How to Find A (New) Cover Designer (because the first one fell through)

Back in December, I wrote about my haphazard process for finding a cover designer for WoEM, and how it ended up working out. Well, the design process did not play out in the way I hoped…

Mainly because I did not hear back from my prospective designer for about two months. I don’t know what happened. But after weeks of radio silence, I sent one message with an ultimatum: respond with a commitment to the project, or I’d pull the contract.

No response. Luckily, Upwork held my payment in escrow, so I was able to file an appeal on the contract (which required a response from the contractor within seven days), and get my money back in full. I never heard from the artist, so this was clearly the right move.

Did I mention that Upwork is a great freelance platform?

Searching for a Cover Designer… Again!

This time, my search for an artist will be much more informed. I even have a new concept for a cover design that I feel will make the process easier.

Concept Art vs. Detailed Illustration

My initial cover idea featured my protagonists, Aston and Jaed, surrounded by the towering trees of Everfeld looking as if they were running from something — an apt concept for the tone of my story.

However, it’s hard to translate that unless I find an artist who can accurately and beautifully capture both the expressions on the characters’ faces and the immense wilderness of the forest. I thought I had that artist.

So now, my idea is less conventional, easier for me to explain to an artist, and leaves much more room for their own creativity to make it pop. It’s win-win.

Book Dimensions

I also now know that I need the dimensions of my book to be set before I tell the artist how big to make the illustration. I’m still deciding between 9″ x 6″ and a slightly larger size for my book, but I’ll figure that out once my beta is done. I’ll also be able to calculate the spine width, which is pretty important.

The Right Price

My budget for this portion of my publication has gone up. It’s not that I have more money (I don’t). But I’ve seen a lot of amaaaaaaaazziiinnngg covers on MLS Weech’s book cover of the month brackets… and damn it, I want to win one of those!

Hold Fast! The Beta Comes First!

I also now know that it’s totally unrealistic for me to begin this process until Manuscript: Beta is complete. But getting the cover design nailed down will likely be one of the first non-writing projects I tackle once I send the beta off to my readers.

Speaking of which, I should be writing!

Steve D

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