It’s just a cover story.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.


Do you create your own covers? Work with a cover artist to design them? Hand your ideas over to a professional and let them come up with a design? Buy a pre-made cover?


Over the last nine years, I’ve done all of the above. I’ve made my own, paid hundreds of dollars for professional covers and I’ve got them from Fiverr. A student designed some for me, with no charge, as a part of them learning their trade.

To be honest, whatever the cover, it hasn’t made much difference to my sales figures. And, no matter how many compliments people have paid them, whoever you ask for marketing advice, the first suggestion I have always received is, “change your covers.”

To be honest, I’m not too concerned about how I get them, as long as the cover reflects the genre and is reasonably congruent with current trends.

Due to the current financial situation, I’m back to designing my own covers again. I managed to pick up a subscription to Canva for a good price, which, along with sites like Pixabay, gives me access to a multitude of choices for component parts.


As an aside, I know people warn you about using sites like Pixabay. If I ever use an image from there, I always get in contact with the registered creator, tell them what I’m doing and get an email confirmation of the status of the image. Most creators are happy to agree to let me use their work for a book cover. If I don’t have their agreement, I look for another image. Of course, I will always give credit in the book for any images used.


Anyhow, when I get an idea for a story, whether I plan on doing the cover myself or not, one of the first things I do is work on a concept for the image I want to see on the finished product. This will initially be an awful-looking picture, but it’s enough to get my mind working, I refine it as I write and more of the essence of the story is revealed.

The great advantage of doing it myself is that, with KDp and print on demand, a new cover can be uploaded in minutes, so if something isn’t working, or I just fancy a change/get a new idea, I can have a revised version available very quickly. I can then sell any old paperbacks I might have left over as signed, special limited editions at events.

Win-win.

And now, the moment that you’ve all been waiting for, a selection of my covers.


First a paid-for cover, this is for a Fantasy adventure.

One from Fiverr, Sci-fi.

Next, a cover from my free ones, thanks Gill, this is for a futuristic crime thriller

Now, some of my concepts for part finished stories.


Finally, one of my own designs. This is my latest novel, a tale of hope.

Until next time.



Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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14 Responses

  1. Jack Eason

    The obsession with pretty covers has quite literally killed book sales. Except for a handful, most simply don’t read books, no matter the subject, especially when it comes to ebooks!

    • Richard Dee

      As far as I’m concerned, the cover has one function. To stand out, on a page full of other covers.

  2. Stevie Turner

    I don’t think covers have any bearing on sales either. The only time people download books in their hundreds is if they’re free.

    • Richard Dee

      Covers seem to be the current explanation for all marketing woes, I’m not so sure.

  3. Darlene Foster

    Your covers look great! If the cover looks amateurish, I won’t buy the book as chances are the writing will be amateurish as well. It’s like going for a job interview, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A future employer will think you will be sloppy with your work if you are sloppy with your presentation. This may not always be true, but it is how the mind works.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, it’s taken me a long while to learn how to do them myself, as long as they can catch the eye and not look too amateurish, I’m happy.

  4. Daryl Devore

    Truest line- To be honest, whatever the cover, it hasn’t made much difference to my sales figures.
    And from the comments – it’s I am not the only who thinks that. Thank for being the one to say it (write it) out loud.
    Tweeted.

    • Richard Dee

      I’ve taken to doing my own again partly because it can be easier to draw it yourself. In the past, I’ve spent too long trying to explain my vision to someone else.

  5. P.J. MacLayne

    I watched a seminar on creating covers by a professional cover artist a few months ago. Frankly, I didn’t like her designs. It all in the eye of the beholder.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s all about grabbing attention on a crowded web page. Usually at thumbnail size.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, on both counts. The cover picture sort of appeared in my head, much the same as the words do.

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