Back in October I decided to terminate my agreement with my publishing channel. While this decision will provide me with greater creative control of my existing work, it also presented a major challenge in that I did not own the rights to my original cover design. I was going to have to address this as books don’t tend to sell without covers no matter how many times we are told not to judge them.
I reviewed my options:
- Sit back and sell nothing waiting for a big time publisher to sweep me off my feet and offer to pay for everything. Because that’s how it works, right…
- Do it myself with Photoshop and hope that the casual viewer doesn’t notice the rough edge where I accidentally erased out too many pixels, but hey it is only the cost of a stock photo license!
- Purchase a ready-made cover that might possibly, sorta, kinda, maybe represent a scene or theme from my book. Although, if I find a pre-made cover not requiring a full-page of explanation, does that mean the content of my work is so cliché that a suitable cover is on standby? Does that really matter? This option would be shoestring budget friendly. Meaning I could afford to actually do additional marketing with said cover.
- Hire a professional hoping that with my limited experience I’m able to identify someone capable of reading my mind in 2-4 tries (and in as many weeks or less) well enough to produce a cover that not only do I like, but readers do as well. Because if reader’s don’t, I just bought myself a nice new decoration for my shelf and little else.
- Launch a design contest and throw myself on the mercy of designers, some amateurs playing with Photoshop, some seasoned veterans, but all as hungry to distinguish themselves as I am. Sure, it could potentially cost more than hiring a single professional, but I’d have the one thing I was looking for when I started down this whole road – more choice (and a money back guarantee).
I thought long and hard about my options. It seemed that every 4th tweet that crossed my feed was “Bad Cover = Bad Sales!” No pressure!
After my eyes had gone blurry from viewing pages and pages of images and designer portfolios, I ultimately designed to bite the bullet and launched the design contest (I chose 99designs.com). Entries began to roll in. A few of the early designs looked similar to my Photoshop mock-ups. I felt justified. Talented even (I refused to worry that I made the wrong decision). I began to think maybe if this whole writing thing didn’t work out I could earn some spare change selling my own pre-made covers.
Additional entries started to roll in, and wow! I thought to myself, what an interesting idea – I wouldn’t have considered doing that! Now I understand what separates my Photoshop dabblings from experienced professionals. Keep them coming. In the words of my 2yo, “More! More!”
I found myself with over 160 entries in less than a week, and more than half of them were completely unique (I believe my experience may be atypical – I was told to expect 30). Suddenly all that choice I wanted so badly a week ago was overwhelming. How can I pick just one? What if I pick the wrong one? Too much choice was almost as paralyzing as having no choice. I was once again stressed, but it was worth it.
Thankfully, the contest offered the option of sending out a poll and letting the public vote. After whittling down the list to a few favorites, I asked, and a number of you answered. I am now extremely pleased to present the winner and new cover of An Uncertain Faith!
Cover by Danny Design Studio, Photography by Dave and Les Jacobs.
10 thoughts on “And the winner is…”
Congratulations! Nice cover by the way.
Thanks! Glad you like it! I am super excited!
This is truly gorgeous! I never thought of doing a cover design contest. Good luck with your new release!
Thank you! And good luck on your final book in the Conjurors Series.
That is a truly unique, thought-provoking cover. Looks like your experiment paid off! Congrats!
Thanks! I never would have thought of it myself.
Like the new cover!
Thanks! I like it too!
I know this is old, but for what it’s worth, I think you made the right choice! It truly is a lovely cover.
It was a very hard contest to judge, but I love it.
I don’t know if you are interested in the book behind the cover or not, but it will be free on Amazon on Sat, Jan 30th as it is my birthday this weekend and I wanted to celebrate.
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