You’ve written a book that will change the world; that will irrevocably alter this little blue marble that we bags of flesh and bone call home. Can I be the first to say WOW and congratulations. But before any world-changing commences, the book cover design must ensure the contents of said book get to be read. So how do you make that happen?
You’re content with your content; the text is flawless, if you do say so yourself, but you can’t give the world this gift unwrapped. This piece of magnificence needs to be covered before it’s released into the wild. For better or worse, the cover of your tome is more influential to the success of your literary masterpiece than many authors will be willing to admit. A potential reader will decide within 2 seconds whether or not to pick up your book and read its alluring blurb. Don’t judge a book by its cover? Welcome to the real world, kid. So who do you go to get it wrapped in greatness?
Firstly, unless you happen to be a book cover designer that’s dabbling in authorship, it’s unwise to have a go yourself. With the cover holding such importance, a professional is a must. So on the assumption that you don’t have years of experience designing dust jackets, here is my list of the top 5 professional book cover designers around, in no order whatsoever.
These guys have been around since 2012 and have designed well over 3000 covers for many bestselling authors, across all genres. I’m not pumping up their tyres when I say they’re really good at what they do (have a look at the extensive award-winning portfolio for undeniable proof). From start to finish the design process takes 2-4 weeks. The prices are all set in stone, and start at $495 for a custom eBook cover, which includes unlimited changes to the first drafts (at least 2 different initial options). They’re a professional outfit, and because it’s a solid and experienced team they don’t have a waiting list to chew through before they get started on your cover. They offer a very affordable formatting option for those who haven’t fully prepped their text, and to top it all off they’re also devilishly handsome.
This is a great family cover design and formatting team, with some amazing work in their portfolio. Prices start at $395 for an eBook cover, so they’re very competitive in terms of pure, unadulterated value. You get your first concept within 2 weeks and they offer unlimited changes. They work in all genres and have a varied style to match any author’s requirements. They work closely with Smashwords, and have been around since 2011 – a veritable millennia in the digital cover design game. Like Damonza, they also offer a book formatting service. Highly recommended!
James Egan is one of the best book cover designers I’ve seen, and I don’t care who knows it. These guys do really great work, particularly in the fantasy and historical fiction genres. They have an excellent understanding of textures and lighting and are able to create moody covers that are burn-your-retinas-out amazing. Prices start at $549 for an eBook cover and include 5 rounds of changes to the concept provided. Make sure you book them early, as they can have a waiting list of up to 6 months – they’re that the cool nightclub that everyone wants to go to. They also offer an editing service.
Kit is another very good designer with an excellent reputation. His portfolio is varied and well presented. Prices start at $179 - the best value design option on this list. Make sure you book his services well in advance though, as he can get booked up quickly. He also has an excellent name.
Formed by the talented Scarlett Rugers, this design company does wonderful work with book covers. It helps that Scarlett is also very easy to work with – she’ll charm the pants right off you. This does mean that this design house can get booked up quickly though, so you need to ensure you plan your cover design well ahead of your publication date. Prices start at $490, which includes up to 3 eBook cover concepts and 3 rounds of revisions.
As with any service able to be provided over the internet, there are hundreds of cover designers out there from which to choose. Some that aren’t listed here are pretty good, but most, if I’m honest, are kind of bleugh (as you can see, I’m a designer, not a writer).
I’ve always felt that your choice of cover designer ultimately reflects how much you value the success of your book, and by choosing any one of the 5 options above you can be confident that your earth-shaking magnum opus will have a similarly seismic cover.
Have a look at our recommended book cover designers.