STAGE SEVEN: FINDING AN ATTRACTIVE COVER OPTION AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
FACT: It does not have to cost an arm and a leg to have a cover that can compete in the traditional publishing world.
When I first began to seriously think about self-publishing I began checking out stock photo websites to see if there were any photos I would even want to use. The first website I checked out was Shutterstock. They have decent photos, however, their price is a little steep. At $29 for 2 images, $49 for 5 images, or $229 for 25 photos it’s on the high end of stock photo websites. Originally, before doing my research I did pay the steep $49 for 5 photos.
Then, I decided to approach one of the cover designers off of Wattpad to ask if she would be willing to do my covers for me for a deal. I didn’t know it at the time, but the person I approached actually wanted to be a cover designer and by me asking her it gave her the necessary push she needed. We were able to work out a 6-book deal for a VERY affordable price, and the best part of all? She was absolutely incredible. She told me about a deal she found for 150 stock photos off a website called DepositPhotos for only $69.99. That was only $20 more than I had paid for my original 5 images, and I could have images for all of my books and then some. The only catch to the plan was you had 5 downloads a day and if you missed a day, you lost those downloads. Luckily for me, out of the 30 days in that month, I only missed 1-2 days. I ended up with loads of pictures for potential future novels. The only other stock photo websites I have found even semi-comparable in price and downloads were BigStock & CanStock. At BigStock you could get the exact same plan as I received from DepositPhotos for $10 more a month. At CanStock you can purchase a week worth of downloads (max=10 per day), totaling out to 70 downloads for $39.
Originally, I used Emmy from Cover Me Designs. She has premade and custom designs starting at an affordable price of $59.99. Most covers that are decently made and as nice as hers are upwards of $100-$500. I was looking at covers from Phat Puppy Art Designs, Okay Creations, and Damon Za when I approached her and I think hers are able to compete with theirs…but that’s just my personal opinion.
I have also had the pleasure of working with some other AWESOME cover designers and some not so awesome. Two other honorable mentions, are my current cover designer, Hilda from Dalliance Designs and my cover designer for Life After, Marisa from Cover Me, Darling. They were both absolute joys to work with, and I don't have enough good things to say about each of them!
You do not have to purchase the stock photo as well as pay for a cover designer…I just wanted to have control over which photos were used specifically, that’s why I went the route I did.
Remember, the first thing that people take notice of is the cover—you want that to stand out.