Well. That was fun! I’ve just completed a contest, hosted by 99Designs to find the cover for my novel. The process was clear, there is a lot of help information available, and while not cheap, I’m thinking I’m getting a very good cover!
I have not officially selected a winner, so if any one wants to go to the final poll and vote, please do.
I had no idea what to expect of the process. It was more expensive than I had hoped, but reasonable as far as what I expected. And the designers were all very talented and willing to work with me. Alas, too many of them thought I had even the vaguest clue as to what I was looking for and kept trying to be too literal in their offerings. I kept trying to tell them that I was not a designer and I was looking for evocative and not literal. There were some designs that got so close, and then veered off in the last iterations into something that was not going to work.
One surprise was that I do not think I had any US designers. From what I could tell, English was not the first language of any of my designers. This presented only slight problems, none that the designers weren’t willing to work through or that I didn’t need to keep in mind. I once asked for something to have a “grittier” look and the query I got back was “you mean more dirt?”
Metaphor: not always a friend.
I’m planning on using 99Designs again. I have a map that would need to be in the print copy (if I ever create a print copy) and perhaps a logo would be a good thing. But for now, I’m getting an awesome cover and my self-publishing project can continue to move forward.