Do you create new covers to replace old ones? Yes, I design new covers to replace existing covers. I work with authors who are ready for a new cover because their first one did not look professional or didn’t appeal to their target audience. If you have regained the rights to out-of-print books from your former publishers, your book will need a new cover and ISBN.
Do you read the book before you create the design? Yes, I read your manuscript. I need to understand what the book is about, especially if it’s fiction. Recently, an author asked, “Why do you want to read my book? I’m not intending to rewrite any of it.” My reply: “I read the book because it will help me understand the story and formulate ideas for the cover.”
Do you collaborate with authors? Do you seek the author’s input and offer a preliminary layout before finalizing? Yes and yes. I always work with clients on both the cover and the interior pages. Book cover ideas begin with listening to you describe your book in a few sentences; reading the book description if it has been written; and reading much of the book before I begin to design.
What is the design process? The process starts with researching other books in your genre and taking screen shots of the best covers as reference. Next, I search for images on stock photo websites. I save my favorite images in a folder to show you before I begin the cover layouts. The next step is showing you first layouts, including the title, subtitle, and your name; then, tweaking the layouts per your input. Interior-page layout begins with establishing the book size, setting up a grid, and looking at font styles for the chapter name and body copy. The last step is showing you a sample page spread (left and right facing pages) for your approval before I design the entire book’s layout.
How do you deliver the final product, what sort of file? I deliver a high-res, print-ready PDF (both covers and interiors) to the author. The PDF will meet the print-on-demand company’s requirements.
Do you upload covers to Amazon and Smashwords? For Amazon’s printing division KDP, I would need to log in to your Amazon account and provide a two-step verification. Instead, it’s best to share your screen, so I can walk you through the process. Although I have not uploaded to this site before, Smashwords is an excellent publisher. Please read The Smashwords Style Guide, particularly the section on eBook preparation.
Cost. What makes you worth the price? Experience. Creativity. A thorough understanding of the self-publishing process. I will set-up your book cover and interiors files correctly in order to meet printing standards. My job is to create a polished, professional book, so it does not look DIY or amateur. There are so many details an author needs to know. I help you with those details and advice.
What is a price range, common average cost for a completed book cover?
Prices vary depending on the project. The more detail you provide, the more accurate my estimate will be. Costs depend on genre (some are more complicated than others) and searching for the right images, which can be time consuming. Other factors that influence price: Are you providing a photo or illustration? Do you want an eBook and a print version? How many designs would you like to see? Estimated costs for a completed book cover range from $300 to $500.
If this is your first experience working with a book designer, of course, you have a lot of questions. As we move through the design process, you will probably have more, and I will try my best to answer them. Playing a role in bringing your book to fruition can be fun, educational, and satisfying. Working with a designer is a great partnership.