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Premade Galleries:












How to Find Book Cover Art That Will Sell Your Book AND Save You Money:

The Secrets of Choosing and Using Premade Book Cover Art


A professional-looking book cover will sell almost 20 percent more books than will a so-so book cover image on that same book. That’s why successful self-publishers and presses have employed professional book illustrators for nearly a century to help create book covers. Money spent on a quality cover quickly pays for itself.


In fact, the quality of the cover has become the new “gate keeper” to determine which books readers buy. People do judge your book by its cover. A professional-looking book cover is essential if you want your book to be taken seriously by potential buyers.


Buying Quality Book Cover Art for Less


Today professionals in the publishing industry normally charge from $900 to several thousand dollars for a quality custom book cover illustration. Sadly this is outside the budget of many self-publishing authors.


But there’s a secret many publishers have used for decades to cut their prices. And self-publishing authors and small presses can use this trick, too, to save a bundle of money.


The secret?


Most professional illustrators have a wealth of artwork they’ve created for fun, for projects that fell through, or only for their portfolios. They’ve not sold them because there just wasn’t a market for the work.


And often illustrators are happy to sell this work at a greatly reduced price to get it out of their inventory. Art editors at major publishers developed a simple strategy: Buy such artwork at reduced prices, and then use it on a book whose storyline is similar to the subject matter of the book.


So what’s the catch?


Until now it was hard to locate this work and self-publishing authors couldn’t buy a pile of artwork hoping they might one day use it for a book cover. But thanks to the Internet, illustrators (like me) can now display their unsold illustrations without additional costs, and then sell it at a reduced price provided they don’t have to do extensive reworking of the illustrations.


That’s where a second simple trick that big presses have pretty much kept under wraps over the years comes in. Because it can save you some serious money if you apply it to your book cover design efforts.


A Second Simple Trick


This second secret is also simple, yet capable of saving a tiddy sum if you publish even one book: You make your story fit the cover artwork that you can purchase at a reduced price.


For example, imagine the main character in your story is a brunette who wears glasses. You’ve found a pre-made book cover that is priced very competitively, and it almost fits. Almost. The catch is that the gal on the cover is blond and she doesn’t wear glasses.


That’s where self-publishers and new presses make a costly mistake: They either pass on a fantastic book cover bargain, or they ask the artist to change his picture to fit the story – and then the buyer pays hundreds of dollars to get the work done. (Or, worse, hires an illustrator to paint a whole new book cover picture similar to the original with minor changes to make it fit the story.)


Does the reader care if the heroine is blond or brunette? Not really. So provided her hair color doesn’t play some pivotal role in the plot, you can simply change a few words in the description of the story so your character no longer wears glasses and is blond.


Suddenly the picture matches your book. And with just a slight change of the manuscript, you have quality book cover artwork for a fraction of the normal cost.


The key is to realize that your reader isn’t going to care all that much what your main character looks like, wears, etc. If the features of a character aren’t essential to the story, then you can change them to suit your needs – and in the case of your book cover illustration, you can change the text to save some substantial money.


Finding Your Missing Scene


What if you find a super picture that captures the spirit of your book but the scene never actually appears in the story? Say you have a science fiction novel and the book cover picture you really like has a couple standing in a space station overlooking a planet with twin suns. Your story has a character in a spaceship but he’s never with a gal and the planet only has one sun.


Again (and I suspect you’ve probably caught on now), the solution isn’t to spend a thousand bucks having an artist paint new book cover art. Rather you make the sun in your story a binary star, and maybe add a tiny scene (even just a sentence) that has the guy pause at a viewport beside a beautiful gal like the one on the cover. Now you have your cover for a fraction of the cost and the story fix only takes a few minutes to make to the text of the book.


Remember: Most readers will enjoy the story just as much whether the book cover illustration portrays your original vision of your character or not.  As long as the cover presents a scene and character that are close to what’s in your book (though not necessarily as you originally pictured it in your mind), readers are going to enjoy the story.


And if that book cover picture looks inviting and professional, it will help sell your book and boost your sales.


Of course sometimes you’ll not find just the right book cover artwork for your story. And that’s when you hire a professional book designer like me to create it for you (which I’m always happy to do). But if you’re on a tight budget, my advice is to first double-check my catalog of finished artwork. The money you save can be substantial and you’ll still have a professionally made cover illustration that can increase your book sales by a significant amount.


Beware the Lookalike Cover


Ever see books that have cover photos or illustrations nearly identical to another book? When you buy stock photos or artwork without “exclusive use” rights, that means the seller of the picture can turn around and sell the picture rights to anyone they choose. The result is that you book can be confused with one a potential buyer has read because both look identical except for the title and author name (which many readers won’t remember).


Not only can you lose a sale because a potential buyer may think he’s already read your book, if the buyer disliked the other book, he may associate you as an author with a book you never wrote. In other words, you’ll get the bad rap for the bad writing some hack writer did. Not only will the reader avoid your book with the look-alike cover, he may note your name and never buy another of your books.


The solution? Buy exclusive book cover rights when you purchase artwork for your book. That way you’ll be the only one having the illustration for a book cover. And there will be no lost sales because someone mistook your cover with another they’ve read.


With my premade ebook cover artwork, I sell the exclusive book cover rights for you to use on your ebook and/or print version of the same title for the price listed on the web page – meaning the illustration won’t be showing up on any other author’s book cover.


Buyer Beware


One more caveat: Some “cover designers” actually are only selling stock photos that are only slightly reworked to create a “book cover.” The catch is that these while these covers are somewhat different from the original photo, the photo itself can be purchased by literally anyone wanting to fork over a little money – and then use it as their cover. Yes, the artist might sell his painted version of the photo only once – but the photo itself can be purchased by other artists to create similar pictures. Or the photo can be purchased for a cover. Again and again.


So if you want to avoid a sales-killing (and perhaps reputation-killing) look-alike cover that also appears on the book cover of another author, beware of sites selling extra cheap book covers that make promises, but in fact fail to be one-of-a-kind.


What You’ll Get from Me


With rare exceptions, I sell exclusive book cover rights to my illustrations. Once you’ve paid for one of my ready made illustrations, I deliver the artwork via email attachment as a high-resolution, low compression JPG suitable for print. This JPG can also then be resized/reduced in resolution for ebooks as well as Amazon and other companies’ catalogs. My artwork will generally be slightly oversized so that you can crop it if needed and also so you’ll have room for lettering and cover design without any layout nightmares.


For those wanting a finished print or ebook cover, I can also do this layout work for a very competitive price (currently lettering for an eBook cover for $75, and the lettering/layout for the front/spine/back of a softcover book for $450 or $650 for a dust jacket layout – my prices for print also include bar code generation from your ISBN and a spine icon if you wish to have one).


For your convenience, you can pay by credit card via PayPal (which accepts all major credit cards).


And, if you can’t find a suitable ready made illustration for your book, remember you can also hire me to create a unique illustration to your specific needs. My prices are very competitive and your money will be well spent if you need an illustration that gives you that extra edge when marketing your book.


People do judge books by their covers. Be sure your book has the very best cover art possible.


Now, go to one of my premade book art galleries and save a bundle on your next book cover. Just remember that because each of my premade book cover pictures is unique, it can only be sold once so all the artwork shown is sold on a first-come, first served basis:


horror premade ready to go book picture art


fantasy  premade ready to go book picture art


crime action adventure premade ready to go book picture art


science fiction premade ready to go book picture art


Duncan Long’s

What Others Say About Duncan Long:


“We're privileged to know who we think are the two best graphic artists in the entire world, not just the country, the world. One of them... is Duncan Long.” –Talk-show host Victor Thorn


“It would be a complete understatement to say that Duncan Long is a pleasure to work with. His engaging sense of humor and astonishing creative abilities made my book cover art experience a joy. For my second novel, Lead Me Not Into Temptation, I believe that Duncan created one of the most interesting and provocative pieces of book art that I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t wait to see what he can do for my next book!” – Dale Allan, author


“To call Duncan Long a book illustrator may well be an understatement – Duncan is an extremely gifted artist. I fully plan to use Duncan for future projects and highly recommend him to anyone looking for original and breathtaking artwork.” – A J Vega, author


“We have received hundreds of positive comments and enthusiastic feedback from readers and others in the publishing industry regarding Duncan Long’s incredible cover art. Without a doubt, his artwork has been instrumental in getting us into bookstores and other outlets across the web.” – Author John Phillip Backus


Copyright © 2013 by Duncan Long. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner of text, graphic design, illustrations, book illustrations, artwork, pictures, book cover art, or other graphic elements on this page or the pages linked to it is strictly prohibited without prior written approval from Duncan Long. All graphic design and graphic artwork created by Duncan Long.


horror premade ready to go book picture art


fantasy  premade ready to go book picture art


crime action adventure premade ready to go book picture art


science fiction premade ready to go book picture art