Out with the Old, in with the New
So, I’d been up to something sneaky lately. Well, it’s not sneaky, I just hadn’t mentioned it to anyone cause it makes me feel like a secret agent. “I’M UP TO THINGS YOU’LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT … UNTIL I DECIDE TO TELL YOU.”
Anyway, I’m sure many of you recall my book cover updates. Or maybe you don’t. Regardless, last July or thereabouts, I updated my book covers to shiny, new, and what I can only hope is overwhelmingly eye-catching images (more on those “upgrades” later). At the time, I’d decided to revamp my ebooks only (Blue Moon, Light of Dawn, and Strange Brew all have paperback options) and leave my paperback covers with the old images to kind of differentiate them.
Well, I’ve started working to incorporate my new covers with the paperbacks as well! Createspace is currently reviewing my cover for Blue Moon, and in the meantime, I thought I’d share it here.
Light of Dawn’s cover is currently “under construction”, and I’ll get to Strange Brew’s as soon as I’m done with it. But while I’m at it, I thought I would share images of the “conversions”, which isn’t something I usually talk about because I know not all writers out there are graphically inclined and I always felt I wouldn’t be able to offer much advice on the task of getting book covers done because I always just make my own.
Still, sharing tips and tricks of any type seems like it might be helpful to at least a handful of people, and besides, I might end up going into the book cover making business myself. Who knows? I’m definitely no artist, but photo manipulation? Sign me up! :D
So if you’re a writer who also designs your own covers/banners/websites/whatnot, but maybe you’re not quite a photographer, or you just don’t know a lot of people willing to have their pictures taken to be used on the cover of your book, this info would be helpful. Both of the websites linked above have a multitude of stock photos that can be used across a wide variety of genres, and the basic license isn’t too expensive.
But that might be considered a kicker. Some of you might be hesitant to purchase stock covers because you’re uncertain about the licenses and the proper way to use the images, and I have to stress that it’s important to check the terms on each website so you know what you’re doing, and even contact the stock providers to ask. There might be a limited number of print copies you can sell using the images in your designs before you have to purchase a new basic license, and exclusive licenses are much more expensive.
But don’t let that scare you away! It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and if you’re only publishing in the ebook format, chances are you won’t have a set number of copies to sell before you’re required to purchase a new license.
You may also want to keep in mind that one of the cons with using stock images is that there might be several other books out there featuring the same image as the one you’ve purchased. This is why I try to be as selective as possible. Okay, it’s not actually the only reason (I’m just extremely picky with images depicting my characters; it took me forever to find a suitable photo to use for The Final Calling, and I’m so glad I checked out Period Images because those guys are AWESOME! :D) but it’s one of the major ones.
Yet I’m of the opinion that using stock images can greatly improve the quality of your covers (if you’re a designer or pseudo designer as I tend to be anyway). I’m not saying my old book covers are bad (I’d revert to using them again if the situation called for it in a heartbeat! They’re my babies ;_; ) but the newer ones have more life, so to speak.
So should you use stock images? Or even hire a designer to make a book cover for you? (And yes, to those writers who are graphically challenged, these stock image websites also offer design services! :D) I suppose it depends on your current needs, your audience, and whether you truly think it would “advance your career” for lack of a better way to put it. In any event, if you have questions, feel free to ask away! I’m a chatter box and it’s hard to shut me up once I’ve gotten started. Well, sorta.