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Book Cover Templates, Anyone? (1 Viewer)

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
I have been asked if I sell book cover template graphics.

The thought hadn't occurred to me since the main focus of my (so far) 41 year career has been on custom art and design for specific projects. But I realize budgets are tight for writers, so I'd like to explore the idea of stock art/design here.

Some questions I have:


  1. My first thought is there must be companies out there doing this already. I'll do a search, but has anyone dealt with such companies before? If so, how did it go?
  2. As an author designing your own cover, are you looking for a ready-made cover or do you prefer to piecemeal it and assemble it yourself (get the art here, pick that font there, etc.?
  3. If buying a ready-made cover template (art and fonts), does it concern you that the art may be purchased by someone else as well, or do you expect to have all usage rights for the art/design?
  4. What sort of price-point would you expect to see?

That should get the ball rolling. If you have any additional points to offer, please chime in.

-sigmadog
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
My first thought is there must be companies out there doing this already. I'll do a search, but has anyone dealt with such companies before? If so, how did it go?

I've bought covers from two different "stock cover" sites, and two from a clip art site (an image of a dark castle, and an image of a dark tree with spreading branches ... both fit the subject perfectly--first and second book of a series--kept the artistic theme going, and were embarrassingly inexpensive. The two stock cover sites are populated by artists who put up work on spec. If their cover gets bought, they'll supply the text graphics in the finished product. They may have different package prices for ebook, print, or both. I bought a total of three stock covers (so far) and was happy with all three transactions.

As an author designing your own cover, are you looking for a ready-made cover or do you prefer to piecemeal it and assemble it yourself (get the art here, pick that font there, etc.?

In each case, I asked for only the art and designed my own text graphics.

If buying a ready-made cover template (art and fonts), does it concern you that the art may be purchased by someone else as well, or do you expect to have all usage rights for the art/design?

I'm not sure about one of the sites, but on the second site I bought from, the art is only sold once. Of course, the clip art is unlikely to used for another book cover, so I'm unconcerned about that. It actually doesn't bother me either way. A reader running across a cover used twice would be an unlikely coincidence, and so what if they do? If they're there to buy my book, I don't think that will shoo them off.

What sort of price-point would you expect to see?

The clip art was dirt cheap, like $8 each for hi res. I paid between $45 and $90 for the covers from the stock cover sites. Prices are all over the place since the artists set them. You can see $45 covers that are immensely better than $200 covers. Increasing price is not climbing the quality ladder in that market.

Of course, custom covers will never be at the low end of that range. Oddly, I've found art at deviantart which would have made great covers for some of my novels, but I have NEVER ONCE had an artist there answer an inquiry to license their work!
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Sigmadog, I've seen both cover "templates" where you could easily slip your own image in, places like CANVA.com, and then there are places like bookcoverdesigner.com with premade covers. They only sell that cover one time and the designer swaps out the text for the buyer's title and authorname. Not sure how much of the latter is sold but I think you can put your own premade covers there. With your crazy good skills though, I think I'd spend some time putting a pitch with link to portfolio together and sending it to small to mid-sized presses along with price range.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
. With your crazy good skills though, I think I'd spend some time putting a pitch with link to portfolio together and sending it to small to mid-sized presses along with price range.

I slept on this and came to the same conclusion. HE will get lost in the masses and he is far better than that. Small and mid-sized presses must use artists. How do you filter the more reputable publishers?
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
A first step would be to go to a list of the publishers and scan their covers to see if they are investing in professional covers. Then get the pitch together AND the portfolio and pitch the ones that feel like they are doing quality stuff. Here's a list to get started: https://medium.com/the-nonconformis...die-publishers-and-small-presses-5e83e9522b5c

I slept on this and came to the same conclusion. HE will get lost in the masses and he is far better than that. Small and mid-sized presses must use artists. How do you filter the more reputable publishers?
 

Steve_Rivers

Senior Member
If you haven't found it already, fiverr.com is a good website for finding people for exactly this sort of thing on a person-to-person basis. You can offer your own services or find what you need yourself. I've used it a lot in finding artists for cover art and also for voice actors for my audiobook. (Boy, I should demand a referral discount from those guys) So if you need an intermediary to make you feel safe in doing this sort of thing, Sigma, then somewhere like that might help.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
I have been asked if I sell book cover template graphics.

The thought hadn't occurred to me since the main focus of my (so far) 41 year career has been on custom art and design for specific projects. But I realize budgets are tight for writers, so I'd like to explore the idea of stock art/design here.

Some questions I have:


  1. My first thought is there must be companies out there doing this already. I'll do a search, but has anyone dealt with such companies before? If so, how did it go?
  2. As an author designing your own cover, are you looking for a ready-made cover or do you prefer to piecemeal it and assemble it yourself (get the art here, pick that font there, etc.?
  3. If buying a ready-made cover template (art and fonts), does it concern you that the art may be purchased by someone else as well, or do you expect to have all usage rights for the art/design?
  4. What sort of price-point would you expect to see?

That should get the ball rolling. If you have any additional points to offer, please chime in.

-sigmadog

I thought you'd never ask!

I'm in the cover design phase and it's pretty painful. I've looked at some pre-designed templates but most of them just seem too 'meh'. I'm not even overly concerned with the idea of sharing a cover design with someone else, but I do want it to be not crappy. Price points are the issue. Appsumo does a depositphotos deal for ... £39 (usually it's $100) and I think you get 100 photos. I've tried doing my own covers but with limited success. I'm realising there's a whole industry - and industry thinking - behind it.

I've looked on fiverr too but it's just such a gamble. Half the cover designers on there either seem like shysters or their products are just underwhelming. I think I will wait for the next appsumo despoitphotos deal, spend $20 on a sexy font and see what I can gimp together.
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
In the last couple days I've been looking around the internets at book cover options, everything from pre-designed "put your title here" templates, to fully customized "work with the designer" approaches. The prices are about what I'd expect: under $100 (US) to a couple grand for deluxe services.

One thing I've noticed is there is lot of good work out there for sale. If I'm ever to compete, I'm going to have to up my game a bit in terms of concepts and final presentation – not an impossible hurdle as I've done it before.

It's clear that I need some examples at the very least, whether I go the smallish publishing house route as suggested by TKent, or offer my services on mine or other web sites. I'm not excited by the prospect of putting together a large set of pre-made templates to sell "as is" with title modifications; those solutions tend to look too generic to my eye, and without a clear concept, they often have the appearance of decoration without a compelling idea behind them.

I've never been good at mere decoration, my strength has always flowed from an idea first as a foundation for the art. That suggests to me my "niche" is more along the lines of custom work. So putting together a "portfolio" of book cover style samples is probably the smart play at this point.

To help me get started, I'd like to ask for your help. Please toss up a title or two, and if you're willing, a one-sentence elevator pitch of the plot. I'll pick one and try to whip up a cover within a week, then pick another, and so on.

As far as genres go, I'm open to whatever comes along. We'll see where my strengths are after a few weeks.

If you have a book you're working on now, go ahead and add the title and elevator plot to the list, but don't tell me it's real because at this point this is just an exercise for me, not a real job.

Any questions? Okay.

Go!
 

Kimoco

Senior Member
I honestly think you'll end up encountering a lot of competition out there, but if you feel like doing it, I believe you can achieve anything. And people, please don't use fiverr for artists, they do not give artists a fair wage for their work! If you can get it cheap with a middleman, imagine what the artist gets for hours of work!
I like this website called freelanced.com. You can look up artists portfolios, and post your own requests, setting a fair price in harmony with the illustrator/designer you choose. It's also got a lot of other things, like webpeople and sound and musicians, but I think it's fair for artists and creators.
I do own nor work for them, it's just in my own experience. (I have an account and scored one gig in 10+years, but I'm not active)
Back to the subject though, if it's what you wish to do, then go ahead! Build a portfolio and go for it!
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
I honestly think you'll end up encountering a lot of competition out there

Absolutely. Self-publishing is a big thing these days, and I know the competition is fierce. I also know there's a market for custom art, maybe not so much with first-time authors on a budget, but perhaps for authors ready and willing to step up to the next level.

I built my home-based design studio doing work for small businesses that were also ready to set aside their home-grown, low-budget print materials and rise to the next level. In just about every case, I was able to help them grow and achieve impressive results. In doing so I developed some long-term relationships with clients (nearly 30 years in one instance). I'm thinking that model might also work for authors.

Who knows? I certainly don't, but it's worth a shot.

It beats the hell out of sitting around watching puppy videos on YouTube (nothing against puppy videos, but they don't bring in the groceries).


I like this website called freelanced.com. You can look up artists portfolios, and post your own requests, setting a fair price in harmony with the illustrator/designer you choose. It's also got a lot of other things, like webpeople and sound and musicians, but I think it's fair for artists and creators.
I do own nor work for them, it's just in my own experience. (I have an account and scored one gig in 10+years, but I'm not active)
Back to the subject though, if it's what you wish to do, then go ahead! Build a portfolio and go for it!

That sounds like a good possibility. Thanks! I'll check it out.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
If you have a book you're working on now, go ahead and add the title and elevator plot to the list, but don't tell me it's real because at this point this is just an exercise for me, not a real job.
Go!

I'll bite, because I haven't found anything that jumps out at me for my latest:

Title: Part-Time Pagan God
Main Character: Caerus, God of Luck
Other Characters: Athena, Hekate, Ares, Corvus (a minor god turned into a raven), Agares (a demon (fallen angel) who's an old man in one form, and a comely lass in another).
Plot: Various allied demons trying to off the surviving Olympians in a modern setting
Frequent setting: Athena's "getaway" habitat on the moon

Let's talk. :)
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
I'll bite, because I haven't found anything that jumps out at me for my latest:

Title: Part-Time Pagan God
Main Character: Caerus, God of Luck
Other Characters: Athena, Hekate, Ares, Corvus (a minor god turned into a raven), Agares (a demon (fallen angel) who's an old man in one form, and a comely lass in another).
Plot: Various allied demons trying to off the surviving Olympians in a modern setting
Frequent setting: Athena's "getaway" habitat on the moon

Let's talk. :)

Sounds like a fun one. I'll add it to the project list.
 

sigmadog

Staff member
Media Manager
Finally had a little time to work it up…

PartTimePaganGod_small.jpg
 
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