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push-once-button-300I recently completed my first “crowdsourced” outsourcing experiment.

I hired a company called DesignCrowd to come up with a cover design for my latest book. Previously I’ve gone to Fiverr or tapped my wife’s mad PowerPoint skillz to create my covers.

Since I was putting a lot of effort behind the creation and marketing of this book, I really wanted to put my best foot forward on the cover, so I decided to give DesignCrowd a shot.

How it works is you submit your design “brief” and designers from all around the world can submit their creative ideas. It’s usually a winner-take-all contest; when it’s over, you pick the winner and they get paid.

Naturally, the more you spend, the more attractive your contest is to designers and the more entries you’re likely to receive.

I picked a middle of the road pricing option (around $250 — by FAR the most I’d ever spent on a book cover), and ended up getting 35-40 design submissions from 13 different designers. 

Some of them, honestly, were horrible. But a few were pretty good, and one I LOVED. I was able to go back and forth with the designer to make tweaks and adjustments to the colors and the images used.

DesignCrowd even has a voting feature where you can survey prospective readers/customers to see which one they like the best. (I got some surprising results on that.)

Want to see the winning cover?

Take a look at

(The book is all about the power of tapping into pre-existing marketplaces to earn extra money and start a business, and is on sale for just $0.99 today.)

Next month I’ll share some of the losing designs on the VAA site so you can see what the competition was like.

Your Turn

Have you ever used DesignCrowd or a similar crowdsourcing marketplace?

Where do you normally turn for graphic design help?

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