We covered the top things to consider when making an ebook cover in an earlier post. But if for some reason you don’t want to make your own ebook cover, you have a few options. Here are some resources to check out for ebook cover design.
Take a look at 99Designs for 100% custom-made covers. Here’s how it works: You post what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to pay for it, the site’s community of artists will submit options, and at the end of a selected period of time, you choose a winner. The more you offer to pay, the better quality work you will receive.
DeviantART runs on a different model, in that it’s a community for artists, rather than a marketplace of for-hire creatives. You can find an existing piece of art to purchase that you may use as a cover, and many times you can get the artist to customize the art for you.
Then there are actual book cover creators for hire. I like Carl Graves’ ebook covers a lot, and he often does fire sales where he will offer up pre-existing templates for sale at a discount price. He’ll only sell each template once – so you know your cover is unique – but it is pre-created art with minimal opportunity for customization. KillerCovers and CoverGraphics are other cover creation services for hire.
As for free options, I still believe the best option is inside Blurb Booksmart® itself. If you have Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator you can edit graphics there. Or you can try Gimp and Seashore, both are open source (free) graphics programs that you can download. Keep your design simple, and if you do use images, make sure they are very basic, in focus, and high resolution.
If you don’t want to buy graphics, you can search sites like Flickr® for ones you can use, just make sure you’re looking for images that have been Creative Commons licensed for commercial use and adaptation/modification. This is an example search on Flickr for images of cars that are licensed for reuse. If you find a picture that isn’t licensed you really like, you can always contact the creator and see if they’d be willing to help you out. Many artists limit their license for Creative Commons to non-commercial use because they want to have the ability to veto individual commercial uses.
As noted in my previous post, the main thing to remember is to keep it simple. Your ebook cover will NOT sell your book, your book details page will, but your ebook cover is needed to entice people to go your book details page, learn more, and hopefully purchase the book. Happy ebook making!