This page walks you through a summary of the process of commissioning an e-book cover from me. Hopefully it will answer any questions you may have, but don't be afraid to contact me with questions or concerns!
Note that this information is on commissioning e-book covers only; as other graphic design projects vary widely in scope, it is difficult for me to provide general information on other projects. If you're interested in commissioning me for something other than an e-book cover, please contact me using the form on my Contact page so that we can discuss your project in more detail.
What You Pay
My base price for a single e-book cover is $100. This price is for a book cover with stock images under a limited license. A stock image with a limited license may limit how many digital copies of the book you are allowed to sell using that cover; this number is usually between 300,000 and 500,000 copies. If you expect to sell a greater number of copies than this, we can discuss your options. An extended license for a stock image is usually around $100, which unfortunately is not a price that I control, but if we plan ahead, you may be able to save some money on it or we can find another solution.
I can create an illustration from scratch for the cover if we cannot find a suitable stock image or you want a unique illustration for your cover. The additional cost for this depends entirely on the complexity of the image.
If you are commissioning multiple covers, such as for a series, the price per cover may be lower! This depends on several factors (such as design choices and how many covers you need) and I will be able to give you a solid price after we discuss the scope of the project. We can also discuss advertising and other work you may be interested in, which I may be able to offer a lower price on as well if you want it completed together.
I take payment via PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account to pay through PayPal - only a credit or debit card. You do not need to cover any PayPal fees, those are for me to pay. Approximately half of the cost will be due when I send you the first round of concept thumbnails. The rest, plus any additional charges, will be payed when you receive the cover.
If you absolutely cannot use PayPal, then we can discuss other options.
What You Get
A custom e-book cover, designed from scratch to fit your book. I create my covers specifically to be e-book covers, not to mimic real book covers or other digital media; this means that while the cover will still give the impression of being a book, I also focus on bold, clear design elements to make the cover recognizable and readable at thumbnail sizes. Since I create each cover from the ground up without using templates, your cover will be unique and tailor-fit to represent your e-book!
You will receive the final cover in the form of two files: a .png file at full size (both in terms of dimensions and file size) and a ready-to-upload .jpeg, which will be sized to the specifications of the vendor you're selling your e-book with. I can offer a couple of other final files as well if you request them - for example, if you want a small image ready to upload to your blog to advertise the book. You can also feel free to resize the files I send you as you need, but I would be happy to do it for you.
Never commissioned an e-book cover before? No problem! You can ask me questions at any time, and I'll be happy to clarify what I'm currently working on or anything I need from you. Here's a basic overview of how things will go down:
- Initial Contact. You can contact me via the form on my Contact page (handy, right?). I'll follow up with an email to you. If you're commissioning multiple covers, I'll ask anything I need to know at this time and give you a price; if it's just a single cover, we'll jump right into the next step:
- Brainstorming. At this point, I'll ask you to pay the first half of the price. I'll also provide you with a design brief to fill out - basically, a list of questions about the book and your thoughts on the cover that will help push me in the right direction to start designing. Once the first half is payed and we're both on the same page about where you want me to go with the cover, then I move on to:
- Concepts. This is when I'll start putting together mock-ups of the cover. I'll probably come up with a few potential covers to show you - keep in mind that none of these are meant to be the final cover; everything can still be changed after this stage except any stock images. Once I feel I have a few solid choices for you, I'll email them to you to review. At this point, you can look through the concepts and give me any relevant feedback - if you see your cover in there, then let me know! But if you're still not sure and you'd like to see more options, that's fine. Once we've both settled on a concept that you're happy with, then I'll purchase the stock image(s) and we'll move forward to:
- Tweaks. In many cases, this is the bulk of the design process, while other authors prefer to mostly skip this step and trust me with the smaller design decisions. I'll start by using the purchased image to create a more polished version of the concept cover, and we'll move step-by-step through individual features of the cover - for example, layout, font choices, colors - that you would like to see changed. I will take your feedback, tweak the design, and show it (or multiple versions of it!) to you; if you like it, we move on to the next design element. If not, we try again. Eventually I will get the cover to your liking, and we will move on to the final step...
- Final Exchange. At this point, I will ask you to pay the final half of the price (as well as any additional cost from purchasing extra stock images). Once I've received payment, I'll send you the final cover, in the form of the two files described above, and you can use it for your ebook!
The amount of time it takes to finish the cover(s) will depend on how much involvement you want to have in design decisions for the cover, and how quickly we can communicate and make those decisions together. Designing a single cover entirely on my own takes on average 2-3 days; I would suggest you count on the cover taking at least a week if you will want to vet each design decision (as described in the 'tweaks' section), and possibly longer if you are going to want to have a lot of creative control over the cover. I don't mind going back and forth to get the cover just how you want it, but it will take more time!
A Few Usage Notes
You do not have to credit me or link back to my portfolio, but I very much appreciate it if you do! The only thing that I ask is that you not claim that you (or someone else other than me) designed the cover. Additionally, I will not be able to refund you if you choose not to use the cover; however, if you realize that you will not be wanting the cover sometime before it is completed (and inform me of this), then I will most likely not charge the second half of the cost and may even refund some (or all) of the first half. This all depends on the amount of work completed and the reasons for our stopping work on the cover.
Please keep in mind that the cover I designed for you, unless we discussed otherwise, is intended for e-book use only. If you would like to use it as a print cover, please get in touch with me; this may require the purchase of additional licenses for any stock images used, and in most cases, I will advise that some elements of the design should be changed for a print cover. If you are planning to need both an e-book and print cover from the beginning, let me know, and we can discuss your options! I can definitely make a print version of your e-book cover if I know that's what you want from the beginning.
Due to the legal limits of the licenses I purchase the stock images under, you absolutely cannot print the cover design on merchandise (say, a mug or a t-shirt) and sell it; however, you can print them out for personal use. So, while you cannot sell mugs with your book cover on them, you could order a mug or two for yourself with the design on it to celebrate your first sale. If you would really like to make your cover printable for merchandise, then you can speak with me about it, and we can discuss your options; but be aware that if it is possible, it will almost definitely mean purchasing an extended license for any stock image(s) used in the design. Alternatively, I can be commissioned to create custom designs for saleable merchandise as well.