I went out on a limb and asked the music crowdfunding gurus at Launch + Release to let me take their online course at discount, in exchange for which I would give them more feedback than they could ever need about how their process applied to fiction writers. It looks like most of the actions, sequences, and thought processes they propose will transfer from music to fiction pretty seamlessly. I'm hoping that next year, I'll be in a position to say with some certainty whether authors should rush out and take their course or not. Anyhow, assuming their estimate of the amount I can be virtually certain of raising through Kickstarter is correct, I should be able to afford The Cover Artist of My Dreams.
Two weeks ago, I had no idea how to commission cover art. Fortunately for me, artist Randy Gallegos wrote up everything he wished indie authors and small press publishers knew about commissioning art, put it in a clearly written, friendly pdf, and released it into the world, encouraging people to share it. In case you ever need to commission art, here's how. (Oh, and Gallegos's own work is pretty amazing, too.) Thanks to the advice in his document, I was able to find an artist early enough in her career, and offer her favorable enough terms, that the relatively modest amount I was certain I would be able to offer her would still be workable for her.
It probably also helped that the story I hoped she would illustrate really was a good fit for what she does, and that over the years I'd worked with everything I had to make that manuscript the best version of itself I could. There were a couple of nailbiting days while I waited to hear back from her about whether she liked the piece. It all feels that much closer to real.