Monday, March 9, 2015

Design Your Own Covers or Not?

Hey everyone, I'm tossing up an idea here:

I took an online cover design class using Photoshop a few months ago, and since have been playing around with designing my own covers and marketing materials. Though doing marketing ads is fairly easy, I'm really nervous about taking the leap with covers, because I've always been a huge proponent of the importance of using a professional cover designer no matter what.

The first two covers in the picture below were designed by my fantastic cover artist. A Highland Knight's Desire was released last week by Amazon Kindle Scout, and Knight in Highland Armor in January. A Highland Knight to Remember on the right is a pro-forma cover I designed for a book due out at the end of May.
In comparing these three, which one pops the most? Is there too much man-skin in the third?

One big difference is that I made my name fit on one line because one of the criticisms I've had for my professionally designed covers is my name takes up too much of the picture:

I'd love to hear your honest opinion on what you like and don't like. Readers do judge a book by the cover, so it's not something to take lightly.

Do any of you design your own covers?

Do you have cover experiences to share? I'd love to hear them!

For a short time KNIGHT IN HIGHLAND ARMOR is on sale for $0.99. Click here for the deal on Amazon!



Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I designed my own short story cover on Canva for $1. It's not amazing by any stretch, although I think it came out quite good for the time, effort and money. I didn't mind doing my short story cover since I knew I wouldn't have a high ROI, but for the big stuff I need a professional. If I had the skills to do covers, I'd do them.

Carrie Beckort said...

Personally, I like to hire out my cover design. Yes it is expensive, but there is no way I could have come up with what Scarlett has done for each of my covers. I like to see what she comes up with and help her tweak it from there.

On your covers, first of all - I think you did an amazing job! Had you not mentioned that you did the third cover on your own I would not have guessed. Here are just some of my thoughts - feel free to use or ignore as you wish :-)

- I like how your third cover still maintains the same format as your other covers (branding, branding, branding :-)
- Personally I think your name looks fine smaller, however something to consider may be that your readers recognize it the way it has been.
- As an alternative to putting your name in only one line to free up more of the image, you could try to reduce the book title to only two lines.
- Should the 'Amazon Bestselling Author' be under (or above) your name? I'm not sure on this one, but thought I should ask.
- The only other thing I notice is that the coloring of the skin on the model in the third cover seems a bit off. Might just be a lighting issue.
- At least on my computer, the kilt in the third is hard to distinguish from the background. I think it's the darker color kilt on the darker background.
- Oh, and never too much man-skin :-)

Leandra Wallace said...

I was super surprised to know that these weren't trad covers. They look just like them! Which, I realize, is the point. =) Out of the three (though they're all good), the second is my fav.

Amy Jarecki said...

All good points!

Amy Jarecki said...

Thanks, Leandra. I like the second too!

Tristan Vick said...

I like the second (middle cover) but the third book text with your name on one line. If you could combine the two that'd be my idle cover!

Good job!

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