Is commissioning a picture for a "front cover" worth it?

DivineEternal1

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In hopes to get more interest in my novel I was considering commissioning an artist to draw a simple picture of my main character to replace the default Scribble Hub picture. Question is, will it really help? For all I know my first chapter is just that bad and having a picture won't accomplish anything but as no one has posted a single comment, good or bad, I have no idea. I guess this is all subjective but I wanted some opinions before spending money on something that might not matter.

I've been looking around on Deviant Art and commissions aren't as expensive as I thought they would be so that is nice. I might just do one so I have a picture to commemorate my first full novel even if no one ends up liking it.
 

Owl

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Personally, I prefer it if stories have an actual title image and not just the default one. What I'd worry about more is you just saying "Well I guess my chapter is just that bad", only because you didn't get comments. Some readerbases are very quiet, some become talkative after dozens of chapters (like my readers) and generally, my experience is that people don't react early. Am I understandind it correctly that you only have one chapter out? Perseverance and usual updates is what usually helps to gain active readers
(All personal opinion, of course)
 

Assurbanipal_II

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What´s your story? Then I can tell whether your first chapter is "bad", "bad bad", or really bad.
 

Shesmu

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Moneywise, it isn't. Unless you're going to have a patreon and you're confident in your success down the line, it just isn't worth it. I would say drawing something simple that looks cool is your best shot if you wanna uphold your morality and not use other people's art. You could also look for copyright-free material and just add in some text using paint or photoshop. Either way, going for an actual cover is something you should consider after you get a bit more popular if we're talking about "worth".

Of course, if you just think its cool to have a cover commissioned for you, then by all means.
 

DivineEternal1

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My story is called "Salis" and I just published chapter 17. It's actually a story I finished a few years ago and just now decided to post so it's not just gathering dust where no one can read it. I wouldn't say my first chapter is bad but I just get pretty pessimistic when it comes to my writing. I do have 17 readers so I guess that's not too bad for a first work? As for the not getting comments I would just love to chat with those reading my book or receive criticism so I can improve my writing. I understand not many people posting as I tend to be a lurker myself but I've been trying to post on my favorite series I've been reading on Scribble Hub and it's been fun.

The copyright free material is a good suggestion I think I'll go with that to save some money.
 

Owl

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A thing I do is write authors notes with my thoughts, that does make some people pick up the topic and comment their own :)
 

bidoblob

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In hopes to get more interest in my novel I was considering commissioning an artist to draw a simple picture of my main character to replace the default Scribble Hub picture. Question is, will it really help? For all I know my first chapter is just that bad and having a picture won't accomplish anything but as no one has posted a single comment, good or bad, I have no idea. I guess this is all subjective but I wanted some opinions before spending money on something that might not matter.

I've been looking around on Deviant Art and commissions aren't as expensive as I thought they would be so that is nice. I might just do one so I have a picture to commemorate my first full novel even if no one ends up liking it.
Did you ask for comments? Some readers reply only if they have something to say, either something they really want to say about the chapter or an answer to one of your questions.
Source: I am like this.
 

DivineEternal1

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A thing I do is write authors notes with my thoughts, that does make some people pick up the topic and comment their own :)
Did you ask for comments? Some readers reply only if they have something to say, either something they really want to say about the chapter or an answer to one of your questions.
Source: I am like this.
I've posted some occasionally but maybe I'll do that more. Thanks for the tips. I guess Good thing I can retroactively do that.
 

tiaf

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A cover is sure nice, but surprisingly few readers are baited into reading just for the cover. At least that is how I feel.

I opened a poll in my first chapter for the reason they decided to read my story. (Only 9 voters so take the result with a grain of salt) The most votes have gone to Genre (6), followed by Title (4), then Synopsis (3) and Cover (2). Baiting through Rec or Ranking got no vote.

As you can see, the cover is secondary. It's not like a manga, where art is an important criterion to consider. Readers will stay for your story. An open-source image with your title will be enough for most readers.
 

DivineEternal1

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I ended up using an avatar creator, haha. I couldn't find a picture that satisfied me so I got creative. No way I'm drawing it myself. I can barely do a passable face. Was wanting to go with a little bit more realistic character design but hey, it worked.

Thanks for all the help. I was pretty borderline on whether to get it commissioned. Maybe later if my story does well. Now I just have to worry about what to do for the sidequel/prequel I wrote...
 

CupcakeNinja

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In hopes to get more interest in my novel I was considering commissioning an artist to draw a simple picture of my main character to replace the default Scribble Hub picture. Question is, will it really help? For all I know my first chapter is just that bad and having a picture won't accomplish anything but as no one has posted a single comment, good or bad, I have no idea. I guess this is all subjective but I wanted some opinions before spending money on something that might not matter.

I've been looking around on Deviant Art and commissions aren't as expensive as I thought they would be so that is nice. I might just do one so I have a picture to commemorate my first full novel even if no one ends up liking it.
Well. I would wait until i got 50k readers on webnovel or royalroad. But having your own cover is great. You won't have to worry about being sued if you later publish it
 

Waltzoid

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It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. I tried to make a cover for myself as a placeholder to try to boost readership. I'm a crappy artist, though, so I commissioned someone to help me with a better cover. Once I released a new chapter after the new cover was finished, I definitely noticed a spike in readership.
 

Ace_Arriande

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Covers are extremely important. When I was first starting out on RR, covers targeting my target demographic easily doubled my follower counts within a week. The vast majority of people do judge a book by its cover regardless of what they might say about not. It's just how us humans are. They make your story look more professional, so people will assume it's higher quality. Not to mention that depending on the sort of cover you get (such as one with attractive women on the front of it), it doubles as clickbait. As much as people like to say they hate clickbait, it works very, very well. A good cover can make or break a story, especially on platforms (such as Amazon) that have a large number of stories. I have several patrons on Patreon and even more free readers who have all admitted that they had no interest in my stories until I replaced their free use covers from Google with proper covers.

I opened a poll in my first chapter for the reason they decided to read my story. (Only 9 voters so take the result with a grain of salt) The most votes have gone to Genre (6), followed by Title (4), then Synopsis (3) and Cover (2). Baiting through Rec or Ranking got no vote.
This makes sense for what caused them to read the story, but it's the cover and title that gets people to actually click on your story to learn what it is about in the first place. In that case, a picture is always going to be more eyecatching than text. You have to grab their attention and then convince them with the rest to actually read the story.

Well. I would wait until i got 50k readers on webnovel or royalroad. But having your own cover is great. You won't have to worry about being sued if you later publish it
50k readers is 5 times more than what the highest-followed fictions on Royal Road have = P. Webnovel originals don't get that many follows, either. If you have even 2k followers, you have enough to potentially make a living off of Patreon with proper monetization, and a cover will help you get that many followers so long as you have a story interesting enough to keep their attention after they check it out because of the cover.

Now, to answer the original question as to whether it is worth it or not... it depends entirely on your goal. If your goal is to get as much of a following as you can, yes, they are worth it. If your goal is to eventually self-publish your story, yes, covers are even more worth it. If your goal is to just post on the internet for fun and not worry about all that other stuff, then it's only worth it if you want a cover just because.
 

DivineEternal1

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I'm not planning on making any money off of my current work. For now I am more looking for critiquing and seeing if people enjoy my work enough to invest time into writing more. I'm pretty pessimistic about my writing so lots of the time I wonder if I should even do it. Why write if no one likes it or cares? It's been five years since I wrote "Salis" and I'm just now getting the courage to post it. Before this year only one person had ever read the whole thing. I know no one commenting doesn't mean my story is bad, but my pessimism sure wants to tell me otherwise.

As for readership are there any other good novel posting sites? I've heard about Royal Road and already posted it all on Booksie. Is Scribble Hub fine for now?

There's been a lot of good advice so thank you. Oh, I should also post the picture I made. Not completely satisfied but that's just the perfectionist in me talking. Though maybe I should have chosen a less busy background. And yes, Salis is the typical white haired loli... There is actually an in universe reason for that though but I'm not saying here because it's a big spoiler.
Salis.png
 

BenJepheneT

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I'm not planning on making any money off of my current work. For now I am more looking for critiquing and seeing if people enjoy my work enough to invest time into writing more. I'm pretty pessimistic about my writing so lots of the time I wonder if I should even do it. Why write if no one likes it or cares? It's been five years since I wrote "Salis" and I'm just now getting the courage to post it. Before this year only one person had ever read the whole thing. I know no one commenting doesn't mean my story is bad, but my pessimism sure wants to tell me otherwise.

As for readership are there any other good novel posting sites? I've heard about Royal Road and already posted it all on Booksie. Is Scribble Hub fine for now?

There's been a lot of good advice so thank you. Oh, I should also post the picture I made. Not completely satisfied but that's just the perfectionist in me talking. Though maybe I should have chosen a less busy background. And yes, Salis is the typical white haired loli... There is actually an in universe reason for that though but I'm not saying here because it's a big spoiler.
View attachment 1225
Let's just say that unless you want massive clicks and attention, sticking to the good ol' self made cover would be sufficient.

Or pick up drawing and make your own you limpet.
 

Llamadragon

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Yeah, I usually don't read longer stories that don't have covers. Not because they're not good, just because it's much easier to remember the picture than the name of the story in most cases. If the story go on a hiatus or I shelf it because I'm waiting for more chapters and then I come back in three months... will I remember which coverless story is which one? In my case, I often don't. But yes you don't need anything fancy for me to pick it up or anything.
 

IvyVeritas

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It sounds like you're just talking about commissioning a character drawing, which is a lot cheaper than commissioning a professional book cover, so if you feel like it's worth it, go for it.

I just pushed the button on commissioning a professional cover for The Eighth Warden, now that I'm done with the first book and am revising it into an ebook (not all the chapters have been posted here yet). Given how much it costs, I'm a little nervous about how it'll turn out, but it's got to be better than the clip art one I made for myself.

As for readership are there any other good novel posting sites? I've heard about Royal Road and already posted it all on Booksie. Is Scribble Hub fine for now?
I'm not sure if we're allowed to talk about other sites on this forum, but I will say that Scribble Hub is one of the smallest readerships I have.
 

jinxs2011

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Having a cover is definitely a must. Does it need to be done by an artist? Well, no. It'll probably look a whole lot better if you do, though. My own novel covers are pretty much thrown together with very little actual work done. They don't look great, but hey, one of them is still doing pretty well despite it, so...
The cover will grab attention. That's important, but more important than that is being able to keep attention once it's there. The synopsis, and the story itself. What's the point of having an amazing cover that gets you 100k views on your first chapter if that count tanks by 99% on chapter 2?

As an aside, if your novel isn't on royalroad already, it probably should be. It's got a much larger audience, and so you've got a much higher chance of comments on it than here. For direct comparison, on my latest chapter on here, I got a grand total of two comments, both of which were just 'thanks for the chapter' (not saying that's bad, just that it isn't really feedback). The same chapter on royalroad got 19 comments, the majority of which were commentary on the chapter itself and the story. Practically 10x the amount.
 

thepundit

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A cover is always very welcome. But first, you must consider whether the story is good enough. A good cover + a good story = +readers. Try asking some help from the big guys in our discord chat. Those guys along with some of my commenting readers really help a lot. Hope this helps.
 

DivineEternal1

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I'm learning a lot, thanks! Writing is one thing and I hope I'm better than average, but when it comes to publishing I've got a long way to go so this really helps. Also got introduced to Grammarly and I wish I had known about it sooner. Soooooo many "actually" removed haha.

Maybe I will get a commission eventually but for now, I'll go with the quick one I put together. Someone suggested I change the name of my story as "Salis" is kinda boring, and I agree. Not sure what I want to change it to though. In my writing program, it's simply titled "True Untitled" or "Untitled Thingy" depending on how old the file is.
 
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