I decided that for the cover of my first self published novel that I would have a custom cover made. Since I had no idea what all was involved in the process, and I'm finding that not many other authors do either, I thought it might be nice to document the process.
When looking at a photographer, make sure you check out their work. I know this sounds obvious, but a custom cover costs considerably more than one made with a stock photo. You want to make sure that you're going to like the product the photographer puts out.
You can check out my photographer, Sara Eirew's, Facebook page here.
Once I was sure I liked what Sara could do, it was time to talk price. I won't go into detail on pricing here because it's going to vary depending on what you want. Make sure you go over what services your photographer offers and the cost of each. With such an investment, you want to make sure you're getting what you want, and your money's worth.
With the pricing out of the way, the next step was finding the models. Sounds easy, right? Nope. As an author, you have an image in your head for your characters. You want to find models that at least come close to what's floating around in your brain. Sometimes that's easier said that done. It took Sara and me a couple of weeks going back and forth over several Skype calls in order to find models that both fit the physical descriptions I was looking for, and also ones who were willing. This particular book cover is for a BDSM themed book, therefore the models needed to be comfortable with having their images on something with that type of content.
In the end, we settled on two models for the first cover. Sara set up a date and time with the models for the shoot, and got everything moving on her end. Then, it was time to brainstorm ideas for the shoot itself. Did I want to use any props? What kind of positions did I want the models in? Being a custom cover, there is a lot more flexibility. I'm no longer limited to what I can find on the stock photo sites. I can do anything I want. Make the cover exactly how I want it to look. The decisions seemed to be endless.
The photo shoot took place last week. I'll be talking about that, and getting the pictures from the shoot, in my blog post next week.