"Writing is easy, living is hard" is a variation on a famous quote attributed to Hemingway. If he was a self-published author he might have changed it to say "book covers are hard." I just posted my experience with creating covers for my books at martinlrenaud.blogspot.com. I have used photoshop in the past but recently switched to the free program "GIMP." I tend to be DIY about most things but was wondering what other writers do about their book covers. What software do you use, services etc?
I don't believe they just use a plain stock photo. I'm pretty sure they work on an image using one of the softwares. However, there are limits to manipulate an image.
You made the right decision to use a photographer to capture a specific image for your covers. I'd assume more and more authors will do the same.
I'm DIY for my free shorts using the GIMP program and have like the results because they don't look bad with photos purchased from fotolia.com. For longer paid works I use websites like Romance Novel Covers and Fantasia Frog Designs that have pre-made covers where you purchase the cover and a graphic designer adds your title and name. I've also used freelance designers.
thanks for the input - it's great to see so many options posted on this forum.
I am the author of Nephilim the Remants, and my wife and I are both graphic designers. TODAY ONLY, my pdf ebook is free to anyone who wants to download it. Just click here to see what I did with my book and my website. I would be willing to look at your cover and give you my professional opinion. I photographed my own cover and designed every piece within its pages.