I believe we’re in agreement that people do judge books by their covers. A crappy one’s not going to catch a potential purchaser’s eye, much less make a sale—unless the name on it is recognizable and has a solid following.
A vibrant, eye-catching cover is a must. Do you pay someone to do it? A good cover designer doesn’t have to cost much; there are definitely some out there. You only need do your due diligence. Ask around. Get feedback.
Or maybe you do it yourself first, to get a feel for it—to acquire a creative [critical] eye, as it were—before you shell out a few $ to a professional.
. . . Or maybe you do it yourself, period. A lot have—and successfully. The cover for Odd Woman Out on Wattpad was designed by yours truly. It was super simple to do with Canva and, quite frankly, I really like it (that I’ve seen it on another novel is quite beside the point).
Go to a few book cover design sites—many are free—and nose around. Play a little. Create a cover for the fun of it or a current project. Design one that fits your genre and style. Tweak it until you get it “just right”.
Elements to consider re your cover:
- format (do you go with conventional or do you customize?)
- genre or subject matter
- artwork and photos (stock items or your own, or a combination?)
- font and text
- layout, and
The great thing about designing your own cover, particularly if you use “free” software, is that you can put the money you saved toward promotion and marketing/ads.
There are several amazing sites out there, too many to list in one post. Nor do I want it to appear that I’m endorsing one over the other. (There’s one, though, that caught my eye and I have to go back. If I’m as impressed as I believe I’ll be, I may share that one with you in another post.)
In the meanwhile, snoop around. Google “best e-book cover designers”, “free e-book covers”, “professional book covers”, and so forth. Sure, it will take time, but consider it a viable investment in your future [sales].