The question of whether I should create my own cover or hire someone to do it for me is literally eating at me. Generally speaking the advice I seem to have encountered time and again is to hire a professional if you want to get results in regards to sales. Of course I want my books to succeed, for a very important reason actually; I’m broke. Then that would also be the reason as to why it’s difficult for me to scrape together some cash to hire said professional to do the cover for me.
I have seriously looked into both options extensively and feel pretty stuck truthfully. Following ever so faithfully much of the advice I have found on the Smashwords webpage, I tried downloading an amazing program called Gimp. So amazing in fact that I fried my noodle tried to wrap my poor non-technical mind around its abilities. For anyone who could figure out how to work it (which it honestly didn’t seem THAT hard) it was literally PACKED with features that seemed like there was nothing that couldn’t be done with a simple photo. For myself however, it was a poor fit, so I uninstalled it.
My next step was exploring the work of some of those professionals I kept hearing about. The idea of handing over the technicalities after telling someone what I wanted was fabulous. Examining online portfolios and upfront pricing made it easy to choose a designer that seemed to fit the type of style I was looking for. For anyone with the finances to allow it, I would recommend scraping the idea of designing your own book cover unless you really know what your doing. The headache involved in trying to learn how to use programs and then manipulate all your images isn’t worth it when you could be spending your time doing what you do best; writing.
All that aside, I’m back to square one due to finances. Taking another approach to designing my own cover, I’ve been cruising through stock photo websites like Shutterstock and istock. I have it in my mind that perhaps I can simply find a stock photo that provides the feel I’m looking for and spend some time examining the fonts that seem to jump out at me on existing covers on amazon. I feel like there’s some things I have left to attempt with the existing programs on my Mac so maybe with a few youtube tutorials and a night spent fussing with it all I might figure something out. This cover is the only thing thats had me stumped from releasing my book for close to a month now so hopefully I’ll have an update to follow soon. Off I go!