With just this picture for inspiration and the line: create a provocative cover for a modern Mata Hari who loves Venice, I initiated a contest on the 99designs website for my book cover. The results have been amazing.
How it Works
Stage 1 – The Preliminary Round (4 days)
For the first four days anyone could post a design on the site. I was encouraged to research some of their designers and send them invitations as well. I did that and I tweeted and FBd about my contest.
Here’s what I really liked about the system. If I didn’t like any of the designs I could have walked away after the four days and my money would have been refunded.
But holy cow they were awesome. I had 117 entries. Many of the artists initiated conversations with me asking me what I liked and what I didn’t like about their designs, asking for more direction. The dialogue…the artwork was amazing.
Stage 2 – The Final Round (3 days)
This is the stage I’m in now. I could have chosen six finalists, but I chose four. Their designs are, yes I have to say it again, amazing. They haven’t read my book, but they capture my heroine in their artwork. At this point I have three days to work with the finalists and choose a winner. You can view this stage and comment on it
I’ve set up a poll on the site, but I’d also love comments here on my blog or on my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org. They say you can’t choose a book by it’s cover, but we all know how important they are.
My dilemma right now is that I like the complicated pictures saturated with symbolism, but I question whether they are as effective in a thumbnail as a simpler design. And we all know how important those thumbnails are on Amazon. I’d love to know what you think.
What’s next? I’ll talk about that later. Right now I have to pick a design. I feel like I’m choosing my future?
An interesting process.
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