How do you feel about expensive cover art?

Omds, I’ve always wanted to answer this question :))

First of all, I would like to say that there is some AMAZING and I mean AMAZINGGGG free artist out there, the problem is you can’t find them easily but I promise you there is! All my covers (in my stories) are free and I think they are very dope and the artists are too ^^

(Before I say this please don’t be against me… lol) But I feel like it is pretty stupid to pay 100+ $ or £ for a cover. And most of them are amazing, yes I can’t deny but sometimes they are very much the same… a bit… (again please don’t feel offended or something) I follow a commissioned artist on IG and most of the arts are just two characters looking at the camera with a serious face and never something that would tell what the story is about, which I think every covers needs to in a way tell what the story it’s going to be about.

But definitely, the cover needs to look good in a way to catch the person’s attention and let people see through the cover what it is about. do I think that the cover needs to be ‘beautiful’? no, because at the end of the day everyone will read the description and come to be interested or not.

I don’t really know, as it depends on the description. Because once I remember I read a story with a cover that wasn’t very ‘appealing’ but the story was amazing if I’m being honest.

Again as I said I don’t buy cover art at all and if I could buy one, I don’t think I’ll buy an expensive one either way but think that story covers needs to tell in a way what the story will be about and pretty.

I do think that because at the end of the day, your story needs to be interesting and not just cover.

so true. not been able to afford. is completely fine and understandable. art is a luxury item. not a need. but the people who say I cant pay it has to be free, is often the same once asking for to be very realistic art. and often also people who haven’t even finished first chapter.


This is my point-- and to be real, the commissioned artists that make realistic/hand drawn art deserve some sort of compensation for their talent beyond a “cover art scene made by” in a story.

Back to topic: I think edits can be just as effective and beautiful.


My opinion.
As a reader from 2017, to be honest I saw the cover first. Before I joined the community, I choose a story based on the cover with nice art (why, because I thought an author who bought a cover from an artist got money from readers. So, the story must be popular. That’s it. But in reality, I didn’t enjoy some of them.)

However, after I joined the forum and being a writer myself I’m starting to read from small authors. They have a simple edited cover, but their stories are great and I put some of them to my favorites!
So yeah, since then I never judge a story from its cover.

As an artist myself (professionally), if you really like the art, it’s worth buying no matter how pricey it is, even for 1000$.
But if the reason is to lure more readers, I don’t think it is “worth” 100$.
People will stop reading your story if they don’t like it no matter how good the cover is. And if you don’t promote your story, people won’t know it anyway.
Not just story, but animation and game industry are also the same.
Have you ever watched an animation with bad graphics and loved it? But the realistic version of the animation is just meh.

So maybe, before spending more money on the cover (not because you like the art, but to lure readers), you have to see the statistic of your story first. And if a lot of people like it, you can spend more for cover as a “treat” for yourself, and your readers, and because you make an amazing story that is worth more readers.
BUT If you paid by Episode, then I think, buying a cover for your story is necessary.


As a reader: I will admit that a cover that looks good will catch my attention more than something that doesn’t. However, it doesn’t have to be realistic, complex, or show any characters to do so. Some of the best stories I’ve read have had covers that were simple images that weren’t of people, but were related to the story. If you look at actual book covers, minimalism and symbolic covers are common. The expectation that the characters will feature on the cover is strictly an Episode thing, from what I’ve seen. But faces are eye-catching as a matter of basic human psychology, so a simple but clean edit would also look good. Plenty of Episode editors take free requests if you look around. Just make sure you can give a detailed description of what you want on your cover and they have requests open.

On a side note, even if the cover itself isn’t visually appealing at all, if the title and description catch my attention, that won’t matter. The one thing that will make me avoid a story based on cover is if it doesn’t fit the genre. For example, two people kissing works as a romance cover, but not an action cover.

As a writer: Nope, I make my own cover art. I wouldn’t call myself a great artist, but I think my work is decent enough to serve its purpose (though I also don’t do commissions because I have neither the skill nor the spare time). That said, I’m fine with authors who buy commissions and find success that way. It’s a good way to support artists and boost your own work. That said, the story has to also be good in order for that to translate into lasting popularity. So I recommend focusing first on writing the story and making sure you’re good at promoting and generating excitement about it. Definitely don’t spend money on a cover for your very first story unless you have a ton of disposable income. Build a reader base, make sure your stories keep people reading, and the cover becomes unimportant by comparison.

In general: It’s entirely possible. There are more factors to trending than just reads, and if people like your story, they’re likely to encourage others to read it as well.

To be honest… no. I have found that people with covers with not as great quality reflects the amount of effort that they put into the story. :sweat_smile: I understand that not all covers are affordable, but if you put in a little bit of effort (even if its free labor!) it goes a long way.

Nope. I’m broke. I can’t say how much my cover art influences my reads, but I’m still grateful for every read I get.

Oh, for sure!! My stories have gotten shelved with covers that I made and they are in no way amazing lol. Compared to all the other stories that I have been shelved with, I always feel awkward and kinda sad when I see my covers next to everyone else’s, but I mean, it is what it is. I can’t afford much, so I do the best I can with what I have.

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there are a lot of editors who do free cover art that looks great, you have to put a lot more work in to get it up to the standard of expensive drawn art but its not impossible
i aint paying 100 quid for someone to draw me a cover I can by myself lmaooo
i think as long as it looks good, itll be fine, my story has an edited cover and its frequently in the top 5 ranking in its genre
editing episode characters into the baclground isnt the only way you can make a good edited cover too, you can get art from public domain sites and use that, theres always a way

For me it is both. If your cover is crap, but the description of the story makes me wanna read the story, I still will read the story. But if the description is crap, too, I definitely am not going to read the story. Sorry for the harsh words like crap, but you understand what I mean. :innocent:

Writers: Do you buy expensive cover art in hopes you’ll get more reads? Does it work?

No, I am the one who always give new artists a chance by giving me a free cover and the free covers I have for my stories still get me more reads.

I think so, because the description of the story is the key for me.

Love A-W

I’ll be completely honest, if a cover is badly made, I wouldn’t read it, I try not to judge the book by it’s cover (lol quite literally), but still…

I wanted to enter the Heroic contest and payed for covers around 200 dollars… :dotted_line_face:
This illustrator doesn’t specify in doing episode covers and they’re a professional designer, but I honestly think it worths it. I didn’t end up entering the contest, but I surely will use these covers for some other story, and I honestly think that a good cover is an eye candy. I guess it’s quite simple. One cafe makes very tasty coffee, but when you pass it it doesn’t catch your eyes, it’s most likely you’ll never buy a coffee there, if you don’t know that it’s good, the other cafe looks cozy and interior is modern and cute, it’s most like you’ll go there.

It can, I’ve seen a lot of stories with covers that I personally don’t like, but the stories themselves were great, but it depends on your luck.

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totally agree on this one, i like digital art as i make some myself but seeing edited covers attracts me and pushes me to read the summary of the story, maybe because it used to be just like that 5 years ago when i spent all my time on episode but i do think that nowadays opinions vary a lot and while an expensive cover might bring you more readers, if you don’t make money out of it, i’d say it’s not very interesting as in you don’t profit and a wonderful art cover doesn’t make a story wonderful…

I would, and have in the past, read stories that had covers that weren’t that great. It’s not a deal breaker to me. However, humans are naturally drawn to things they find visually appealing. Having a “good looking” cover does help. It’s more likely people will click on it because it managed to catch their attention. I will say though, that there have been many times where I clicked on a story with a great cover only to not end up reading it because the summary wasn’t interesting to me at all. In my opinion what’s important is the combination of an eye-catching cover and a good, solid summary. And by eye-catching, I don’t mean beautifully drawn artwork necessarily. An image of a simple object can be just as appealing when used correctly.

Almost all of my covers I created myself with public domain and/or Episode assets, and they’ve worked just fine for me. My first story had an edited cover up until right before I completed it. At that point I did commission an artist for a cover. I did this more because I was proud I was finishing such a long story and it was kind of a treat for myself, not because I felt the story needed a better cover or would do better because of it (though I do love how wonderful it turned out). I didn’t notice any difference in the number of reads when I started using the new cover. So, for me, having an expensive piece of cover art didn’t help in any measurable way. Which is why I’m glad I got it for myself and not because I felt I had to to compete with others.

I know they can. My sci-fi story trends pretty regularly and it has a very simple cover I made using a public domain image. However, something to keep in mind is that what genre the story is in probably matters most when it comes to trending. If it’s in a very competitive genre, like Romance or Drama, you could have the complete package (best looking cover in the world, great summary, engaging and well-written story) and it still might not trend because the competition is so high. Incidentally, this is why you see tons of Romance/Drama stories in genres they clearly don’t belong in, such as Comedy and Adventure. :unamused: There are a number of things that factor into if your story trends. To me, the cover is only part of the equation, and certainly not the biggest part. But that’s just my opinion.

In conclusion, don’t feel like you have to spend money (especially $100+) on a fancy cover to be successful. It’s really not necessary. There are plenty of people on the forums and on IG who are available to make wonderful looking edited covers.

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Well as a reader, I can see that the majority of stories now not just trending ones are having digital art covers. Which looks beautiful ofc, but before when it wasnt so common, i am old on the platform too cough, an art cover would stand out and more likely its one of the top stroies that the writer cares to pay for an extra cover.

However, now it is so common so it doesnt mean that the story is actually a one that i would enjoy. To me, a catchy cover will get attention maybe but a good story as in plot and dialogue and an ok directing is what will make me keep reading the story.

I hope my comment is helpful.:blush: