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How To Outsource E-cover Creation For Your Internet Business

Oct 5, 2007
If you run an Internet business, you are more than likely going to find value in adding an information product to your product line. It may be your core offering, or it may just be an incentive to attract subscribers to your mailing list. But one way or another, you'll have one.

When you offer an information product - especially one that is purely digital and can be downloaded directly from the Internet - you have the challenge of conveying the idea of "substance" to your customer.

With a physical product, you can display a picture of it and a customer will have some idea of its intrinsic value. But with information, all you can do is describe how it will help them. That's useful of course, but it doesn't provide a "handle" for the customer to grab on to visually.

An e-cover can solve this problem.

An e-cover presents an image of what your information product might look like if it was a physical book, or a software box, or a paper magazine. While nothing about your product has actually changed as a result of having this cover, your customer's perception will change because they will have a way to recognize the product visually.

This is incredibly powerful in conveying value, substance and professionalism to your customer.

So, how to you get an e-cover created for your Internet business product? One way is to purchase an e-book cover creation software program, such as eCover Generator. This does a nice job of taking existing front cover and side cover graphics and "joining them together" into an e-book shape.

This is a useful way to go if you have the graphic images already created and/or you have a large number of e-covers to create. However bear in mind that the "look" of your e-book will only be as good as the quality of the graphics you join together using this software.

A higher quality (although more expensive) way is to use a service that specializes in e-cover creation, such as KillerCovers. I have used them on numerous occasions and I find that they do an excellent job. For one-off e-covers, or e-covers with matching header graphics for your website, they can be a great one-stop shop for professional-quality e-covers.

Yet another option - and one that I have come to appreciate more recently - is to outsource the e-cover creation to an independent contractor you find on Elance or Rentacoder. The advantage here is that you can tap into the same high-end graphic skillset as an e-cover creation specialist, but you can also have more control over the terms of your project.

For instance, you can require that the source file be provided as one of the terms of the contract, so that you can make changes yourself later on. You can also build a relationship with a specific professional so that you can go directly to them in the future if you have more similar graphic work to do.

Additionally, and perhaps most significantly, you can negotiate a lot more into the contract, so that the actual cost to you for all of the graphics produced is vastly lower than you'd have to pay to an e-cover specialist business.

For example, the cost to produce an e-cover by itself at one popular e-cover company is $117. To get an e-cover with a matching website header and a couple of graphical buttons costs $295. If you wanted additional banners or ads or other related graphical elements, they are either not available at all, or would have to be added in at a much higher price.

Compare this with posting a project on Elance in which you require both the e-cover and the matching header graphic to be created in a variety of graphic formats, and that you be given the source Photoshop file as well so that you can make edits to it yourself. You then get to review bids from multiple contractors and choose the best quality, as well as the most competitive price for your project.

I recently posted this very same type of project on Elance, and received the e-cover, header graphic, and source file all for $150 -- half the price of an e-cover specialist. And since I now have the source file, I can make as many edits or adjustments or derivative works (such as ads, banners or buttons) that I wish. For free.

Better still, the next time I need a great graphic created, I know exactly who to go to and how much I can expect to pay.

Projecting a professional image with an e-cover for your product is not difficult to do. There are numerous graphical outsourcing options available to you. It's up to you to choose the one that fits your needs the best.
About the Author
Jason Jantzi has used outsourcing to drive his Internet business for years. Download his free Hiring Out 101 outsourcing guide and learn how to use this powerful technique to help your internet business build a professional image.
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