The truth is, designing a book cover is hard... sort of. The hard part is money. Because if you spend the money for photos I don't think it's that hard to make a book cover. If you like to read and you look at a lot of covers, you can figure out what works and what doesn't.
What I ran into is the question, how much money am I willing to spend on this? I know the cover is important. I have skipped over a book because the cover just didn't do it for me. My first cover is for a short story. I intend to sell it for 99 cents. I am a cheap skate, to an extent. If I feel something is profitable, I will spend the money to do it right. However, I usually don't overspend. And I've researched self publishing and how slow it works and how hard it is to do "successfully." The truth is I'm doing this to share my stories. I'm not doing this to make big bucks. And I know the likelihood of me getting a return on the money I could spend on my first self published work is probably not going to be much. So I can't justify spending a lot of money on a book cover.
Plus I enjoyed designing my own cover. Don't get me wrong, there was some stress. It is hard to find free(as in money and royalties) photos that are a good fit for your cover. But I don't think I did too bad for my first try. I designed 3 possibilities, asked some trusted peeps for opinions and I made my decision. Now I'm waiting on feedback from my Beta, followed by a last round of edits before I self pub for the first time!
In the mean time, I'm going to work on the next short story in that particular series, plus I've got another short story brewing for a different series, not to mention a novel I need to finish the first draft of and a novel my Beta is reading. I have a lot of irons in the fire :) Speaking of fire, I sent out 10 queries last week and I've gotten two form rejections back :( On the positive side, I will self pub that novel if it doesn't get me an agent. On top of that I've got the sequel on standby. I actually wrote the sequel first, not realizing it was the sequel, so I will have to do some revising before I publish it.
Keep on going!