Cover Conundrum

I didn’t have a big budget to get a professionally done cover for ‘Relic’. I took the advice of a couple of other eBook writers I know and I hired a couple of designers at the micro gig website, Fiverr. If you’re not familiar with Fiverr, it’s a site where you can hire a freelancer to do a task for $5.00 U.S.. Lots of graphic artists hawk their services on the site.

I chose two completely different but highly rated designers and paid them $5 each through the site (Fiverr holds the money until the seller delivers to the buyer and the buyer claims satisfaction with the transaction or lets 10 days go by after delivery without contact). One designer does more traditional covers using images and word art and one illustrates covers in more of an animated style. I gave them both the same information about my book and let them have at it.

The results were astonishingly different. The traditional cover designer turned in a cover that had representations of my two leading ladies. It was very dark in tone as murder mystery covers tend to be but, though a murder was included in my book, that wasn’t the crux of the first story in the series. I liked the cover but I wasn’t sure it was right for me and for ‘Relic’.

The other designer turned in the cover that I ultimately decided to use. It’s simple in a striking green color with a morel mushroom front and nearly center. Though the mushroom has little to do with the story, I found it to be a fitting image for a mystery series based on a town named after said mushroom. The more I thought about it, the more I liked staying away from a cover that depicted my lead characters or one that depicted an actual image or scene from the book, no matter how abstract.

I don’t regret my decision for a minute. My book has been on sale for 9 days now with little advertisement from me and it’s doing just fine. Yes, the genre has something to do with it… mysteries always sell. I think though that the cover is making all the difference.I think when people are scrolling through the titles in it’s primary category, mystery/gay & lesbian, and they see dark covers everywhere but then up will pop this simple, bright green one to catch their eye, they’re clicking on it out of curiosity and several a day are buying. There’s something to be said for being different in a good way when it comes to covers!

About Anne Hagan

I'm an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and a fiction author by night. I specialize in mystery fiction featuring lesbian sleuths and cozy fiction featuring women sleuths. I also dabble in romance especially romantic lesfic. I live with my wife and our dogs in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of my first fiction series and we wouldn't have it any other way. My wife grew up here and she has always called this little village home. Though it’s an ultra-conservative rural community, we're surrounded here by family, longtime friends and many other wonderful people with open hearts and minds. My wife and I are the co-owners of a commercial haunted house: Hagan's House of Horrors. Much as my dream has always been to write fiction, hers has been to create it through the medium of horror. We went full commercial in 2015. Watch us as we grow!
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2 Responses to Cover Conundrum

  1. Hey, I’m a designer but haven’t used Fiverr yet. So this 5.00 deal: did they do any changes or revisions for you or was it simply: this is what you get for your money?
    Happy your book is selling well!


    • Anne Hagan says:

      Mercy, most of the designers will do at least one modification. It’s always helpful for the buyer to be very specific about what they want up front and for them to answer any questions anyone doing a gig for them on Fiverr has as soon as possible. The designer really does a lot for $5.00 (and they’re only getting $3.92 of that after paying Fiverr their cut and PayPal taking a tiny transaction fee). I just didn’t have $140.00 or more to lay out for a freelancer that would work with me change for change. I rolled the dice and spent $10 on Fiverr to hire two different designers. I wasn’t disappointed with the results at all.



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