Judging Book Cover Designers' Reputations


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Thread: Judging Book Cover Designers' Reputations

  1. #1

    Judging Book Cover Designers' Reputations

    For the re-releases of my first and second books of my series, I hired a cover designer from Deviant Art. While sales have drastically increased since the first editions have been vanity-published, they are dying down now. I updated everything else I could, such as the blurb (I actually hired a copywriter to write it), look-inside, and tweaked the current covers by making them more vibrant and having more visible and eye-popping fonts for the title and author names. However, they changed nothing, even with the eBook being 99 cents and the reviews being better than before. I asked for feedback on a special author Facebook page on my first book cover. First I showed the old image and the tweaked image. People liked the latter one more and made some suggestions, which I took. But after seeing pretty much no sales for about a week, I asked another question on that page about maybe starting the cover over from scratch. A couple people described my first book's current cover as old-fashion and outdated, like a cover from an 80's or 90's book. One person suggested using a service called 99Designs. I just signed up for a new designer on 99Designs.
    So after doing some research, I heard that some cover designers are not worth hiring. I read somewhere that Deviant Art is just okay for cover design. While I did do a ton of research for middle grade fantasy book covers, like observing the artistic styles, designs for the titles and author names, the contrast of the images, and more, I wonder how you can trust cover designers with their illustrations. The cover designer I used for my current book covers have done other fantasy book covers too. But what should you consider when hiring a cover designer, aside from their style and if it's appropriate for your genre and audience as well as their pricing? Should you look at how the other book covers they designed sell those books? Perhaps see if there are reviews for those designers? I self-published the re-releases on Amazon KDP. Unfortunately, many bestselling books' cover designers don't design self-publish book covers. So that made it harder to find a reputable cover designer.
    Children's Fantasy Author
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  2. #2
    I look for designers who have lots of experience designing covers in my book's genre and also look at their portfolio to see if I like their work. Of course, I also look at price too.

    I can't tell from your post, but it almost sounds like you are not happy that your sales are slowing down after the cover re-design. I'm thinking that is normal and that you really need to work on marketing to keep the sales going. The cover will only take you so far regarding sales... you really need to be doing other things to actively market your book in my humble opinion.

    Good luck!
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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  3. #3
    I've been doing a ton of marketing. But nothing seemed to change sales. I just looked at 99design reviews. They're pretty good. I'm really hoping the new covers make a difference.

  4. #4
    If your current cover is terrible or doesn't look anything like your book's genre, then a re-design might help. But if your current cover looks decent, that may not be your problem. You might consider looking at your reviews. Do you have many? Are they mostly 4 and 5 stars? If not, you might consider spending more time on getting reviews and/or improving the book to get better reviews. Another thing to consider is buying Amazon ads. 39% of my total sales last year came from those ads, so I usually recommend people try those to see if they are effective for their books. Anyway, I hope this gives you food for thought. Good luck!
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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  5. #5
    I was told my cover is decent. My reviews are mostly 4 and 5 star with one 3 star review and one 2 star review. Unfortunately, AMS ads have been the opposite of successful for me. I've run many and kept ending them. Out of more than a million impressions, there have only been around 40 sales. That was over a period of time. If you want to see the covers, you can, and let me know how attractive or unappealing they are to you. You don't have to, though.

  6. #6
    I really like the cover on The Frights. The other one looks decent... not great, but not terrible either. Just my 2 cents.

  7. #7
    Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Yes, I think the promotion and marketing is more important today than ever. Agreed that the cover can take you only so far and then the book must carry the weight. I personally have received little or no reviews and I have solicited 60 review sites over three months ago. I have made sales, and I have used FB and Twitter ad boosts, to little or no effect. I might try Amazon ads and see where that goes. My price was dropped to $2.99, but I don't think that is enough to compete with free and $.99 books. This is a trade book, and this publisher is having a hard time at the moment. No reviews and little sales. It's very tough out there.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    Yes, I think the promotion and marketing is more important today than ever. Agreed that the cover can take you only so far and then the book must carry the weight. I personally have received little or no reviews and I have solicited 60 review sites over three months ago. I have made sales, and I have used FB and Twitter ad boosts, to little or no effect. I might try Amazon ads and see where that goes. My price was dropped to $2.99, but I don't think that is enough to compete with free and $.99 books. This is a trade book, and this publisher is having a hard time at the moment. No reviews and little sales. It's very tough out there.
    Chris,
    Have you tried giving away free copies to encourage reviews? That usually works for my books. Or you can purchase a service to get on a mailing list for discount ebooks like Bookbubs (which is expensive and hard to get accepted) or Self-publishing Review (which is cheaper than Bookbub and they will take most books). Another idea to garner some sales is to give free speeches/author talks to groups in your target audience. I gave 17 speeches last year to various groups and was able to sell lots of books that way. Just a few ideas to consider. Good luck!
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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  9. #9
    Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeyboy_esq View Post
    Chris,
    Have you tried giving away free copies to encourage reviews? That usually works for my books. Or you can purchase a service to get on a mailing list for discount ebooks like Bookbubs (which is expensive and hard to get accepted) or Self-publishing Review (which is cheaper than Bookbub and they will take most books). Another idea to garner some sales is to give free speeches/author talks to groups in your target audience. I gave 17 speeches last year to various groups and was able to sell lots of books that way. Just a few ideas to consider. Good luck!
    Those are great ideas. It's actually up to my publisher or Amazon (or both) to provide a free copy give-away period, since I don't have control over that. I have suggested it, and they say they will take it under consideration. I really have had great results with freebies, even gaining reviews. Other publishers have done this for me. I'm with a house right now that seems a bit tighter than others and all I can do is suggest ideas that would better all of our chances. I'm critically ill and cannot make physical appearances but I could give some video chats and come-ons once I get the hardware for that--the audio and the camera.I belong to countless display sites and writing groups, participating in all of them as much as I can. I do have a large following on FB, but it is still hard to promote with effectiveness. I resist constantly mentioning my book. I'm also written up in the front page of my city newspaper for a new release, but this time they didn't take me on. I have a blog and a new website that is active. I'm going to look into Bookbub. I've heard so much about it and most of the news about return investment is really good.

    I do think the OPs cover is much better than mine. Mine is VERY photshop, ha!
    Blog: Guerilla Warfare For Writers:Hidden Content

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    Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers: Hidden Content

  10. #10
    I've actually repeated marketing services because I ran out too of realistic ideas too much. Anyway, my books are on a blog tour now. I looked at the home page for the schedule. There were 6 comments. And pretty much all of them said that the covers were great or beautiful. You don't think they're just being polite, do you? The comments weren't for me, though. They were for the host. I already hired a different designer from 99Designs to do my cover. I also contacted the same Deviant Art designer to do a different scene for my first book's cover. I guess I'll just test them both and see which attracts the most readers and results in the most sales as well as continue marketing. I have to keep finding ones I haven't used before or recently, and it's not easy, even just through a Google search.
    Children's Fantasy Author
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