The Ten Commandments of Self-Publishing Pt 2: Law Number 4 – A Kick Ass Cover

Welcome back to my humble little blog. My last post, I explored the Ten Commandments of Self-Publishing, which you can check out at the link below.

Ten Commandments of Self-Publishing Part One.

This post I’m covering law number 4, a law that I find so very important that it gets its own post. For any indie publisher to succeed, they need a GOOD COVER.

You know that saying “never judge a book by its cover?” When it comes to self-publishing, that saying is useful like a nipple on your forehead. You NEED a good cover. Your potential customers will judge your cover first, and everything else second.

I know what some of you are thinking: “I can make my own cover. I drew a picture of a sparkling Unicorn once in grade 6 and it’s still hanging on my parent’s fridge, which MUST make me an artist.” Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. Nothing will kill the potential of your book more than throwing out a shitty cover that only a mother could love. You spent so much time and effort constructing your literary masterpiece, why on earth would you murder your own book with something that’s completely unprofessional in look and style?

I’m not going to lie, I thought about doing my own cover. This is what the cover of my book SHADOW OF WRATH could have looked like.


There are more things wrong with my cover than a naked sumo wrestler doing toe-touches. For starters, It’s coloured in pencil crayon, the girl’s head is smack dab in the middle of the guy’s crotch, the guys looks like he’s on ten kinds of steroids, and the girl may or may not be a midget.

Luckily, my wife pointed out the insanity of my devious plot to do my own cover and graciously offered her professional skills. The end product looks like this:


As always, my wife is right. She did a bang up job and my book looks professional. (Don’t tell her but I’m thinking of publishing a few books with my cover as a ‘variant.’ Message me if you want a copy. We’ll have to meet in a dark alleyway though….)

For those that have no idea what constitues as a ‘good cover,’ check out my 3 part series on YA Fiction covers to get a good idea. Links below:

Examining YA Fiction Covers pt 1

Examining YA Fiction Covers pt 2

Examining YA Fiction Covers pt 3

Honestly, spend the money. A good cover should cost you no less that $500. I fished around google and here’s a website that I found that offers cover designing services with fairly reasonable prices.

If you don’t want to drop 250-500 bucks on a cover, you can check out sites like or as there are people always posting up cover works. They’re not pro, but they’re not bad either. As a cheaper alternative you can also contact me if you have a simple project and I maybe be able to ask Mrs.Patricks if she wants to take on a project or two for under $200 (but that depends on her time and availability). Never hurts to ask!

Alright, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for more commandments coming soon!

P.S. Do you have an awesome book cover that you did yourself or hire someone to do it for you? Leave a comment so you can share it with the rest of the world!

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