The big question is: do you judge a book by it’s cover? The answer is probably yes, whether you admit it or not.
Hundreds of thousands of books are out there on physical and virtual bookshelves and the constant battle for writers is to get your book to stand out from the vast crowd. One of the most powerful tools you have is your cover; it is this that will either sell your book or have people skip over it searching for a better looking one.
Obviously the content of the book is going to be the main factor in your success, but the reader has to be drawn in first and your cover is that first step to enticing readers with the promise of a high quality product.
Amazon has a library of cover templates which are very good quality and simple to use; the problem is that many hundreds of other indie authors are probably also using the same design. It can be a bit disheartening to see the exact same cover used on somebody else’s book, so using an Amazon cover design is not really the best way to go. The same can be said for the many free template sites on the internet, but they are all worth looking through, and if you find one you absolutely love, then use it.
If you have even a modicum of design skill it is worth trying out your own designs. There are plenty of Photoshop-like software applications around which are great for photo editing and design, but you really have to ensure that you do a professional-looking job; readers will assume that an amateur cover means an amateur author. The advantage of ‘doing it yourself’ is that you can customise the cover to your exact requirements and make it very unique.
If you want to hire a designer but you have limited funds (let’s face it, most new writers are financially limited) then there are some cheaper alternatives. Fiverr is always worth checking out; there are some really talented people offering their services but it’s worth trawling through to find the best.
Whichever way you go when designing your book cover, remember that your book is your product and therefore requires the best investment you can afford, both in time and money; but it is possible to create a decent cover with little or no budget as long as you are willing to spend the time learning the basics of design.