A few months back I started looking around for a cover artist. My cover for Sorcerer Rising has always been fine but I had a big problem. It was a premade and there was nowhere I could find a similar image, something that would draw the two together. That’s an essential part of Branding, and when you piecemeal everything out, it’s hard to accomplish. To do that, you really need to get custom work and that was something I’d never done.
Somewhere along the way, I saw Liz Schulte’s Guardian series. I think it was on Amazon. It wasn’t really my genre, but I knew I liked the cover. After some searching, I found Karri Klawiter. She has a huge freaking portfolio of authors she’s worked for, in everything from romance to fantasy and thriller. What impressed me the most was the way she brands things together. You could go through each cover and not only be able to tell what books are part of a series, but what books are part of an author’s portfolio.
That’s what I wanted and, most importantly, that’s what I knew would be my biggest challenge. It took me like two weeks to figure everything out with my original cover. Don’t even get me started on the print cover (which never was really right, hence the fact that you can’t buy one). Any accomplishments I made were pure luck and I couldn’t duplicate the results.
But I didn’t just jump at the first artist I found. As much as self publishing is an emerging opportunity for authors, it is for artists and other service providers as well. There are a ton of artists out there, and I looked at as many as I could find. The price…wow, it can range from $200 to well over a thousand bucks. 99designs is a big deal right now too. The advantage there is a fixed price and multiple bidders. You get to see all the work being submitted and will have a choice.
In the end though, I went with Karri. The reason? I went through everyone’s portfolio I could find. I found contests where she and others were nominated, nothing impressed me as much as her stuff.
The results have been great and I really think I got my money’s worth. For the cost on her site (which was pretty close to what I paid even with the cost of stock, though I didn’t use much) I got various formats for the book cover, and for an extra $25 I got the print.
If you need a cover artist, check out Karri. I’m serious, they’re great and the experience was outstanding.