Yes, I know I said you could design your own ebook cover, and you’ve given it your best shot, you really have. But somehow, despite your best efforts, you’re not happy. The good news is, there are plenty of graphic designers and cover design websites that will solve your problem, some at surprisingly little cost.
One solution is to buy a pre-made book cover. Here’s a few online sites that supply single-use book covers, with both ebook and ebook-plus-print-copy cost options. All you need to do is select a cover you like and supply your title/by-line/tagline and they do the rest. There’s usually an option or two for a bit of tweaking, re fonts and colours as well. Here are just a few of the online design companies that caught my eye – there are bound to be more, but these particularly impressed.
These people have a huge array of covers in a variety of genres so it is likely there will be one that might work for you. I like the professional look of the covers, with clear, sharp images and the typography looks crafted too. Be sure to wave your mouse over the fiction or non-fiction headings at the top of the home page to narrow your search. They have designers who are obviously top-notch at creating horror and erotica covers, which are not for the faint-hearted, particularly before breakfast. You would think these covers would be quite expensive, but coming in at $69 US (ebook cover only), they are quite the bargain. When you click on a cover you like you can type in your own cover text (title, byline, tagline etc.) and in a moment you can see how it would look – a rather nice feature. Further tweaking by the designers happens once you buy.
This is a smaller outfit, possibly just the one designer, so there isn’t quite the variety on offer as with some. Which is a good thing if you are beginning to suffer from BCFS (book cover fatigue syndrome). There’s still a good assortment particularly in the genres associated with women’s fiction, chick lit, etc., as well as mystery/thriller covers with some dystopian/fantasy covers as well. What I particularly like about this portfolio, is there is often an element of quirkiness, or that extra something that makes a cover special. Included are some options for book series and like many other premade cover designers, you can order a custom cover as well. Prices start at $70 US. A word for the wary: I found a cover I really liked for my book, but discovered it had been snapped up by someone else while I was still making up my mind. Oh, well.
This is a site that offers work from multiple designers, some of which are better than others. There’s a massive array of covers (over 6000!), across all kinds of genres, even including over a thousand covers that are suggested to be suitable for literary fiction – not always catered for. You have to do a lot of skimming through, page after page of covers – remember what I said about BCFS. But what is really useful here is that each cover is labelled with the name of its designer so if you find a designer you like, you can click on a link to see what else they do. The price range is wide as you might expect for this kind of design marketplace, so there is bound to be something to suit most budgets.
For more help with finding a designer and an extensive list of premade and custom cover sites, check out this post from The Creative Penn. Or have a look at the website of indie publishing guru, Derek Murphy (creativeindie.com), which is full of good advice and inspiration for most aspects of the publishing process, including cover design.