OK, I'm finally convinced! Like you, I have read about the importance of your book's cover, but unlike most of you, I dug in my feet and insisted on doing my own. I'm no designer and I am always struggling to tame the technical issues of my life. I downloaded Paint.net which is a good program for creating your own covers but assumes you have some sort of artistic sense. I created a cover for both THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR and MY SECRET MOTHER but once I got past my own ego, realized that they were not great. Smashwords, a terrific publishing and distribution platform for indie authors, has an enhanced "premium distribution" service that makes your books available in the Apple and Sony stores, Barnes and Noble, etc. To access this very important sales network requires, among other things, a professional looking cover. Contrary to my previous insistence, a book really is judged by its cover.
I finally gave in and hired a great designer, through the recommendation on the Smashwords site (they offer many choices) and she quickly created just what I wanted. A small investment of time and money for a big improvement in buyer appeal. What do you think? If you want her contact info, send me an email or post a comment, with your own contact email information and I will be glad to pass along her name.