Reasonably Priced Covers?

Big word "book" in "letterpress."

For those interested in my experiences this time around in my self-publishing career, here’s a report on some options for reasonably priced covers. I submit this after having spent $600 for a cover I really didn’t like. I played around with designing my own cover for Three Strides Out, my new horse mystery, but was told by (possibly) qualified critics that my efforts didn’t “look professional.” Sigh.

I clicked on a coupon offer from WPBeginner for half off at 100Covers and submitted my book details. The basic price for an ebook cover is $100. For $200, you get both ebook and paperback cover.

The final 100Covers design met my needs; that the book is picking up more orders than my older titles may be due to the “new” factor, but it could also be that the cover is inviting. It definitely got WOW responses from friends and colleagues I tested it on.

I would give 100Covers 3.75 stars. The one-quarter star deduction reflects the number of tries to get the designer (whom I could not contact directly) to understand what seemed to me a pretty basic request: more horse, less woman. However, I suspect that any interaction with a designer requires multiple explanations of just what kind of focus the cover should have.

Books leading to a door in a brick wall

The other star reflects the fact that I wouldn’t recommend the site for anyone with a looming deadline. First contact from a “project manager” was prompt, and the first drafts arrived within two weeks, a reasonable amount of time. The cover proposals were pretty far from what I’d hoped to see, so I sent what I thought was a specific request for a refocus. I waited three weeks for the next drafts. This did seem to me to be an unusual amount of time for a project which felt as if it should have migrated to the top of the pile. The second set of drafts, oddly, did not respond at all to my feedback despite my having sent some iStock images that illustrated more of what I was hoping for. A firm re-emphasis on “more horse, less woman” led, I must say, to a very prompt third draft, which, with tweaks, is now my much-liked cover.

I have submitted my request for the paperback files; I will report on that process when it’s done.

Writing this, I now provisionally revise my rating to 4 out of 5 stars, with the delay in the middle of negotiations accounting for 0.75% of the star. Bottom line: I am thinking of asking for proposals for 100Covers revisions of my current covers for my other books. I’m on no deadline; I’d be curious to see if new covers perked up sales on those titles, and my experience was positive enough to go back for more.

pile of letters for writing

In the meantime, a Facebook friend recommended MIBLART and GetCovers, both of which are also extremely reasonable, especially GetCovers. MIBLART looks as if its focus is fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal, but my friend assures me the site can produce in a number of genres. I’m wondering if anyone reading this has experience with either of these, or has other recommendations. (I am not particularly interested in “ready-made” covers, though I know they work well for many writers.)

So please share!


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