This Is Why I Don’t Make My Own Covers

I blogged yesterday about why I am relying on professional graphic designers to create covers for my novels when I could probably create passable covers on my own, for free. The reason is that with stuff like this, you tend to get what you pay for.

Earlier today, I updated the teaser for The Needle and the Dungeon with the cover that was just created for it by Deranged Doctor Design. If you didn’t notice it below or never read the earlier post, go scroll down now and check it out.

This is something I could never, ever, have created on my own. Not even close. It’s striking, eye-catching, and memorable. I wrote the damn book, and it still makes me want to click through and read it.

When I commissioned this cover, I had some vague ideas about floating some woman’s face over something futuristic. You can see that this came out more or less in that vein, but what I envisioned was nothing like this, and what I would have created would have come out hollow and pedestrian compared to the cover I got.

That’s what a good graphic designer can do for you: take your ideas and give them real life, take them beyond what you wanted and expected. If you expect readers to pay money for your books, you need to show them you’re taking yourself seriously. You aren’t doing that by grabbing a throwaway stock image, slapping some text on it, and calling it a day.


  1. There is no way that I would try to design my own cover. I almost needed help starting a blog. I’m not completely clueless computer wise, but I know that art is not my friend when it comes to creative outlets. I have some ideas, and would love to be able to put them into action myself – but I would leave it to the professionals. Actually, it scares me that I won’t like the cover if I’m picked up :S


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