What we learned designing 3 book covers on Fiverr

Although our parents taught us from an early age to never judge a book by its cover, the truth is that the cover is the first thing most of us look at while in a bookshop or even when shopping online for eBooks. Designing the perfect cover, although always a struggle, is of utmost importance for all writers, regardless of their book’s niche.

When it comes to finding a good designer for your cover, there are abundant factors to be taken into consideration, from expertise to of course, cost. In this day and age, the web delivers a lot of excellent resources for finding book cover designers, making your search a bit easier than in the past.

Today, we are going to be talking about Fiverr and the possibility of having your book cover designed on this platform, for only five dollars (USD). Sounds remarkable, right?

We conducted a little experiment on Fiverr, in order to offer you all the information you need before deciding to choose this platform for your book cover design. Let’s see what our experiment revealed.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is an online platform where clients and freelancers can demand/offer services for as little as five dollars (plus Fiverr’s 10% fee, paid by the client). You will find content writers, designers, web developers, translators, editors and more, offering their services for a wide variety of jobs, for as little as five dollars. The platform is very popular and, although contested by many, it seems to have a lot of success among part-time freelancers and clients looking for a fast and low-cost solution.

Payhip’s Cover Design Experiment

Armed with curiosity and a desire to shed light on what truly stands behind choosing a low-cost solution, the Payhip team decided to conduct an experiment on Fiverr and request three book cover designs, in three different niches. Although Fiverr offers its clients the possibility to get more from the platform by applying for additional services such as optimized thumbnails, original files, larger resolution images and more we decided to see what we could get for just five dollars.

The Books

For the purpose of this experiment, we came up with three book titles in different genres:

  • Hard Valley by Lilith St. Parish (Crime/Mystery)
  • Undead Pluto by James Sinclair (Fantasy/Dystopi)
  • The Captive’s Tales by Milena McAdams (Romance/Erotica)

What We Got

Because visual content is king, let’s look at the covers first before getting into specific details or analyzing the results. Click on each cover to view a larger version in a new tab.

How It Works

As soon as you create a cover design request, designers will start bidding, and all that is left for you to do is to choose a designer. When we analyzed our options, we made sure that the designers were rated among the best on the platform, offered to do the cover for just five dollars, and in less than 24 hours. As it turns out, there were not a lot of options with these restrictions so we had to be a little flexible regarding our deadline.

Once you’ve made your decision, you will need to provide a few details about the book to the designer, such as title, subtitle, author name and any other things you have in mind regarding your book cover.

The first designer provided the cover in less than three hours and, in our opinion, was also the only one to put in a little bit of effort rather than just using some stock images. This brings us to an important aspect of having your book cover designed on Fiverr:

Make sure that you perform a simple image search once you get your cover, you might not want the first thing that people see on your book cover to be an image used by thousands of other websites.

As for the other two book cover designs, although the second designer was nice enough to provide us with two options, upon conducting an image search we noticed that the two images are being used by a lot of sexual advice websites and even other books in the same niche! That is also the case with the vampire-resembling image for our Undead Pluto cover.

What We Didn’t Get

When starting this experiment, we were aware of the fact that given the five dollar limit and the tight deadline, we would not get the same experience as you would get when working with a professional book cover designer. But let’s move and talk about the things that you don’t get from Fiverr, for five dollars.

  • You don’t get to have your cover revised or modified after completion
  • You don’t get access to the original files (.PSD, .AI etc)
  • You don’t get high resolution images to be used in various print and online situations for example
  • You don’t get to bounce ideas off the designer, and discuss the cover before the actual designing process

How to Make the Most of Fiverr

Like with any online platform, using Fiverr for your book cover design has its ups and downs.Although the cons seems to overshadow the pros, there are a few tips that can help you get the most from Fiverr. You need to put in some effort in choosing the designer and when offering the details about your cover. If you are concerned about getting a cover that has nothing to do with your characters and story, try to offer as many details as you can to the designer, and even describe an ideal cover you might have in mind. This will help them narrow the options and make better choices in terms of stock photo and image processing.

Also, pay attention to the bids of the designers, as they tell you a lot about the professionalism and experience of the bidder. If someone keeps calling you madam, even though your Fiverr name is Jack, he or she is probably not paying that much attention to their work or you are dealing with an agency that acts as a design farm and has passed your contract along to someone else.

Conclusion

When judging a book by its cover, your readers usually want to see covers that stand out from the plethora of books that seem to have been designed by the same person. They want to see covers that perfectly convey the authors’ style and the story found within the pages of the book. If you want a unique cover design for your book, one that stands out and impresses your readers, you might need to think twice before having your cover designed for five dollars, regardless of the platform you are utilizing!

However, if you are pressed for time and don’t want to spend too much money on the cover, Fiverr is a great place for you to experiment with, and obtain a cover design in little to no time, sometimes even a few hours.

All in all, our Fiverr experiment was interesting, it offered us a lot of insightful data on how design-mills function and on how designers can provide you with adequate book covers at low costs. However, we don’t think the covers will blow any reader away.

Have you ever used Fiverr for your book cover design? Let us know how it went.