What’s the purpose of your book? Why are your writing it, and who do you expect to read it? Recently I’ve met several authors who don’t plan to pay for a book cover, because they can get a free cover made with Createspace’s cover generator. Many self-publishing authors may feel that the purpose of their book is to get their writing into the hands of interested readers – and that those readers won’t really care what the cover looks like.
Maybe your book isn’t intended to be “mainstream” or “commercial” – so why should you spend any money on a book cover when you can get one for free?
Here’s why: Writing a book is about much more than the text itself. That book is a calling card, a reference point, that will be used to judge you and everything your ever do or write in the future. If you have a book cover made by a program like Createspace’s free cover generator, people will assume you are an amateur, and what’s worse, that you don’t take pride in your projects.
If you want anybody to read it, you’re going to have to send it out to reviewers and get some positive reviews – but many reviewers will pass on books with obviously cheap covers.
Maybe your writing is brilliant. Maybe people love it despite the cover, but imagine them introducing it to their friends like this: “Yeah I know the cover is ugly, but the writing is actually very good!”
Conversely, having an amazing cover can draw attention to your book regardless of the quality of your writing. People may share and talk about a book’s cover even if they haven’t read the book!
However, spending a few hundred dollars on a book cover may not make sense if
- you’re only planning to sell a few copies
- you just want a couple copies for yourself