“Don’t judge a book by its cover” — We heard this over and over. But, if the cover is not attractive or does not convey the message, the book does not have appeal to the readers.
For my debut fiction novel “Tell My Dad“, I spent a good amount of time searching for the cover designers. I wanted the best possible design. After doing research for weeks, I decided to launch a contest in 99designs. Why a contest? First of all, I did not want to hire a designer just by looking at online reviews and ratings. Second, I wanted to see the designer’s creativity for my specific requirements. Third, I wanted to crowdsource the design selection process. All of these are possible in the contest.
99 designs will ask you to prepare the list of requirements and the design concept. Mine looked like one below.
I want a book cover design for a book I’m writing called “Tell My Dad”.
It’s a mystery/thriller book. It’s a story revolving around child abductions and affected families. I want the element of suspense on the cover. I want to picture the crucial scene of the book, described below, in the cover.A bad guy kidnaps five year old girl and lock her up in the backseat of the car and drives away. The girl, with fear and confusion in her face, looks thru the window while the car is speeding up.
For the above scene, I want the girl to look thru the fogged window. Title is written on the fog as if the girl wrote it.
My main goals are:
1. To show the title in child’s handwriting style
2. To let the reader instinctively feel the thriller element
There it is. I posted the requirements and announced $300 bounty for the best design. I received about 89 designs over 4 weeks period. I short-listed 10 designs, created a poll and invited friends and family to vote for the best design. 99designs have the feature to create a poll which was useful. The poll gave me a pretty good idea about how others feel about the design. An overwhelming majority voted for the below design.
It’s designed by Denis Lenzi. I am very satisfied with the final design and revision process that went with it.
If you are on a budget, you may want to check out the designers in fiverr. I wrote a non-fiction ebook “How to protect children from online predators and cyber bullies” which I am giving away for free. I could not afford $300 for the perma-free book. I looked through the profiles of various designers in fiverr and had chosen one. My experience in fiverr is hit and miss. Fortunately, the cover design came out well. I wanted a simple design with attractive colors and fonts. I provided some sample pictures and ideas to the designer who came up with the following design.
I think it’s a pretty good design for $5.
In summary, I believe that the contest in 99designs offers the best possibility to create the wonderful cover design. Please share your experiences in finding a good cover designer.