So, in my opinion, there are three main types of covers to look for, such as: Pre-Made, Custom, and Self-Made. I'll be going through these and showing links that are under $200. Please note that I do not have any affiliation with the following links. Also, my list are based on my personal preference and what I was able to find.
With Pre-Made, these covers are generally complete and will only need the title and your author name changed. Generally these range above $30 but sometimes you can find a good deal. Another good idea is to get a bundle package (especially if you're writing a trilogy) if it's offered to save money in the long run.
My absolute favorite website is GoOnWrite and their sister site VamosWrite. The book covers look very professional and the main site has almost 30 subcategories. Most likely, no matter what genre you write in, they will have something for you. The covers start at $45 but they have package deals here that can make it a bit cheaper.
Another great website would be The Cover Collection. While there aren't as many categories, many of these covers could be used for a variety of genres, and their covers look very professional. Their pricing is based on the pound, so if you live outside of the UK, I suggest using a currency convertor to see exactly how much it will cost. But, the great thing about this website, is that there are discounted books.
Here is a list of other website's that I like of Pre-Made covers:
An important thing I'd like to point out is how active the website is. While google has many different pre-made book cover websites, not all of these services will be current.
Pricing can range quite a bit when it comes to custom book covers. Many of the sites in the previous section do offer custom covers but the pricing is generally higher than the pre-made covers. However, if you are having difficulty finding a book cover, then it may be ideal to get a custom cover.
Here are some more custom book cover websites:
Fiona Jayde Media: Starts at $199 but they have other useful services as well.
Alchemy Book Covers and Design: Starts at $85. They offer a few other services as well as pre-made covers.
Fiverr: Starts at $5 but can vary in price based on the package you get.
It would be ideal to go on NaNoWriMo or other writing websites to see which custom designers other authors used and the quality. My findings have been from links I've found as well as a few recommended to me but they may not be the best fit for you.
Self-MadeSelf-made books can be successful if you have background knowledge with design. If you are confident of your skills then this would be the ideal approach. However, make sure that you can use stock images for your book cover and ensure that you won't run into any other legal troubles.
Canva is a great website if you don't have Photoshop or another photo editing software. They have a large selection of stock images for only $1 and they have templates made as well. They even have the exact dimensions for kindle covers. They also have a variety of design sizes so you can make banners, ads, and more. I've used this website for many school related projects and it's extremely easy to use.
While I do not have any experience with the free software editing programs, it may be an ideal choice especially if you want to keep costs down. I personally love Photoshop (I still use Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0) and, if you can't get the latest version of Elements 14, do some research into the older versions. Also, if you don't mind getting an older version, search for the program during Black Friday in November.
OverallThe best approach for your e-Book will be up to you. If you also plan on print publishing several of the websites above also included the formatting for a paper book. If you cannot find a Pre-Made book cover that you like and can afford to get a custom cover, then I believe it would be ideal go for the custom cover. But, ultimately, that will be up for you to decide.
I hope this has help you! If you have any comments, or if you are a book cover designer, please leave a comment below. I will update this blog post with any new information.
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