Why haven’t I ever looked into pre-made covers before now? In the past, I’ve hired some very talented graphic artists to create covers for some of my titles. I’ve also designed and created my own, using my serviceable, albeit limited, knowledge of Photoshop. In both cases, I’ve also had to rely on my own ideas for what would constitute a good cover, and provided input on subject matter and layout suggestions.
To be honest, that ain’t my forte. If I had any eye for graphic art, I’d be a graphic artist, and while I’ve done some design work in the past (and have definitely seen so-called “professionals” whose work is worse than mine), I don’t consider that to be where my true talent even remotely lies.
When I get my hair cut, I like my stylist to be imaginative, to look at my face shape, to listen to my preferred regimen for hair care and style, and then use their creativity to come up with what they feel would work best for me. I used to live by the motto that if I came out of a salon looking pretty much like I did walking in, the stylist didn’t do his or her job right.
I have come to realize I expect the same level of creative liberalism from my cover artists. I like dinkering with Photoshop, but after spending much of this week exploring the immense and varied offerings of premade covers out there, I realized I don’t know enough to even begin to compare with some of them. I also realized that, for all of the input I might offer in terms of commissioned layout, characters, background, etc., I know jack shit about these things, and ought to trust them to the professionals in whom I am investing my money.
So I’m shopping for premade cover artwork to replace the lackluster cover I doctored on my own for “Darkness Falls,” book 10 in the Brethren Series. Even better, I may have stumbled across a series of three premade covers that would be perfect for a new series — a series I got the idea for, having seen those covers.
I know premades aren’t for everyone, but trust me — there are some immensely talented artists out there with keen eyes and great senses of style and art direction. If you’ve got a book you’re indie publishing, I highly recommend checking this option out first before commissioning a specific work you have in mind. They’re the professionals. Trust them. And best of all, most are surprisingly affordable.