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Like them or loathe them all, we all know how much of a game-changer the generative AI artwork is.

Enter the prompt and the AI tool will spit out the image for you.

It’s no wonder why so many authors love using generative AI tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E.

You can save time and money by using these tools to generate images for your book cover.

Say goodbye to having to spend hours trying to find the right images for your book on stock photo websites.

Sure, you don’t need to do all the legwork if you hire someone to do the book cover for you.

But if you prefer to design the book cover yourself, you know how hard it is to find the right images for your book cover.

While I said before that I’m more likely to use generative AI artwork as concept art rather than as a book cover, I’m starting to warm up to the idea of using generative AI artwork as a book cover.

Just to be clear that I still am planning to use these AI tools to generate concept art for my book.

But I’m thinking about using generative AI artwork on my book cover as well.

You’re using generative AI artwork to save money on hiring an illustrator!

Yes, I admit that the cost-saving benefit is a huge draw for me.

Because well, let’s be honest here -it costs money to hire an illustrator.

Just ask anyone who has to hire an illustrator to work on their book and they will tell you that it’s one of their biggest expenses after the book cover design.

While it’s true that the generative AI artwork helps me with saving the cost in the long run, my reason for embracing generative AI tools isn’t just about the cost-saving benefits.

Rather, it’s more to do with the issue that I came across when I was hiring an illustrator.

The problem with hiring a human illustrator

If you’re like me who have to rely on the illustrator for your book project, then you’ll know how hard it is for an amazing illustrator to come by.

Sure, you can find all sorts of illustrators with varying talents in places like Upwork and Fiverr.

That’s where I found the illustrator who did the book cover for the third book of my Trigger Locked series, The Virtual Mass Murder.

But the thing about the most talented ones is that they may not necessarily be on those platforms.

Well, they may have a profile there. But they tend to offer another way for people to hire them off-site.

That was how I came across my former illustrator.

Yes, she had a profile on Upwork. But the good thing is that I can also contact her through email since she listed her email on her Tumblr page.

After a few email exchanges, I decided to hire her to work on the book cover for my sports light novel, Twisted Destiny.

And guess what? Her work was marvelous. It was worth every penny hiring her.

Ever since then, I hired her for all the book projects I was working on. It was only when I was about to release The Virtual Mass Murder that I had to hire someone else to do the illustration.

So, why didn’t I hire her again? Did she jack up her price to the point where it was no longer cost-effective for me to hire her?

Or did her attitude become so unbearable to the point where working together with her was no longer feasible for me?

Believe me, I would still be willing to hire her even if she jacks up her fee. And I didn’t have any issues with her either since she delivered her work on time as promised.

What prevented me from hiring her again was simply because she no longer did commission work anymore.

With her no longer accepting commission work, it left me no choice other than to hire someone else to do the job.

It was a heartbreaking moment for me

While I managed to find someone else who could do the book cover illustration for The Virtual Mass Murder, I wasn’t too happy with the result.

Did the new illustrator that I found on Upwork do a terrible job?

Nope, she did a phenomenal job.

So, what causes me to feel dissatisfied with the final deliverable if she did an amazing job?

Well, my dissatisfaction wasn’t because of her per se.

Rather, it’s more to do with the book cover design for all books in the series are no longer consistent anymore.

I’m fine with not having a consistent art style if they’re standalone books.

But this is a series we’re talking about here. Shouldn’t the art style for all books in the series need to be consistent?

When the third book of the series onward isn’t consistent with the first two books, it doesn’t sit well with me.

Whether my readers can tell the difference is something that I’m not sure of.

But one thing I know for sure is I’m not happy about it, which is frustrating as an author.

Generative AI artwork solves the issue

The thing about generative AI tools is that you can make the generated images consistent provided that you use the same model every time you generate the image.

While I can’t say for sure with Midjourney since the only thing you can tinker with is your prompt.

But generating consistent images is possible with Stable Diffusion thanks to the models and LoRAs.

That stands for Low-Rank Adaptation for those who aren’t familiar with the terms used in Stable Diffusion.

Think of LoRA as a modifier. Have both of them in place and you’re likely to generate consistent results with it.

Having LoRA in place is especially helpful if you’re using Stable Diffusion to create original characters.

I won’t go into details on how Stable Diffusion works.

But suffice it for me to say that it’s doable to achieve consistent image output with Stable Diffusion.

Will I ever hire a human illustrator to work on my book again?

To be honest, it’s hard for me to say right now since I don’t know what holds for me in the future.

But one thing I know for sure is I’ll be using Stable Diffusion from now on to generate book cover illustrations.

At least that’s one thing that is clear to me.

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