I'm not a good artist. Actually, I suck big time! But like all things in life, it's just a case of finding someone who is really good at what they do and get them to help you out!
All books need good cover pictures and when I created my Xannu books I was very lucky to have the services of my eldest daughter to hand. She drew me two excellent covers and I have had wonderful feedback on the quality of them. But recently I have been readying my Gwillville series of Middle Grade books for publication and I didn't know anyone locally who could help out. Thankfully I discovered the site guru.com. Guru allows you to create projects for all sorts of things from business cases to illustrations. I thought I'd give it a try as it seemed very reputable and the comments very favorable. Besides, it cost me nothing to create a project and open it to bidders. Long story short, twenty minutes later I had created my project and I sat back for a week to see who replied.
In all I had about thirty people who replied! Guru automatically tries to rate the replies for you, depending on their previous feedback and work on Guru, but you still have to go through them all one by one. There are lots of samples provided and it's an interesting job narrowing down the field. Anyway, I finally got my list down to the 'final five' and then I asked them to provide me a rough interpretation on something that was relevant to my project. Ultimately I chose one illustrator and we set to work.
The process of creating three book covers from scratch has taken about two weeks and I have to say, it has been a wonderful experience. My illustrator, Selena Boron, has done an excellent job and I will use her again I am sure for upcoming covers. Check out the partial book covers below and also the website linked to her name.
My advice for people who are looking for some specialist help? Don't be afraid to reach out. This Internet world is an amazing place!