Is Writing Hard for Everyone or Just Me?


Hey! What’s up?! Long time no speak. Everyone surviving these bizarre times okay?

I must admit that I have grown accustomed to not blogging or socializing on the internet these past several months. Not that I haven’t missed you, it’s just nice to be engaged so heavily in the really real as opposed to the virtually real.

Well, I guess not all my time has been spent in the real real. Much of it has been spent in the imagined real as I’ve been chugging along on a new book.

Yes, I think I’ve finally found a novel-length story with lasting appeal, at least to me, that I may be able to bring to an end instead of just starting and sputtering out like so many others.

Which is why I’ve come to you today…

I’m at the point in my writing where I need to start thinking about book covers.

In the past, I designed my own covers. Not the best strategy I’ve learned.

I was thinking about putting out a bid request for a designer over at 99designs and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the site. Looks pretty promising.


Maybe you could plug a link to your 99designs designed book cover in the comments and talk a little about your experience?

Or perhaps you know someone who designs killer book covers at a reasonable price?

Or perhaps you design killer book covers at a reasonable price?

If so, I’d love to hear from you either in the comments or via the contact page.




19 Replies to “Is Writing Hard for Everyone or Just Me?”

  1. Good luck with it. I cannot give good advice, since I’ve always done my own covers, too. (With more than a little assistance from my sweetie and editor.) The funny thing is, I’ve taken some heat for my covers, and then others have said that they were perfect for the books. I’m afraid that there may be no right or wrong here. Hopefully, you’ll satisfy your most aggressive critic–usually, you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve enjoyed the book cover design process but my skills are not anywhere near a true graphic designer’s. The whole field has really blossomed IMO and has turned into a wonderful art form. I enjoy flipping through amazon just to look at some of the amazing book covers. Thank you for the wise words and insight, avwalters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Check out Fiverr while you’re doing your comparison shopping. I found some talented designers there who worked wonders with my logos. I do my own book covers as well utilizing simple graphics or pictures I’ve taken myself. I hope you’ll come back with some insight as to whether or not you feel you got a better cover by hiring the work out or doing it yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks, Dana. That’s a cool site. Had never heard of it. Love the “lean entrepreneur” concept. Another way of saying “struggling writer” but in a broader sense.

      One good thing I’ve already learned/realized about outsourcing the cover design is that I can begin the process now and hopefully have a cover ready by the time the book’s ready to publish as opposed to finishing the writing and then begin working on the book cover myself, which is not a fast process for me. But I’ll def come back with some lessons learned.

      Thanks for the awesome lead, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Book covers are technically easy, students at art schools design them. So most artists out there should be able to do one for you. Whether they are dependable re: deadlines, ethical re: “borrowing” stock art, fonts etc and can work with a publisher politically is another story. Be careful.
    Aesthetically, book cover designing is more difficult. The visual language used is as arcane as any mystery cult. So what you need to do first, as you know, is go to amazon etc and look at a lot of book covers in the genre you are writing in. But focus on what the covers of top sellers look like rather than what you like personally.
    Your publishers will have design as well as technical parameters too. Maybe even a stable of artists they use regularly. 99designs on first glance looks good. The portfolio of book covers that looks like what you see with best sellers in several genres. But beware the $299 price offering as $799 seems a more typical low price given the time and expertise it would take to design a good cover.
    Surviving? Yes. Thriving? Hard to say. Art helps. While writing and drawing are hard, these arts, being intrinsically rewarding, are necessary activities in bizarre times where the “real real” is indifferent at best.
    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great point – having a book designed not according to my taste but according to what sells. And as far as the pricing, I know one gets what one pays for; however, it might pay for me to go for the low end pricing $299 (which is actually high-end for my budget) and then work with some designer contacts of mine who might be able to make any upgrades/improvements on the cheap. Will have to see. Re: the bizarre alt-reality of the reality, it’s what pushed me away from the internet to begin with… You have a rockin’ site, btw. Thanks for the smart, helpful feedback, Howard.


  4. I can’t give any good advice on covers, except I think it’s probably worth it to get a good one. I’ve recently read a few articles about how people really do judge a book by its cover, and it can make a huge difference for whether you get that second look. Having no direct experience with the process, I’m very interested in what you end up doing and how it works out for you– please update us!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve looked through some of the “stock” ones that are available for reasonable (cough cough) prices online (my guess is that they were designed for some other book and not chosen?). Some of them are so gorgeous that I want to write a book that fits the cover just so I have the excuse to buy it. Finding one that’s perfect for the book you already have is another story.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. i’m not feeling terribly confident about my work at the moment. however, i am going to put myself out there anyway. i will work for virtually nothing as i am just trying to get a name. if you wanna take a look at some of the stuff i’ve done–over on my blog at i have a few pages of different projects i’ve done, you can let me know if you are interested in my style/work. i work in ink–pen & brush. i would be happy to come up with a design or two for your perusal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thanks for the offer! I’ll check out your artwork. Outside the actual art or picture that will eventually be used for the cover, the decision will be in how it will all be designed and constructed together as a whole with book title, fonts, colors, etc. Once I settle on a designer and consult with him or her, then perhaps you and I can collaborate on artwork. I’ll reach out via email if when we reach that point we decide to go with artwork of your style. Thanks again, em4mighty! Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The sample from 99DESIGNS struck me as cloying and cluttered.

    Dunno who created it, but the October 2017 issue of *National Geographic* has an example of nifty design on one of the unnumbered early pages.  (Roughly page 10 or 12.)  The design would make a striking book cover if NatGeo decides to publish a book version of the film advertised on that page.

    The film is a new biopic about Jane Goodall (titled “JANE”); the page has a graphic with big letters J-A-N-E arranged in a square.  The letters are interleaved with images that show (moving diagonally across the square) a profile of Jane Goodall’s face, some big green leaves, and a chimp climbing on a vine.

    Liked by 1 person


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