As I freely admitted in previous posts, I suck at design. But it's something I'll have to work at in order to be a successful publisher. In an impromptu and highly unscientific survery among Kindle users I know, cover art came in second behind price as the reason a reader would try a new book. Which means even in the gray-toned Kindle world, cover art is important.
As Bob Mayer said in a recent blog post, the cover also has to be "bold and pop of [sic] the page." The picture has to make sense in a thumbnail. Therefore the art can't be highly detailed or cluttered, and the contrast needs to be distinctive enough to be easily read on an e-ink screen. In other words, simplicity is the key.
That being said, if you got the eye and talent for design, not to mention the right software, it's much cheaper to make your own cover for your e-book. But if you're a no-talent like me, there are some reasonably priced alternatives. Roughly, the range is $50-$400 depending on the designer's experience and your
If you decide to publish the paper version, it'll be a little more money to have someone else design you cover flat. Again, if you can do it yourself, more power, and money, to you.
I've found different cover designers have different methods of working. Some want to read the book and come up with a concept. Others want a synopsis or character description to work off of. Still others look at it as collaborative process, and they want the author's input and thoughts.
In my case, I've contacted two different people for cover art. No, I'm not trying to decide between them. Each person has a style that best repesents the "feel" for the two series I plan to publish first. I can't wait to see what these ladies come up with!
And on that note, here's an encore video from last summer:
It's not as easy as it looks.