One of the differences between an eBook cover and a print cover - is that an artist doing a print cover has more "canvas" to work with - front, back, spine... an eBook cover artist has only the front cover. Add another complication it has to be READABLE really small. One of the ways eBook cover artist compensate is to make the text MUCH larger than it would be on a print book.
But that's not really what I want to talk about. A lot of authors in the eBook world feel that they know better than a trained Cover Artist what their book requires as images and such, that they feel the cover must illustrate a scene in the book - perfectly represent a character, scene, whatever. Actually - NO. Yes if a character is on the book it should be as close to the character as the eBook artist can get with Stock Photos.
Yup, we use stock photos. Like many other eBook cover artist for small presses - I WISH I could hire models, hire the costumes, fly to the perfect location and hire the photographer to take the shots - or heck take them myself. But that is a financial impossibility. So for now I work with stock images - sometimes it takes hours to find just the right image - sometimes I luck out in that I'd seen an image, got it then cause I would probably never find it again, and have it in my library waiting.
Covers are difficult to do - the Artist/Designer has to balance image with text. Too much of one and the other gets lost, too little of one and the balance of the design is off.
A few questions I would really like every author to ask themselves before telling a CA what they NEED to do is:
1. Could I do it?
2. Could I do it consistently without knowing anything more than the brief information provided on the form?
3. Do I know how to use Photoshop well enough to trim the stock images - modify them as needed and make them see a cohesive whole instead of just a bunch of images stack on top of each other?
4. Do I have the training to do their job?
5. Do I know how to balance text and image to make a compelling cover?
6. Am I an artist?
So how many did you answer no to? If it's more than one - TRUST your CA! They do.