Spend the Time, Spend the Money

WriterI’ve taken part in a lot of discussions on writers’ forums that go something like this, “What do you guys think of my cover? I designed it myself.”

I’ve made the same mistake myself, more than once. It’s all too easy to think that you can create a cover. After all, what’s involved in a cover? Twilight is just a couple of hands holding an apple, anyone can make that, right?

No. No they can’t. Whatever your opinion of the book, the Twilight cover is exceptional. It’s simple, it conveys an idea and it stands out from the other books in its genre.

Designing covers is a skill that takes years to perfect. Expecting that two hours in Gimp will get you the same results is misguided.

If one of your family or friends thought they could sit down and write a novel without ever having read a book, you’d tell them it was a little foolish. You might say it in a more encouraging way, but you’d point them towards a simpler first step. They could start, for instance, with a short story.

It’s entirely possible to become a great cover artist. Anyone can. Just like anyone can become a writer. All it takes is time and effort. So the question becomes, do you want to spend the time or the money? A premade cover costs $40 over at http://goonwrite.com. Personally, I think that’s a small price to pay, when learning that skill would take years.


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