I Hired A FIVERR Artist For My Book Cover, Here’s What Happened
Over the Summer, I hired two separate artists on FIVERR to create book covers for me. In both cases, I was charged less than $70 for a custom book cover. Needless to say, I was skeptical.
A few months back, while working on a cover for an upcoming novel, I decided to share my progress with one of my writing coaches. My writing coach is a full-time professional author. Even though it was late at night, she told me to call her.
While on the phone, she explained that a book cover is supposed to be something familiar, but new. Readers need to be able to look at a book cover and immediately infer what the story is about. She showed me several examples of book covers in various genres and asked me what I thought the story would be about. This even included books that would fall into two different genres at once. She also showed me examples of book covers that were confusing, cluttered, and which failed to convey the essence of the story.
She then had me look at my cover, and at covers that I had on my Amazon books already. I very quickly got the point. My covers looked cool, but they failed to tell the audience what the book was about.
While I love creating my own story covers, I only have so much time on my hands. My life is very busy. So, I decided to check out some FIVERR gigs, having had good luck with FIVERR artists in the past.
Enter Dark Swim
The first cover was for my short story, “Dark Swim.” Originally, my cover was a generic image of a river at sunset. Maybe a bit creepy, and it is clearly a nature picture, but it doesn’t tell potential readers anything else about the story.
I reached out to an artist and described what I wanted. We chatted back and forth through the FIVERR inbox, and he sent me a draft of the monster per my description. After several back-and-forth revisions to modify and adjust the details, he gave me a sketch that I was satisfied with. Next, he added color to the monster and some background elements. We spent several rounds discussing the cover and making adjustments. I wanted a boy swimming here, and clothes on a tree branch over there. I got nervous for a bit, because it was so close, but wasn’t just quite right. Then, one morning, he sent me a version that was perfect! The characters and angles were wonderful! Clothes were hanging on a tree branch, and the boy and monster were facing away from one another. My artist understood the vibe and the mindset that I was going for, and he delivered that and more!
A New Whisper
The next story that I wanted a cover made for was “Whisper: A first glimpse at the world of Eden’s Revenge.” This story takes place in the mainline universe of my fiction stories and is the first story to introduce readers to that world. This particular story takes place on Mars, and is a homage to The Hunger Games, but with a subversive twist.
An emperor who sent thousands of slaves and rebels to die in the Martian rainforest is surprised to learn that one survived. After inviting her to come to his office, he soon finds that she is the one who holds all the power, and that his life is in her hands.
The original cover did not look bad, but it failed to tell the audience what the story was about.
On the cover, I had a black woman, with greenish-blue eyes, and a red sky. Cool. But how is anyone supposed to know that this takes place on Mars? How is anyone supposed to know what genre this is?
Once again, I reached out to an artist on FIVERR, but this time it was an artist who specialized in 3D images.
As with my other artist, we spent a lot of time communicating back and forth and adjusting the details. I wanted a black female, with green eyes, standing in front of domed futuristic cities on the planet Mars. This was clearly going to be a lot of work, and I asked if she was up for the challenge. She assured me that she was.
One of the first things she did was create custom-sculpted buildings for the cities. This means that each building in the city was custom-designed in a 3D computer program. She showed me the progress as she went, and then added more detail. Finally, the day came when she began to design the character. 3D models of black women can be more expensive, and there are fewer pre-made options available.
What this artist did was use a basic female model, and then custom-designed the subtle features to reflect those described with the character in my story. Details such as the shape of her lips and nose and the color of her skin and eyes were carefully crafted.
Finally, she adjusted all of the details to blend a Martian desert, with domed cities, framing a beautiful female protagonist.
The results speak for themselves.
The Final Verdict
While I love creating story covers myself, it was a good idea to have someone else help me to present my content to the world. Hiring an artist on FIVERR was the best decision given my time and budget constraints. If you are looking for an artist, or for any kind of gig, I highly recommend this platform. The process is very easy and can be very inexpensive.
The one downside to hiring someone on FIVERR is communication. While my artists were both very good at communicating, and at understanding the vibe I was going for, talking with anyone through an inbox can be challenging. It’s like trying to collaborate on a new project with your boss via text message. Even in the best of times, text can be a difficult mode of communication. With that said, my recommendation is to just be patient. Communication is a two-way street, and it is not the artist’s fault if the message does not come through perfectly the first time, nor is it yours.
Adjustments are expected and they are part of the process. You are going to go back and forth quite a few times, before getting things to be just right. Be patient with the process, with yourself, and with the artist, because at the end of the day, he or she is working very hard to bring you their best work, and make your vision come to life.
Overall, I love the value I’ve received from FIVERR. It’s helped me to connect with incredibly talented and professional individuals from all over the world, and I very much intend to use this platform for other projects going forward.
If you are interested in seeing the portfolios of the artists who designed my covers, then check out these links. “Nabinkarna,” who designed my cover for “Dark Swim,” can be found here. Likewise, “Kasun” who designed the cover for “Whisper,” can be found here.
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