...by its cover. Not true. It's usually the cover of a book which attracts one first, then the blurb. If both are a go, we buy the book. So a book cover IS important.
I've been blown away by the covers designed for my novels by several terrific graphic artists: Rae Monet (The Shiningstar Books), Tina Lynn Stout (The Showboat Affair and Dancing with Velvet), and Trisha FitzGerald (The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall). See the sidebar of the blog for a look at the covers. But these were all traditionally-contracted books.(I was unable to find websites for Tina Lynn and Trisha.)
When it comes to "indie publishing", an author has to go it alone or find an affordable graphic artist to design the cover of her dreams--never forgetting that the cover can hook a reader faster than the blurb, because it's what the reader sees first in most cases.
As I dabble my toes in the waters of indie publishing (come 2013), suitable covers for The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series are high on my lists of first-things-first. I may have a good product, but no one will unwrap unattractive packaging to find it.
I am, by necessity, limited by my budget. So what will I do? Go it alone, or find the tried-and-true? Here are three links I'm looking at to help make a decision.