How to Secure the Book Cover Designer of Your Dreams

You’re working tirelessly on your book — writing, editing, re-writing — and now you’re thinking about next steps. What will the pages look like? What will the cover look like?

They say never judge a book by its cover. But the truth is, our brains are hardwired for imagery — we process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Your cover has to make a statement and it has to make it quick.

Book cover design is an important part of the self-publishing process. You’re setting high expectations for your story with a killer cover. You’re also making it more marketable and desirable when on the shelves.

When self-publishing your book, you’ll need to chat with book cover designers about your cover and your vision for your book. They can give your book the professional touch it needs for a great first impression.

Not sure where to start? Here’s how you can find a book designer for your self-published book so you can hook your readers right away.

What a Book Designer Does

Book designers live in a world between graphic designing and publishing. They create images and fonts that grab your readers’ attention, and they’re a part of your marketing plan.

When creating your marketing plan, much of how you reach your audience is through the brand you create around your book. That brand especially shines through the design of your cover and book as a whole.

Their main goal is to synthesize all aspects of your book and bring them to life through imagery and text.

As far as design goes, a book cover designer will consider the following:

  • Illustrations
  • Images or photographs
  • Fonts
  • Colors
  • Themes or messages in your book

In terms of publishing, book designers do consider the market and how their cover can grab the eyes of potential readers. They think about how the look and feel of your book will influence its marketability and sales. But above all, they collaborate with you throughout the entire creation process.

It’s important to note that not all book designers will do every aspect of a book. Some may do covers, jackets, and pages while some are highly specialized in only one area. It’ll take some research on your end to be sure you’re hiring the designer to fit your needs.

The Benefits of Hiring a Book Designer

Book cover design can be a real undertaking. As a self-publisher, it’s even harder to “DIY” if you don’t have the expertise of a graphic designer or the proper tools. Book designers know how to make a book cover and how to make your story as readable as possible (typeface, length of text per page, thickness of pages, etc.).

A good book designer will help lead the direction of your cover design. A talented designer may not agree with you the whole time, but that collaboration between the 2 of you will produce better results.

You’ll receive constructive feedback about creating your cover. Yes, your voice should be heard in the process, but you should also listen to their thoughts. Their job is to create a professional book cover design for you, after all.

Just as you don’t submit your first draft for publishing, neither does an expert designer. They’ll work with you on revisions of the design until it’s just right.

What You Should Look for in Your Designer

There are a lot of designers out there and it can be hard to narrow down your top picks. As you do this, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re doing your research.

You should choose someone who actually specializes in book design. Someone who regularly works with multi-page projects, rather than solely brand or web design, who will be able to answer your questions. They’ll be ready to handle the complex procedures that come with self-publishing book covers and general book design.

As you’re meeting with designers, make sure they have a portfolio they can share with you. By getting a closer glimpse of their general style you can make a more informed decision as to whether they’re a good fit for your book.

A designer who presents themselves and communicates professionally is a good sign for the work relationship to come. If they’re punctual, discuss your project at length, and provide you with a comprehensive quote, you’re off to a great start.

The right book designer can also help connect you with other reliable people in the industry — proofreaders, editors, illustrators, and more.

It’ll take some looking around to find your fit, but when you do you’re one step closer to finishing your self-published book!

The Best Platforms to Find a Book Designer

There are thousands of designers in the marketplace. Each one has their own unique style, experience, and price point. A good place to start are specific platforms designed to serve the client and the contractor.

99 Designs solely focuses on the process of self-publishing. Working globally, you can connect with designers from anywhere. One unique service they offer is the ability to launch a contest, through which designers submit designs and you pick your favorite. You can also simply choose from some of the platform’s best designers.

Fiverr is a platform for freelancers of all mediums and backgrounds and is a great place to look for your next book designer. Initially, it may be overwhelming to see how many designers are available for hire. Simply toggle the filters to fit your needs and that should help narrow your selection.

UpWork is another platform that serves the freelance community. You can scour the many designers who have profiles to find your right fit. You can also create a job posting, in which you describe exactly what you need out of your designer. Freelancers then submit proposals to you.

Another option is looking into design agencies around your area (at least at first). By going with an agency, you have access to vetted professional designers. You also can be looking at a high price tag, which could be worth it.

Continuing Your Self-Publishing Journey

Wherever your search takes you in finding pros who can design indie book covers, what’s important is that you’re true to yourself. Your vision and your story are what you want to bring to life. How you go about that is best determined by you.

Book cover designers for self-publishers like you are out there. Take your time in doing the research. Find someone who collaborates with you and brings new ideas to the table.

As a self-publisher, it’s also important to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. There’s nothing wrong with taking extra time to ensure you can cover the costs of each step of the publishing process.

Not ready to afford a book designer yet? Here are ways to raise money for your self-published book to beef up your budget >

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