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Authors: How to Use Kickstarter to FUND Your Book Marketing


By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Hundreds and even thousands of years ago, it was essential for creative folks to recruit sponsors to help fund their masterpieces so they could succeed. Things haven’t changed as sponsorships are still important for creative people, including writers. Writers continue to recruit sponsors and patrons to promote their books and help them earn a spot on the best-seller list without clearing all of their savings.

Kickstarter is an invaluable resource for authors who would like to raise some money for their books. It is a website that gives authors, musicians, app developers, inventors and others the opportunity to recruit people to support their creative project.

https://ctt.ac/3I7ez

Kickstarter is a for-profit company that was created to support creative projects (for a 5% fee against the funds collected) because they believe creative projects make for a better world. Since its inception in 2009, there have been 165,189 successfully funded projects for more than 5 billion dollars! Although the majority of projects raise less than $10,000, an increasing number have reached six, seven, and even eight figures.

Here’s how Kickstarter works: Project creators join Kickstarter and set a funding goal and deadline. If people like their project, they donate money to support it.  An author can use the money for publishing or distribution costs, to upgrade to a better distributor, or to pay for the costs of the book publicist hired to give your book the push it needs.

Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing policy that states you must reach your goal before receiving any money. However, don’t let this scare you because even if you don’t receive a penny, you can get your book in front of more readers and obviously, that’s never a bad thing.

I’m going to be frank here: The reality is that while many authors have benefited from Kickstarter, a lot of the campaigns flat out failed, especially when the creative person tried to run their own campaign without first researching what works or asking for professional assistance.

Fortunately, Kickstarter recently launched a conference called “The Next Page: Creating the Future of Publishing”  to help authors interested in reaping the benefits of Kickstarter. It spent four panels giving those in publishing the chance to discuss topics such as economic sustainability and cultivating community. It took place on May 11th, 2019 but you can watch it online here.

“Book publishing isn’t a huge portion of Kickstarter’s revenue — the “Publishing” and “Journalism” categories together account for just 9% of their successfully funded projects and 4% of the total money pledged. But, the industry’s “outsize cultural impact” makes it critically important to the Brooklyn-based public-benefit corporation,” explained Adam Rowe, a Forbes contributor who discussed the conference in a recent Forbes article.

As a book publicist, I have been involved on both sides of a Kickstarter campaign and have witnessed how authors have used the platform to attain the funds needed to publish and promote a book. Let’s take a closer look at some 2019 Kickstarter author success stories.

Author Jen Marr of Washington DC used Kickstarter for her book, “Paws to Comfort”, a book designed for anyone who has ever felt awkward when reaching out to someone who is struggling. It empowers readers with simple tools and inspirational stories that can help them break through the awkward zone and become better comforters.

As of June 2019, her campaign has received the support of 221 backers who pledged $33,819. The money raised will go toward manuscript to book, book production and delivery, and launch and promotion.

Art Brooks of Providence, RI is another example of an author who used Kickstarter to their advantage. His Kickstarter campaign is designed to support the “Star Wars The Vintage Collection Archive Edition”, a comprehensive historical manuscript and detailed visual archive of The Vintage Collection, one of Hasbro’s most popular lines of Star Wars action figures.

At the time of this writing the campaign had 1,058 backers who pledged $133,887. Brooks offered various perks to backers who pledge a certain amount. For example, anyone who pledged $100 or more will receive one printed copy of The Vintage Collection Archive Edition book and one limited edition 24×36-inch The Vintage Collection compendium poster.

Believe it or not, there’s also a Kickstarter campaign for 9-year old author MaKayla Rose Hubbs from Mantua, NJ. She wrote the book “Why Bedtime Sucks: The Opposite of a Bedtime Story.” The book begins with her witty objection to the various reasons she’s been told it’s important for her to get a good night’s rest. Her campaign had 124 backers who pledged $9,588. Anyone who pledged $10 or more will received an e-book as well as a downloadable coloring page.

These authors didn’t just get lucky and raise money for their books with minimal effort. Many of them were strategic in how they designed their Kickstarter campaigns and came up with incentives for pledgers. In order to attract pledges as an author, you can offer the following:

  • Digital copies of your entire works if you have written three or more books
  • Autographed, limited edition copies
  • Free editing and critique of a donor’s draft writing
  • A free review of a donor’s published book
  • Your illustrator to draw an image of the donor to place in your book
  • An in-person meeting with the author for a formal English tea
  • Mention of the donor’s business with a testimonial given by a character in the book
  • A gourmet meal prepared by the author of a cookbook at the donor’s home
  • A free hot air balloon ride for two with this article’s author, book publicist Scott Lorenz, to any Michigan resident donating $1,500 or more to one of his clients

If one of my clients decides to pursue a Kickstarter campaign, I’ll help them design an appealing message, create a great video, and promote their campaign outside of the Kickstarter platform.
 
Other Crowdfunding Options
 
Indiegogo: A crowdfunding website founded in 2008. One compelling feature, if you don’t reach your goal you can still keep the funds pledged.

Ulule: This is the only international crowdfunding platform where the majority of projects get funded. It strives to empower creators and entrepreneurs.

The Bottom Line: If you’re an author looking for funding then check out how Kickstarter can pay for your book publishing and promotion.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors: Is it Time to Do a TEDx Talk?

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

A TEDx talk is another arrow in the quiver for authors to propel their book… or to get a book deal.
Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

Ted Talks for AuthorsLearn about how a TEDx Talk can help you make it big as an author.

Technology, Entertainment, and Design or TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short yet powerful talks. Since its inception in 1984, its talks have covered a plethora of topics such as science, art, business, global issues, and education.

TEDx is a program of self-organized events that brings people together to enjoy a TED-like experience. To sign up for and give a TEDx talk, you must obtain a TED license that states you have agreed to adhere to certain guidelines like no selling, religious proselytizing, or speaking about politics.

While TED talks take a global approach to a topic and must be hosted by experts, TEDx talks focus on a local community and can be organized by just about anyone. Believe it or not, there are many authors that have given TEDx talks and landed book deals as a result.

For example, Celeste Headlee spoke at TEDxCreativeCoast on “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation.” Her talk was viewed more than 14 million times and she was eventually contacted by an agent who helped her publish her book, “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter.”

In addition, Mac Barnett, award-winning author of children’s books like “I Love You Like a Pig” and “Places to Be” spoke at TEDxSonomaCounty on “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door.”

If you’re interested in taking your career and book to the next level, getting involved in a TEDx talk may be a great idea. Here are 17 TEDx talks around the country that you can apply to as an author.

  1. TEDxWilmington: http://www.tedxwilmington.com
  2. TEDxPortland: https://www.tedxportland.com/
  3. TEDxBoulder: https://tedxboulder.com/
  4. TEDxMidAtlantic: https://tedxmidatlantic.com/
  5. TEDxMileHigh: https://www.tedxmilehigh.com/
  6. TEDxSan Antonio: http://tedxsanantonio.com/
  7. TEDxFargo: http://tedxsanantonio.com/
  8. TEDxCharlottesville: http://tedxcharlottesville.com/
  9. TEDxUCLA: https://tedx.ucla.edu/
  10. TEDxOshkosh: https://www.tedxoshkosh.com/
  11. TEDxNashville: http://www.tedxnashville.com/
  12. TEDxManhattanBeach: http://tedxmanhattanbeach.com/
  13. TEDxJacksonHole: http://www.tedxjacksonhole.org/
  14. TEDxRapidCity: https://www.tedxrapidcity.com/
  15. TEDxDetroit: http://www.tedxdetroit.com/tedx-in-michigan/
  16. TEDxSonomaCounty: https://www.tedxsonomacounty.com/
  17. TEDxCreativeCoast: https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/14007

Want a global list of TEDx events? Check out this interactive world map of TEDx talks: https://www.ted.com/tedx/events

If you do decide to participate in a TEDx talk, it’s important to listen and watch various talks so that you can get a feel for what they are like and what the audience expects to see. “TEDx presentations are an art form,” says Jess Todtfeld former TV producer for NBC, ABC and FOX-TV. “You have to deliver on the theme of the event and speak without notes. I help authors and experts fine-tune their talks to fit the TEDx style so they can crush the talk,” says Todtfeld.

Contact Jess at: https://www.successinmedia.com/ted-talk-training/

Also, when speaking in a TEDx talk, focus on one idea worth spreading, create a hook that grabs the audience’s attention and sparks their curiosity, and make sure you are clear and conversational. In addition, keep in mind that some TEDx talks require video applications or in-person auditions.

The Bottom Line:  A TEDx talk can be a great opportunity to get yourself noticed as an author. It may be just what you need to land the book deal you’ve always wanted.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Top Book Fairs & Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2019

Top Book Fairs & Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2019

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

“Authors, put down your pen and go explore the many book fairs and festivals around the country. You won’t be sorry!”  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

After writing diligently for weeks and months on end it’s time to get invigorated! Nothing does the job like meeting people who love books and write books. Check out this list of book festivals and fairs that I compiled that authors can attend for 2019. These events are an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel slot or speaking gig you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at: http://www.BookTV.org and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit   http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2019 as of the date of this publishing:

  1. Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 13-14, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA. The festival attracts more than 150,000 people. https://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/  
  2. 2019 Dayton Book Expo, April 27, 2019 at the David H. Ponitz Conference Center, Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. There will be unique books by new authors and panel discussions for aspiring authors. https://www.daytonbookexpo.com/
  3. BookExpo America, May 29-31, 2019, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It’s worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend.  http://www.bookexpoamerica.com
  4. Millbrook Literary Festival, May 18, 2019.   Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.  https://millbrookliteraryfestival.org/
  5. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 8-9, 2019, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 150,000 book lovers. http://printersrowlitfest.org
  6. Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 16-21, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. There will be more than 20 different instructional workshops each day. http://www.sbwriters.com
  7. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 20-25, 2019, in Washington, D.C.. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. https://2019.alaannual.org/
  8. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 25-June 28, 2019, Nashville, TN. CBA’s International Christian Retail Show Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. http://www. Marketingchristianbooks.com
  9. Harlem Book Festival, July 20, 2019 Harlem, NYC visited by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span http://www.harlembookfair.com
  10. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin August 2, 2019 and finish August 3, 2019 in Denver, Colorado www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2019/rmbpf_2019_GeneralInfo.html
  11. Writers at Woody Point, August 13-18, 2019 in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Travel to Canada and see what creativity and talent lies across the border. http://www.writersatwoodypoint.com
  12. Decatur Book Festival, August 30-September 1, 2019, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. http://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  13. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 5-8, 2019 https://www.bookmarksnc.org/2018-festival-books-authors
  14. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 16, 2019 and run through September 23, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org
  15. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 1, 2019 and end October 7, 2019 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org
  16. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be held October 3-6, 2019. http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/
  17. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 11, 2019 through October 13, 2019. https://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/thingstodo/southernfestivalofbooks
  18. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 12-13, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com
  19. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will take place on October 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. https://10times.com/vvbf
  20. The Texas Book Festival will begin October 26, 2019 and end October 27, 2019 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org
  21. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on November 1, 2019 and end November 10, 2019. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com
  22. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (40th Annual) will be held November 15,  2019 through November 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://bostonbookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Authors, put down your pen and go explore the many book fairs and festivals around the country. You won’t be sorry!
 
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at: http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com

Authors Want Reviews? Use NetGalley For Ultimate Book Marketing

by Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

“Reviews are a third party endorsement of your work. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile.” Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist
“We are still trying to get reviews. It is worse than pulling teeth though. Unfortunately I used up the reviewers I could threaten bodily harm to with my first book!”   Exasperated Author

One of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going. How would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 450,000 readers.

NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work before and after it is published. Members get galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion (more about that on their website: https://www.netgalley.com/

“What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of Saving Jay and When the Siren Calls.  If you can’t handle the truth or someone’s version of the truth don’t do it!
“We work with over 400 publishers, indie authors and small publishers who are incorporating NetGalley into their marketing and publicity activities,” says Kristina Radke of NetGalley. We work in all genres, and the formats we support are ePub (converted to Mobi for Kindle devices and apps) or PDF.”

The reach is often beyond the NetGalley platform. “NetGalley does encourage its reviewers to post outside NetGalley, on places such as a personal blog, Amazon or GoodReads. It does not, however, guarantee or require this to happen,” says C.E. Kilgore, a self-published author of Science Fiction, Space Opera, and Contemporary Romance.

Check out The Science Fiction Writers Association who have a special rate with Net Galley. http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/netgalley-application/

“NetGallians are not only strangers but staunch supporters of good fiction, like Templars defending a holy artifact,” says J.S. Leonard, author of Modern Rituals. “They care only to support excellent writing.”  One thing Leonard discovered with NetGalley are his “superfans,” those individuals who read the book, love the book, and tell everyone they know.

“NetGalley is so huge, your books are getting listed next to some pretty big name titles, and that can sometimes do wonders at getting your book noticed.  It’s a great chance to discover new authors and for authors to be discovered by new readers,” said Melissa Pearl, author of The Elements Trilogy.

“NetGalley is about marketing for authors/publishers, in addition to connecting with readers, and we have to keep in mind the game of trying to reach as many readers as possible,” said Keary Taylor, author of The Eden Trilogy, The Fall of Angels Trilogy, and What I Didn’t Say.

Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers. “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

Some authors believe NetGalley is costly, but as a book publicist, I can attest to the fact that the cost of soliciting, shipping and following-up is pretty costly in terms of money and time too.  Author C.E. Kilgore is concerned that the site has little reader/reviewer vetting process.

NetGalley admits this, but they believe that publishers and authors know best the readers who are most useful for them. When a reviewer requests a book, the author or publisher can accept or decline the request after reviewing their profiles. The price for a listing ranges from $399 to $599 for six months with the higher fee including a marketing boost and newsletter placement.

Want to save money? NetGalley works in partnership with the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). They have a NetGalley program that makes it very easy for small and self-published authors to participate at a discount. Click here for more information: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/netgalley?&hhsearchterms=%22net+and+galley%22

The Bottom Line: NetGalley is a great way to obtain pre-publish reviews and is yet another resource available to authors and publishers to reach a community of avid readers.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com   or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

47 Book Cover Designers to Create Your Best Selling Cover

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“A Good Book Cover Can Help Sell a Book- A Bad Cover Can Kill a Book.”  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

“Your book cover is not a decoration. It’s a smart business investment.” George Foster,  Foster Covers

Being a book publicist and book marketing guy I often weigh in on book cover designs. Sometimes it’s in the nick of time sometimes it’s too late to make a change. Here’s the situation, authors, please – do not underestimate the importance of a book cover’s design.

Not only do potential book buyers judge a book by its cover but so do members of the media. Many reporters receive dozens of books every day! Do you really think they read the book flap and your pitch? Ha!

Here are some important items to consider when making decisions on book cover design:

Use a subhead to create more description. If you have a 10-word title, you have not properly named the book in the first place.

Check with Google on the words that are most searched on your topic. To do this, type in the word that best describes your book in the search box and then see what the next most important or popular words are in that list. That ranking is very relevant marketing- wise so try to use those words in your title or subtitle. Consider using the genre in the subtitle too because that’s what people are searching on.

Visit book stores look at the covers of all types of books. What catches your eye? Look at the book face and look at the spines. Which ones are readable and why?

Will it play on Amazon? Go to Amazon.com, BN.com, Good Reads, Smashwords and search for competitive books in your space. Notice the book covers that catch your eye and the ones that do not. If your cover does not show up well in an Amazon thumbnail then you are going to lose sales.

Contrast. Don’t let your graphic designer get started without keeping contrast in mind. The reason black ink works so well on white paper is because it produces the best contrast possible. Yellow ink on green paper in a small font simply does not work. How does your book look in black and white? Not every publication will be printing it in color.

Font size. Many designers are young with great eyesight. But your buyer may not be able to read the tiny font some designers insist upon using. Be practical.

The spine. Can you read it from five feet away? If not, neither can browsers in a bookstore.

Blurbs. Keep them relevant and short. Consider including a mention on the cover of a foreword written by a famous person or author. “Foreword by Best Selling Author Judith Grisel” or “Foreword by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos” or “Foreword by Singer Ariana Grande.”

Back inside flaps. Do not overlook creating content on the back inside flaps because consumers pick up a book after looking at the spine, front cover and back and then open the book to find the price or more information.

Use a laser printer. Don’t just review your cover on a computer screen which will make it look considerably better. Print it out actual size and make a determination using that printed version.

Pictures are worth 1000 words. Use photos and illustrations to describe what would take too long to explain. When choosing a book design ask yourself how the cover will look on your website home page. Branding is important so you’ll want to use the same design elements on your website that you do on your book cover

Ask for feedback. Show your cover designs to as many people in your target group of potential readers. Get their reactions and opinions. It costs you nothing and you’ll likely find out something you did not realize before.
Here are 47 book cover designers and services to consider for your next cover:

  1. 99 Designs, https://99designs.com/:  99designs.com uses graphic designers from around the world who compete for your business by actually designing the book cover on speculation, ie no charge. I commissioned many covers for authors using 99designs after the author was not happy with the creations from his own designer. I mentioned several design elements such as the title, subtitle, what the book was about etc. Figuring more is better, we got 65 different cover designs in 5 days! The most difficult part was narrowing down the selection to 8 then having friends, family, co-workers vote on their favorites from all corners of the world all online. They also added their comments, insight and logic behind liking or disliking a cover design right under the image of that cover. They voted over several days and the comments were able to be read by our team, also scattered all over North America. The cost was under $700 or so and it was only that high because we put a rush on it and paid extra. This was an excellent process that delivered a NY Times bestseller quality cover that I highly recommend.
  2. Fiverr, http://fiverr.com/: Fiverr gives you many options for just $5. These are fast and obviously cheap but I’ve seen some pretty nice work. Order from 2 or 3 designers at the same time. Hey, it’s only $5 bucks!
  3. Draw Big Design, http://www.jeniferthomasdesign.com/: Draw Big Design produces smart visuals that stand out from the ordinary.
  4. Killer Covers, http://killercovers.com/: Killer Covers offers various packages for your book cover needs including web pages, Facebook pages etc. They are based in Australia and I’ve used them and recommended them several times.
  5. Book Cover Express, http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/: Book Cover Express has a competitive flat rate so you can work with your ideal budget.
  6. Author Support, http://www.authorsupport.com/: The designers at Author Support are a great resource.
  7. Book Creatives, http://www.bookcreatives.com/: Book Creatives offers book cover design and ebook design for authors.
  8. Foster Covers, http://www.fostercovers.com: George Foster of Foster Covers is a book cover designer who has earned more than 300 awards and created covers for 134 bestsellers. His work has appeared on over 1,000 books.
  9. Karrie Ross Graphics,  http://www.bookcoverdesigner.com/: Karrie Ross of Karrie Ross Graphics specializes in book cover design for the self-publishing industry
  10. Damonza, http://damonza.com/: Damonza has over 30 years combined experience in the design and advertising industry
  11. Robin Ludwig Design, http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/: Robin Ludwig Design  specializes in providing superior book cover design services utilizing professional equipment and software
  12. Andy Carpenter Design, http://acdbookcoverdesign.com/: Andy Carpenter Design is a boutique design firm for self-publishers and small presses.
  13. Self-Publishing Lab, http://www.bookcovercafe.com/: Self-Publishing Lab has been voted the best website for authors, so be sure to check it out
  14. Lulu, http://www.lulu.com/publish/books/: Along with publishing services Lulu provides design quality at a competitive price.
  15. David Airey, http://www.davidairey.com/designing-book-covers/: David Airey is a creative book cover designer
  16. Book Cover Genius, http://bookcovergenius.com/bcg-2/: Book Cover Genius offers a great sales pitch about why you should download their software to design your own book cover. Worth a look.
  17. CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/Services/UniqueBookCover.jsp: CreateSpace allows you to work with their professional design team to custom-create an affordable, striking cover that broadcasts your book’s key messages with distinct colors, fonts, and one central image.
  18. BookBaby, http://www.bookbaby.com/services/coverdesign: BookBaby offers a straightforward approach to finding a budget and designing your book cover.
  19. Guru, http://www.guru.com/Find-Freelancers/Cover-Book-Designers/004-RQ3JSR: Guru is a great website to utilize to find freelance book cover designers from around the world. Very cool.
  20. 1106 Design, http://1106design.com/: 1106 Design offers editing, proofreading, cover design, Interior page layout, eBook formatting, Printing and more.
  21. Infinity Publishing, http://www.infinitypublishing.com/book-cover-designs-gallery/book-cover-designs-gallery.html : With Infinity Publishing you have complete control over the cover design and layout of your book.
  22. Abacus Graphics, http://www.abacusgraphics.com/: Abacaus Graphics is an intimate award-winning design studio creating exceptional image building graphic designs for print and the web since 1979.
  23. Albertine Book Design, http://www.dotdesign.net: Albertine Book Design offers complete design and production services for children’s books, tabletop books, cookbooks, textbooks, fiction and non-fiction hard covers and paperbacks.
  24. Book Covers for All, http://bookcoversforall.com/: Book Covers for All features one designer boasting over 18 years of experience with 1000+ books to his credit.
  25. Book Cover Express, http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/ Cathi Stevenson of Book Cover Express has 30 years of publishing experience and more than 1500 book covers to her credit.
  26. Duck of All Trades, http://www.duckofalltrades.com/: Duck of All Trades is a full service design studio offering graphic design, illustration, publication layout and more.
  27. Dunn+Associates, http://www.dunn-design.com: Dunn + Associates creates the success tools that authors need like best-selling book covers and more.
  28. Elaine Gignilliat, http://www.romancebookcoverart.com/: Elaine Gignilliat is one of the foremost romance book cover artists. She has painted covers for over 350 romance books representing more than 150 authors
  29. Extended Imagery, http://extendedimagery.com/predesignedcovers.html: Carl Graves is a professional book cover designer who has a fire sale on book covers with more than 2,000 book covers on hand. These are really amazing must see covers.
  30. Illumination Graphics, http://www.illuminationgraphics.com/: Illumination Graphics provides affordable and dynamic design for books, both book cover designs and book interior layouts.
  31. BookWise Design, http://lightbourne.com/: BookWise Design has designed over 1200 book covers and strives to provide the most experienced and helpful book production services.
  32. ExpertSubjects, http://www.expertsubjects.com/covers: Expert Subjects has several cover artists and you can choose to create a fully customized book cover depending on your budget constraints. They also provide an array of services including typesetting, editing, critique and undertake publishing & distribution too.
  33. Canva, https://www.canva.com/create/book-covers/: Canva’s book cover maker makes book covers amazingly simple to design – even for non-designers. I’ve used them for memes too.
  34. The Cover Collection, http://www.thecovercollection.com/: Here’s a way to get a high quality book cover for a great price using premade book cover designs. Authors receive multiple drafts to choose from and a choice of font options. I’ve checked out their covers and they are top notch.
  35. TS95 Studios, https://www.ts95studios.com/subpages/MyServices.html: Hampton Lamoureux of TS95 Studios is a Daily Deviation award-winning artist on DeviantArt.com. He designs e-book and full-jacket covers, crafting elaborate realistic scenes from stock photos for fantasy, horror, mystery, and sci-fi novels.
  36. JD Smith Design, http://www.jdsmith-design.com/: JD Smith is an award-winning book cover designer who has worked in the graphic design industry since she was 17. She designs book publishers for traditional publishers and independent authors.
  37. Jessica Bell Design, https://www.jessicabelldesign.com/: Jessica Bell is dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind book cover designs that fit any author’s budget. She began designing covers as favors for her author friends and has turned her hobby into a successful business.
  38. Mars Dorian, http://www.marsdorian.com/: Mars Dorian is a digital illustrator and storyteller who specializes in creating e-book covers that stand out for affordable prices.
  39. Alexandra Brandt, http://www.alexandrajbrandt.com/:  Alexandra Brandt’s print and e-book covers focus on sci-fi and fantasy works.
  40. Kingwood Creations, https://www.kingwoodcreations.com/: Find stunning premade book covers at Kingwood Creations. You can select your favorite design from over 100 premade covers.
  41. MiblArt, https://miblart.com/: MiblArt is a design company that specializes in book covers. If you choose them for your book cover design, you can expect the first concept to be delivered in 3 days and an unlimited number of revisions.
  42. Jeff Brown Graphics, http://jeffbrowngraphics.com/: Beautiful sci-fi and fantasy book cover designs can be found at Jeff Brown Graphics. Jeff has collaborated with over 90 authors on more than 250 covers.
  43. Historical Fiction Book Covers, http://www.historicalfictionbookcovers.com: For a historical fiction book cover design, consider Historical Fiction Book Covers by Jenny Quinlan.
  44. Dissect Design, https://www.dissectdesigns.com/: Dissect Design was created for indie book authors who are in search stunning book covers that don’t break the bank. https://www.dissectdesigns.com/
  45. Laura Duffy Design, https://www.lauraduffydesign.com/: Laura Duffy of Laura Duffy Design is a former art director who takes great pride in creating professional book designs.
  46. The Frontispiece, http://www.thefrontispiece.com/: Known as an award-winning design studio, The Frontispiece offers book design services. They believe that great books deserve thoughtful consideration, inside and out.
  47. More Visual, https://thebookcoverdesigners.com/: Dave Kessler of More Visual is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and specializes in unique and professional book design services.
  48. David Moratto, http://www.davidmoratto.com/  With more than 225 covers to date David Moratto brings his unique graphic design expertise to each cover project. The book’s interior design and cover is designed to the demographic profile of  the reader.

You can and should spend a few hours going through all of these websites. You’ll be glad you did. I know I was enlightened myself in creating this list of book cover designers.

The Bottom Line: Get involved early in the entire book publishing design process and get at least several creative concepts for the front cover, back cover, and spine. Don’t let it be the ‘last thing’ you do.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and book marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book.

He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist