Since the day Gutenberg pulled the first sheet off his press, we’ve been told “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and for just about as long, we’ve done precisely that. It isn’t fair, but we do judge books by their cover and now, with the Big-Bang-like expansion of the self-published sub-industry, we probably do it even more.
For self-published authors, cover art is a morass of high cost and low quality. If you’re lucky enough to be an expert photo-manipulator, you may be able to create a decent cover, but even so, the costs of stock images and the complexity of rights and royalty limitations can be daunting.
I’ve created covers for some of my own titles. I’ve negotiated with photographers, fussed with fonts, and tried to apply the wisdom I’ve gleaned from those who do it for a living. I’ve had varying levels of success (the art for Unraveling Time and Cryptogenesis are probably my best), but I’ve never truly been satisfied. Still, whenever I’ve looked into contracting a graphic artist to create a cover, the prices have been out of my range, especially for shorter works which don’t have as high an earnings potential.
Enter ND Author Services.
ND Author Services (NDAS) is the publishing arm of the Hendee writing empire. The Hendees, Barb and J.C., are the authors of the best-selling Noble Dead Saga and other great series, and I’ve sent you over to NDAS before, to learn from some of their excellent articles on the business side of writing.
What most people don’t know is that J.C. Hendee is the talent behind most of their short-form covers. While all their long-form work is published by major houses, they self-publish all their shorter tie-in works, and J.C. crafts the covers. A while ago, I had the opportunity to look over J.C.’s shoulder and study how he builds layer upon layer of graphic elements to create his unquestionably high-quality covers. At the time, I could only dream of having cover art that good.
Now, however, we can all benefit from J.C.’s graphical talents, and you won’t believe how affordable it is.
NDAS began offering “pre-made” covers last year, and they now have an impressive gallery of artwork available for licensing. There are dozens and dozens of high-quality cover art on display, all organized into genre-specific categories. Select the artwork you want, and NDAS will customize it for your title, name, and other specifics. Then they’ll reserve that artwork for a year, so other authors can’t use the same piece.
You can license the work for e-book, print, or both, and here’s the kicker: the price for these is $30, $75, and $85, respectively.
Yes. You can get quality cover art for your electronic and printed book, both for only $85.
I know I sound like a shill, but anyone who has looked into hiring a cover artist knows that this is an incredibly low price, especially if you consider the quality of the work. I’ve paid more than that just to get the rights to a single photo to use in my covers.
Don’t see that perfect fit your title? No worries. NDAS offers services to create custom cover work, as well.
Trust me on this: if you are part of the self-publishing world, you really need to check this out. It may very well be the only cover art resource you need.