As I was working on the Garden of Eden anthology, I discovered the one mistake that I should avoid at all costs, namely, waiting until the last minute to contract with a cover artist.
It’s an easy mistake to make.
I thought I knew who I wanted to use. I’d already paid for the cover. I did that just before Christmas late last year when a Facebook friend offered $5 book covers in exchange for pre-payment. He was hard up for money.
Partly because I wanted to help him out and partly because I saw a golden opportunity, I purchased two book covers. The first “coupon” I used on a header image for the Garden Gnome Publications website. Not a bad header for $5. My plan was to use the other “coupon” for the Garden of Eden anthology cover. That was a bad plan.
After making all my story selections for the anthology, I sent the cover artist a list of creatures included in the stories and told him to create something nice. He sent back the cover you see to the right. It’s not bad – for a $5 book cover.
When I asked him if he’d add the name of the anthology series – Biblical Legends Anthology Series – and the size of the font for the book title, plus adjust the image so that the “subtle” images of the creatures (most of which I couldn’t see even when I was looking for them), I got no response. None. Not even a pleasant, “Sure, but I’d like to ask for more money so you can get the cover you want.” To which I’d have replied, “Happy to.”
Since I got no response, I was forced to go looking for another cover artist.
Believe me, it’s well worth the price to get the artwork you need for your book cover. There is no other part of your book that is as important for marketing purposes.
After spending a few days looking at book cover samples and interviewing artists, I found one that I was happy with and negotiated his pay rate and production schedule (very important!).
We agreed that he could have one week to produce two samples from which I’d choose one and then he’d have another week to finalize the cover. This would cost me $120. Believe me, it’s well worth the price to get the artwork you need for your book cover. There is no other part of your book that is as important for marketing purposes.
When it comes to hiring cover artists for your book covers, make sure you interview them early on in the production process so that you can arrange for alternatives if need be.