I am the very first to admit that I’m useless when it comes to creating things. Mum James would console me by saying I had a good eye which was her way of saying that I could accurately point out the flaws in anything I tried to draw or paint. I knew how I wanted it to look, but there’s a misfire between my brain and hands and I could never quite get things to look as I wanted.
When I first began publishing my work I naturally didn’t want to spend loads of money on a snazzy cover for a novelette that maybe three people, one being me, would buy. Kindle Direct Publishing has a cover creator, which I used for my first few books. Now, it is very nice of them to provide that, but much like getting your clothes from a garage sale, there are few options and most of them are sort of ugly.
Once it became clear that my work was selling well enough to justify the expense, I began working with ebookindiecovers. I was very pleased with the covers I got there, excellent customer service, quite reasonable prices. If you really cannot make your own, go there.
Then, quite by accident, I found out about canva.com. This has changed covers for me completely. There are templates, free pictures, stock pictures and everything is so blinking cheap! And so blinking easy to use! I went back and redid my old covers, use it for my new covers and thus far I’ve spent a grand total of $6 on six covers! And they look great! Not that I’m about to branch out into cover design, but for the sort of work I write — cheap, quick, erotic romance reads, that will not bring in millions (though they can and have brought in hundreds and the odd thousand), they are perfect. They look polished and are so easy to make.
I believe they make a real impression on readers as well. For those of us who specialize in short romantic fiction, with a strong emphasis on sexuality, a nice cover goes a long way towards convincing the reader that this is quality short fiction, written by a real writer and not just someone out to make a quick buck. Books do get judged by their covers, and you should definitely look at yours — put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Does what you have look like a real book cover, or does it look homemade? If it’s the latter, buy a cover or use Canva.