The Short Story Cover Conundrum

The cover is one of the most important features a book can have.  It catches the eye of the reader and will often be a major influence in their decision to read it or not.

Self-published novelists have it easy.  This is often a no-brainer decision: buy the best cover you can afford.  When writing short stories, this becomes less clear cut.  You have to look for both quality and quantity.  If you're putting out a new short story every month, it is simply not practical to be forking over $100-300 on every one of your covers.  Especially considering that short stories are more niche.  So it will probably take a long time before any one of them start to sell really well.  At least enough to break even on the cover.

But, at the same time, a good cover can increase sales.  What to do?  In my opinion, it's critical that a short story author becomes familiar with Photoshop (or some similar software).  Unless you have the money to drop on good covers, spend a headache or two on learning this skill.  Think about it: spending $100 on a cover would mean you are out $1,200 by the end of the year if you release a new short story every month.  Spend $150 at a jr. college and take two semesters of a Photoshop class.  It's a worthwhile investment.


  1. Couldn't agree more.
    Now I just need to get off my lazy behind and do it! Lol

    Shana Hammaker

  2. It's tough! I just finally forced myself to sit down and click buttons until something happened.


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