Hey, why’d you redesign your covers?

So the big news this week is that I got my Odriel’s Heirs and Idriel’s Children covers redesigned! And so many people have asked me why, I figured I’d write a post about it (mostly because I’m too tired tonight to do anything else productive. 😂)

So when I first was looking for a cover designer for Odriel’s Heirs, I’d never commissioned art of ANY kind before, and at the time, I thought Odriel’s Heirs would be the only book I ever wrote. (Seven books later, let’s all laugh together. 🤣)

So, I wanted something that could double as both character art and a cover. And although Dominique Wesson did a fabulous job of capturing the characters… based on anonymous feedback from NetGalley, the original cover designs were getting somewhere around a C-. Ouch. And to add to that, my BookBub deal requests kept getting rejected, and I suspected it had to do with the covers.

Fast forward to 2022, and the original cover designer is crazy busy and almost impossible to schedule, and I’m no longer a huge fan of seeing the character’s faces on the cover. I’d rather give the reader more flexibility to imagine the characters and commission character art separately, like the wonderful pieces by @stephydrawsart_ below. (But if you ever want to make my LIFE, I adore fanart.)

Anyways… Of course, I wanted all of the covers to match, so I briefly considered trying to get a character art cover similar to my first too… but then I saw Fay Lane’s work and totally fell in love.

And now here we are! I’m also hoping that the new covers will expand my audience, and I can still use the original covers as marketing or promotional tools. Maybe one day, I’ll shell out for a character art cover of Time’s Orphan so I can have two complete sets. But for now, I’m so thrilled with the new look and can’t wait to see them all in print together before too long!

The new paperbacks of Odriel’s & Idriel’s are now available on Amazon, and I’m hoping to release Time’s Orphan advance review copies in the fall!

As always, thanks for reading!

On Covers!

So after my last self-publishing post, I wanted to go into a little deeper review of some of the services I’ve used before. Specifically covers and editors since they’re so important, and I’ve used a couple different businesses. Please keep in mind this is just my personal opinion and experience. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

Custom Cover artists I’ve used

When I started looking for a cover for Odriel’s Heirs, I really had no idea what I was doing (as usual.) But I knew I wanted a cover that would also double as character art, so another author recommended Dominique Wesson. Her character art is absolutely stunning, but she is SUPER busy, so her commissions can take 6 months or more. As of 2020, a cover with 2 characters runs $200 and 1 character is $150. Although I really love the Odriel’s series covers, the NetGalley cover ratings have been relatively low: 25/35 for book one and 16/27 for book two.

For The Gatekeeper of Pericael, I really wanted to get away from the character art concept, but I still really liked the idea of custom art. So a critique partner helped me come up with an idea, and I found Illusstation on Fiverr to bring it to life. The full wrap around cover cost $200, and it only took a month! Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a custom art cover. NetGalley cover rating: 26/29

For my third book, I wanted to to do more of a graphic design style. I found Cal5086 on Fiverr and a cover cost me $170. Although I had to come up with the concept myself, turnaround was super quick, and although I haven’t revealed it yet, I really liked how it turned out.

For the Burning Shadows novella, I decided to try out 100covers, and they’ve been my favorite so far. I really like that they take a little survey of your tastes and what you’re looking for, and then use their knowledge of the design market to come up with a concept. (Which is awesome for my artistically challenged self) They assign you a project manager to work with, you can request changes, and they get back to you within the month. An ebook cover runs $100, and if I were to get a paperback it would be $200. I will definitely be using them again in the future.

other options

However! In the past year, I’ve also creeped around the internet for other affordable quality premade options, and compiled a list of other great cover artists/sites to maybe try one day. Just as a personal preference, I don’t consider artists that aren’t upfront about the cost, and while I’d consider something *amazing* for around $350, my usual budget is around $200ish for combined paperback and ebook formats.

Celin Graphics has GORGEOUS custom covers, but they’re booked through 2021, and run a little pricier at $350 for ebook+print. I might take this plunge one day, because they’re seriously beautiful, but it’ll definitely take more of a commitment. I’m also following them on Facebook for pre-mades, but I think opportunities are kind of rare, and I’m not sure how much they are.

Maria Spada @Mspremades: gorgeous premades that run $200 for ebook+print. Follow her on Instagram for a chance to claim them!

RFK Cover Design: $50-$75 for ebook+paperback premade – $25 for ebook only. Follow her on Facebook for a chance to claim them, but be aware they go SUPER fast!

Ebook Launch: $149 for ebook+paperback premade – $99 for ebook only.

The Cover Collection: $167 for ebook+paperback premade – $89 for ebook only.

Book Cover Zone: $89 for ebook+simplistic paperback premade – wide selection.

P&S Book Cover Designs: $120 for ebook+paperback premades – $70 for ebook only.

AMDesign Studios: All-in-one premade packages ranging from $79-$129. $29-$99 for ebook only. I subscribed to their email newsletter for first look.

Bailey Designs Books: $150 for ebook+paperback premade. $99 for ebook only.

Cauldron Press: $150-$250 for ebook+paperback premade. $100-$200 for ebook only. Follow the facebook page for the first look. Also, their custom chapter headers and title page art look pretty cool too.

Those are my favorites to creep on so far, but if you have any recommendations, I’d love to check them out! If I find any other options I like, I’ll be sure to add them. Hopefully this was helpful, and thanks for reading!