Step-by-Step POD with CreateSpace – Step 11 (Cover Design)

Presumably, somewhere along the process of writing your novel, you began to think about a cover. You may even have a vision in mind. Perhaps you began collecting some photo ideas from sites that sell photos like www.shutterstock.com or http://www.istockphoto.com/. Now is the time when you need to work with a professional cover designer to bring the vision you have for your cover to life.

Some of you may have already paid multiple visits to the CreateSpace site and will be aware that they offer a cover design service. Since I have always paid to have professional covers designed for my books, I can’t speak to how well their cover generator templates may or may not work. Personally, since the cover is the first thing that people see, I feel that it must be eye-catching enough to draw people in. With that in mind, I viewed paying for a professional cover design as an investment.

I have worked with two cover designers both of whom were very good and willing to work with me. Kendra from http://creationsbykendra.com/ created most of my futuristic romance novel covers, while Esther from http://estherbyrt.ca/ created my other cover designs. Depending on the cost of the art work you choose — the rights to use the photos must be purchased by the designer once you have agreed on the final design — your cover costs usually start at about $100 or $125 and go up from there. Designers usually charge slightly more for the wrap-style cover required for a Print-on-Demand book and may also charge a bit more for the square covers required by audio book sites.

You will need to provide your cover designer with the exact page count that your book will be in print format so that he or she can create a book spine of the correct size. Also I would recommend that you ensure that your back cover text copy has at least ½ an inch to ¾ of an inch of space all the way around it to allow for cropping of the cover by CreateSpace.

Typically the cover designer will provide a variety of sizes of the cover for various purposes from front covers only for eBooks, to the wrap-style cover required for CreateSpace, square covers if you plan to do audio books, to smaller thumbnail sizes for websites. Be sure you check the size criteria on CreateSpace’s site and any other sites you plan to upload to in order to ensure you ask the designer to provide the correct sizes for them. If you have not yet done an eBook, but plan to, ensure that you get that cover at the same time.

I recommend that, as you save the files on your computer, you clearly name them by size and a style. i.e.: TITLE 2400 x 2400.jpg

Well, that’s about all I can think of to share on covers. So, if you don’t have a cover yet, this is your next step. Unless you are a professional graphic designer yourself, I do NOT recommend that you design your own covers. Use the talents and skills of others to bring your vision for your cover to life and draw readers in. It’s an investment. 🙂

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