Welcome to Volume II of 8 Tips for Working With (and finding) a Book Designer.
Here's a recap from last week:
Tip# 1 - Research your genre.
Tip# 2 - Research a cover designers style.
Moving on to this week:
Tip #3 - Get a personal recommendation. You are never going to see a bad testimonial on a designer’s web site. If you asked the designer for references, they would never give you the contact info for a client that didn’t work out. Do consider the kinds of things you can only know from a personal recommendation, like … is this designer reliable?
Do they have experience? Do they listen to your ideas/needs? Are they pleasant to work with, or do they make you feel like you’re bothering them? Are they deadline oriented? Are they prompt in responding to your correspondence?
And, most importantly, do they produce works in your specific genre that will compete well with traditionally published works? (If you are unsure of the answer to this last question, as many new authors are, be sure to run any potential designer portfolios by someone in the publishing industry, to get a professional opinion about their skills.)
These are things you can only find out from someone who has worked with a designer directly, not from reading info on their website.
Tip #4 Don't let $$ be everything. I do recommend that you not make price your only deciding factor for your most important marketing tool. Budget is important, no doubt. Most indie authors have to consider costs. That’s a given.
But you want a quality cover, and a good designer is going to cost more than a crappy one. We have more experience – years in the trenches – and more often than not, that experience shows. I always say start saving early so you can afford the best designer possible.