and has such a feel-good, upbeat vibe! Also loved the dark one, just brilliant.

Toi Thomas said...

Glad you found The Killion Group.
You guys have made some interesting changes to the WEP group.

Denise Covey said...

@Diane - the artist was successful then
@Gwen - too right!
@Damyanti - great to see you at the February WEP if commitments allow
@Nila - Thanks so much. Yes, it's my fave cover.
@Toi - we have Toi. We welcome you back anytime! And Kim Killion is amazing!

Yolanda Renée said...

I've loved all your covers and it was your influence that made me go with a more professional look. the only cover I don't like is the one for MMM, the first book. LOL

Maybe someday I'll try again. LOL

But now for all Novels, I'll always go professional.

One another subject, I'm thrilled to see the response to the WEP, can't wait to see who posts.
Whew, finally got a long enough break to catch up.

How are you? How's George? Email later.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise - I must say the thought of writing a book, or more correctly a sort of book ... the cover aspect always daunted me. So pleased you've sorted your ideas out ... and yes - I do hope all is improving - cheers Hilary