Back in August, blogger-turned-author Tim Ferriss found himself the subject of some controversy when he announced a design contest for readers to come up with a cover for his new book. There were the usual anger over not using a professional designer and even some speculation that Ferriss had simply fanned the flames of the “no spec” debate in order to generate publicity. Now we have another high profile author, but one who seems to have generally slipped under the radar. Rick Warren, famous pastor and the writer behind The Purpose Driven Life, quickly launched a design-the-cover-for-my-new-book contest late last week via the crowdsourcing design site 99designs, offering $3000 for the winner. The window was incredibly short, just three days and twenty hours, shutting down right at midnight on the 19th. In that time, it had generated more than 2900 entries by 850 designers and Warren had upped the winning fee to $5000. We’re staying out of it, as we’re sure the spec crowd will be plenty upset, given that implication behind all of this is that Warren and his group seem to believe that good, solid design can be had for dirt cheap, it can also be created on the super quick.
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