Custom vs Premade Book Cover: Which to Choose

18.05.2021

As an independent author, you put a lot of effort into finding a cover that represents your book the best. And rightfully so: a proper cover helps sell more copies, while the unfitting one harms the sales. 

Usually, you have two ways of getting a suitable jacket for your book. You can either order a custom design or buy a premade book cover

In the first case, you have a degree of artistic freedom and can manifest your vision. In the second case, you see what you’re buying. 

Both ways are viable. Which one will suit you better depends on the circumstances and your requirements. We’ve written this article to help you choose between custom and premade book cover designs.

Top Reasons to Choose Premade Book Cover Design

Here are the top six reasons to choose premade book cover design: 

1. You’re short on time

Custom book cover design takes time. Even the most basic design can take a few days with planning, execution, and revisions. Often, waiting is a privilege a self-published author can’t afford. In this case, premade book covers are an ideal option. Even with minor design changes, your book will have a fitting cover within a day or two.

2. You want a top-notch cover on a budget

Gorgeous, detailed covers, especially illustrated ones, are costly. If you want such a cover, but it doesn’t fit into your budget, go premade. You can get a premade book cover for as low as $100 – $150. 

Of course, in this case, the design may not be as accurate to your book and/or vision. But, it’s a justifiable risk under the circumstances. 

3. You want to see what you’re buying

Everything custom-made comes at a risk that you won’t like the final result. It’s even truer for cover designers who offer a limited number of revisions. If your anxiety is too strong or you can’t afford such a possibility, choose premade covers. 

4. Your book’s premise isn’t too specific

An effective book cover conveys the book genre, which helps to sell more copies. If your book follows established genre tropes, you’re likely to find a perfect fit for your novel in premade covers catalogs

5. You want to have more options

Choosing a premade book cover is like shopping for new clothes. You can try on every pair of trousers that catches your eye until you find the perfect fit. With custom design, you choose from a limited number of concepts the designers provide. And the more concepts you have, the higher the price.  

6. You want a book cover redesign without the redesign process 

Sometimes, you need a cover redesign to breathe new life into your book. But, it can be such a chore: find a designer, explain your vision, wait, deal with revisions. If it seems like way too much to handle, you can find a fitting alternative among premade covers. 

Top Reasons to Choose Custom Book Cover Design

Here are top reasons to choose a custom book cover design: 

1. You want a cover to be accurate to your vision  

When it comes to making art that represents your ideas the best, there’s no beating custom book cover design. Together with a designer, you can create unique designs that do your vision justice.

2. Your book’s setting is unique 

Imagine a book about an advanced race of three-armed humanoids that travel on tree-like spaceships. It’d be difficult to find a suitable premade art for such a concept. If your novel has characters, a world, or a premise that are fairly unique or rare, pick a custom cover design. 

3. You have time and budget for custom illustrated cover 

Illustrated covers are more expensive than photo-based ones and take a lot of time. So, it isn’t easy to find a suitable premade illustrated art if you need one. Custom cover design is a go-to in this case. 

4. You want a unique concept

Most book covers follow the well-established conventions of the industry. It includes composition, style, colorwork, and typography. If you want a book cover that doesn’t fit the standards, choose a custom design approach. 

How to ensure you’ll get the right premade cover?

If you choose the premade cover approach, there are few boxes your future cover should tick:

  • The cover should fit the genre. If you want your book to sell well, the cover should communicate the genre at first glance. 
  • The cover should fit the story. Make sure the imagery of the cover describes the content of the book. Otherwise, you risk disappointing your readers. 
  • The cover should match the mood of the book. Different hues evoke different emotions. Ensure that the colors of your cover meet the emotional charge of the book. Mind the cultural background of your target audience, though. People from Europe and Asia will have different associations with the color white. 
  • The cover should appeal to your target audience. If you’ve done your research, you have an understanding of what your readers prefer. Pick a premade cover that satisfies their taste. 
  • You should like the cover. If the cover ticks all the previous boxes but doesn’t appeal to you, find another one. Even if it drives more sales, it will always be a thorn on your side. 

Custom or premade, a good book cover is a good book cover. What matters is how well it fits your book and pleases your eye.

 If the premade book cover fits the said requirements, don’t hesitate — it’s the one you’re looking for.

 

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