In between proofing my novella, I've been playing at creating my own cover. Not that I know what I'm doing!
I can afford to pay someone to come up with the perfect gravitational-beam cover for my story; if I had no talent at all in graphic design, I would gladly farm out the job (and I still haven't completely ruled that out). I'm not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I've always been good with a nice pair of scissors, pictures to sample from, and something to glue it all together on. When I was a young boy, I was always wanting to play with dolls and so forth (much to the consternation of my father), and since I knew I would never get a doll house (and was never brave enough to ask), I would often raid my mother's closet for old Sear's and Roebuck catalogs and magazines and cut out rooms, furniture, accessories, etc. and make my own "houses" on posterboard!
Much older now (please don't do the math!), I spent about three years of my "I'll never be a published writer!" down-time phase goofing around on Second Life - a popular "virtual world" experience that peaked in '07, and kind of lost its steam afterwards. My primary goal was to replicate the success some people were having in "virtual businesses" - and I started a series of them myself (all of which flopped) helping ugly avatars everywhere become fashionably conscious. While doing all of that, I made quite a few friends (some I still keep in contact with), but in doing the marketing for those businesses, helping those friends with theirs, and keeping up a blog at the time (which had over 100k hits before we all bailed) about those ventures, I developed some decent photoshop skills - not anything I could make a living with, but enough to be able to know the elements of design needed to excite potential customers about business.
Having been away from that experience for more than a year, I hadn't really played around with my cutting-and-pasting skills for a while. Over the last week, I've been sampling graphics from stock photo sights trying to get inspired over what I want the cover to emote. I still haven't decided whether I'm going to go for it or hire a professional, but if I do ... it won't be until after I've exhausted my own creative demon!
Would love to hear other self-pubbed authors describe their "cover stories!"