|Simple, but nice... Just like my day|
You have spent months crafting a manuscript, making sure it is your best work. The work you had put into your story should be recognized by anyone who comes across your finished book. When you have a high quality book cover, you are immediately telling the potential reader that the story under the cover matches its quality. That is why when you have a book cover that looks like crap, your books sales will pay for it even if your story is gold.
There are always two questions that I ask myself when I consider creating a book cover myself. 1) Can I make the cover engaging enough that someone besides my mother would want to buy my book? 2) Can I make the finished product look like it was created by a professional? If I answer no to either question I know it is time to hire a professional graphic designer that knows how to create book covers.
Noticed how I was specific about hiring a graphic designer with book cover design experience. The link I had posted above is for Richard Green, who I had the pleasure of working with. He is talented with creating book covers that capture an engaging element of the story. Something that I feel is very important to the overall success of a book.
The Photography Method or Photography-Graphic Artist Method
There are times when I feel I can use my photography to create a high quality book cover. Hey, I cannot draw, but I can buy everyday items and take a photo of them to create a scene for my book cover. For instance, I can buy a red rose, a black vase, lighter fluid and matches. I can set the scene by placing the red rose in the black vase, sprinkling a few drops of lighter fluid on the rose pedals and set the rose on fire with a match. Then I cry in a bathtub naked. No that's another story. Then I take a close up picture of the flaming rose in the black vase.
What do I have afterwards? It depends on how the picture came out and if the scene I had set up matches any part of my story in an engaging way. If I have done those things correctly then I would use it for my upcoming romance novel, "Love Turned Grey." Ashes are grey, right?
Hey, I can write romance. I wrote a blog post about creating meaningful sex scenes. I think I have it down.
When I can't capture the image just right I write it down and send the picture to a graphic artist with book design experience. That way they have something I want to work with and they can make it look much better. They can even add effects that I could not. For instance, showing the flaming rose turning grey because it is turning to ash.
The more I think about it, I will start to use the photography-graphic artist method more often. Even though it is easier just tell a graphic artist what you want, it is worth the extra effort of giving them a picture to work with. Why not go the extra mile for your book's success?