Several people have asked over the years, “Why should I hire a cover designer when I can do it myself?” It’s a great question and I think it deserves a great answer. I only wish I new what that answer was.
Just like an author hones their craft of writing, I continually update and improve my design skills. I keep up with the latest software. I spend hours in tutorials learning how to better achieve the design effects I want to implement. I study my craft, just like an author studies their craft.
Just like there are acceptable practices in writing, things like italics for silent prayers, scene changes when your POV changes, etc., there are acceptable practices in cover design. And if you are going to create your own cover, you need to know them. Like, never, ever, ever outline text. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, GREAT, because really you should never have to see it. But if you do know what I’m talking about, please understand, that is equivalent to changing POV in the same paragraph three times. Just don’t go there. Don’t think that any ole photo will work, because it doesn’t. If the photo doesn’t grab your attention right off the bat, it may not be your best choice. Are there ways to take an average photo and make it great? Maybe. But it takes skillful manipulation and a knowledge of what software can do. In addition, you need to consider composition, contrast and typography. All things that make a huge difference in the overall finished product.
What will a good designer give you then? My goal is to give you a finished cover that says, “This book is worth your time investment to read it.” I want your cover to look professional and well-planned. I want you to be proud to sign each and every copy because the cover reflects your writing to it’s best potential. It is not my goal to impress my style or vision on your cover. It’s rather the opposite. I want to bring your vision to life. I may steer you toward better practices, just like an editor may help your story move along. But still, I want the cover to reflect you and your story.