Need a book cover designing? Check out this cool contest!

Evan from Hire The World contacted me with this ah-ma-zing contest for self-published authors just like your fabulous self, and I knew right away I wanted to share it with you.

Why do I want to share it? Because y’all know I love me some internationalization. The idea behind Hire The Worlis super cool, and a great chance to get an international perspective on your book. I’ll let Evan explain the deets of the service and their current contest!


“Self publishing is tough, but we’re hoping to make it a little easier for you. We’re giving away two FREE Book Cover Design Contests to awesome authors like you!


HiretheWorld allows you to tap into the creativity of hundreds of designers from around the world as they submit unique book cover designs for your perusal. At the end of the process (typically after 7 days) you pick your favorite entry, you get the design files and the winning designer receives the prize!


This format allows you to find your dream design even if you’re not sure what you’re looking for when you start. Our design community is global, so this is a great way to access view points from around the world. You get to see 100+ unique ideas and request unlimited revisions until you’re 100% satisfied.



If you’re interested or if you know somebody who might be interested, visit this link to learn more about how you could win your own Book Cover Design Contest.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at evan[at]hiretheworld[dot]com. Looking forward to seeing you on the site! – Evan”

Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.


  • Peter Bowerman

    Hey Laura,

    I promise I’m not trying to be a party-pooper here, but this scenario is a lot more complicated than it appears. On the surface, it sounds great: you get all these designers weighing in, but the vetting/approval process can be FAR more complicated and time-consuming than you can imagine…

    Check out these links about a Boston Law firm who used crowdsourcing to come up with a logo. While they don’t admit it, the whole thing turned into a NIGHTMARE – with literally hundreds of hours spent on the process. AND, with the end result being underwhelming, to say the least. You probably won’t want to read through all three, given their length, but that’s sort of the point: it was an endless exercise…

    They’d have been FAR better off hiring a professional logo designer, paid their rate, and been able to get a rhythm going with ONE person, and get what they needed. And not spend nearly as much time at it.

    Same thing here. Someone would need to have a ton of time on their hands to spend reviewing all the entries (and don’t kid yourself about how much time it’ll take – this is a book cover after all, one with many elements – far more complicated than just a logo).

    And even then, you have to ask yourself, “What is my time worth?” Even if it’s something low like $30 or $40 an hour, if the whole process takes 50 hours (and it absolutely could), is that a good trade? When you can get a GREAT book cover from a professional, highly credentialed book-cover designer for $1000-$2000?

    Because we’re NOT talking about professional designers here: anyone who’s going to weigh in on a book-design contest where no pay is involved unless you’re chosen out of hundreds is NOT going to be a real professional. Because real pros don’t have to work on spec.

    People need to stop being seduced by the crowdsourcing idea. Sounds wonderful, but it’s terribly inefficient, and more often than not, you often won’t get the best result. And when you’re talking about a book cover, the importance of which cannot be overstated, the last thing you want to do is skimp.

    One man’s opinion…


  • 30 Day Books

    Hi Peter, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long and thoughtful comment. I appreciate having discussion such as this on the site, and welcome your opinion.
    I am yet to look at the articles you provided, but I do know that from my experience of crowd-sourcing to date (crowd-sourced funding through Kickstarter) it was an incredibly time-consuming and inefficient process, and wasn’t worth the time and energy put into the campaign. (This is for funding books, I do believe that for certain projects -films, technology, larger amounts is a different story and may be worth the time spent.)
    I am excited by this contest and company because I think that having an international perspective on your book cover is a priceless opportunity – if you are aiming for an international market. Perhaps there is a better way of going about it though. I will keep an open mind of crowd-sourcing for now, and thank you again for providing some great food for thought.

  • Peter Bowerman

    Hey Laura,

    Thanks for taking my comments in the spirit they were intended – to help save authors a TON of time, money (because time IS money) and hassle. Sounds like your experience with crowdsourcing was equally unpleasant. Sorry to hear it, but the crowdsourcing business model is inherently inefficient, and absolutely designed to NOT yield an ideal end result.

    Sure, I can see an individual with little funds using the model to say, come up with a name for a company, product or process. Something that either isn’t right or might be, but not a labor-intensive type project like a book-cover or logos.

    But even, then it’s not an ideal situation because, by definition, it will draw the amateurs, the hobbyists, the weekend warriors. Not a good formula for a good outcome. And here’s why…

    When dealing with amateurs and hobbyists, what they come up with MIGHT look good to you compared to what you’d come up with, but that means nothing. It certainly doesn’t mean it’s good. But using a professional opens the door to What You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know – a result SO much better than you could imagine.

    And why shouldn’t that be the case? They’re professionals, and you’re not. They’ve forgotten more about their craft than you’ll ever know, so their work should surprise and delight you.

    Thanks for letting me go on… ;)


  • Evan Duxbury

    Hi Peter!

    Great to meet you and great to see you so interested in crowdsourcing! There are always going to be a few outliers, and the example you provided does a great job of outlining one perspective in depth. However, most of the key points the article highlights really surprised me. Our design community has produced over 55,000 designs for our clients, and the incredible selection available is almost always one of the most popular parts of a Design Contest.

    All designers have a distinct style that makes them unique and makes them stand out. When you hire a traditional designer you get access to their style and their point of view. But what happens if the book cover doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped? You’re forced to proceed with a design you don’t love, or to start the process all over again, possible with somebody else. With one of our contests you’re getting access to dozens of diverse styles and perspectives from our community, essentially a gigantic brainstorm about your book cover, giving you a far great chance of finding your dream design. In nearly every case, our clients fall in love with a design and rave about the experience. Because of our success rate we can offer a 100% moneyback guarantee to complete remove the risk for our clients.

    It can take some time to review designs as they come in, but for our clients, this is fun (certainly more fun than spending time searching for a designer, interviewing them and comparing pricing)! Being an indie author is all about having control over your creation and the instant feedback mechanism of the contest process puts you in the driver’s seat.

    One of the biggest misconceptions about crowdsourcing is that professionals don’t work on spec, which is simply untrue. The biggest hassle in a designer’s life is finding new clients and working with them. So there’s a huge draw to competing in contests where they can focus on what they do best: designing. No collection calls, no meetings and no marketing efforts or expenses. As a result we have Professors of Design, Art Institute grads and industry experts making up a large part of our community. If you have any doubts surrounding the quality of our designers, please feel free to check out our design gallery ( and let me know what you think!

    @Laura, I’m afraid I haven’t tried crowdfunding myself so I don’t know too much about it, but I imagine asking people for money presents quite a different set of challenges. I applaud you for keeping open mind when it comes to crowdsourcing designs because the value is really astounding. I’d encourage both of you to enter our contest for a chance at a free contest so we might have the chance to show you just how awesome it can be!

    If you or any readers have questions or if you’d simply like to continue the conversation, please feel free to contact me at evan(at)hiretheworld(dot)com. I’d love to chat!

    Evan – Community Engagement Officer @ HiretheWorld

  • Peter Bowerman


    Thanks for your most enthusiastic response. AND, we’re going to have to agree
    to disagree…

    First, you assert that if you go with one designer, you get ONLY their distinctive style, and nothing else. By contrast, go the crowdsourcing route and you get aaaaaaalll these styles weighing in.

    As a veteran freelancer and author who’s been dealing regularly with professional designers for 20 years (both in my commercial writing practice and my book publishing ventures), and who’s been coaching self-publishing authors since 2002, I know for an ironclad fact that what you state is simply not the case.

    I’d be an idiot to assert that getting input from 100’s of designers wouldn’t yield a wide range of results, BUT your “one-style-designer” theory just ain’t so. What distinguishes a professional designer is their ability to adapt their skills to any project and to craft work that spans the gamut of styles.

    Check out the portfolios of these book cover designers, and tell me all their books have the same specific trademark style. They just don’t.

    And, yes, I’m sure some professional designers DO play the crowdsourcing game, but I had to scratch my head at this:

    The biggest hassle in a designer’s life is finding new clients and working with them. So there’s a huge
    draw to competing in contests where they can focus on what they do best: designing. No collection calls, no meetings and no marketing efforts or

    Hmmmm. So, a designer takes the time to design a cover and throw it in the pot with those of potentially many hundreds of other designers?

    And all for the borderline lottery-odds chance that their design will be chosen, and for which they’ll earn half or a third of their normal fee? This is a better alternative than marketing your services to find clients who will pay your normal rates? Seriously?

    And if you ARE a good designer, and you realize the long-shot nature of this proposition, you think you’re going to go all out? You really think that author is going to get their best efforts? Versus what you’d get if they hired ONE person, and paid them well?

    But, even if you DO end up with a decent design, your process – dealing with hundreds of designs/designers – as opposed to getting into a substantive, focused discussion with one talented person right from the get-go, is an inefficient one that has as its cornerstone the hope that the Law of Averages will kick in – and in all the dreck will be a gem.

    Last but definitely not least, book-cover design is a specific skill honed over time; it’s not something that any designer, even a talented one in another arena of design, will naturally excel out of the gate. And by the looks of your portfolio, there are precious few book-cover samples (and hence, one has to imagine, precious few dedicated book-cover designers). And a book cover is too important to risk on the
    mercy of the odds.

    Far better to go with a proven entity, and pay their toll.

    And I’m afraid you’re going to have a very hard time convincing me that if one assigns a dollar-value to an author’s time, that the amount that author would end up investing in your process would be less than going with a pro from the get-go. OR, that it would yield a superior result.

    Since the early 90’s, I’ve seen firsthand, hundreds of times, the value of hiring professional resources. And I’ve also seen all the shortcuts being sold out there in every arena of book publishing, selling the illusion that they’ve built a better mousetrap when they’ve done no such thing.

    Not saying crowdsourcing can never yield a good result – I’m sure it has. But a better mousetrap? Sorry, no sale.



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