Book Cover Art Rates and Pricing

After an experiment in currencies (I live in the UK, but have many clients in the US), I have decided to just set all prices in USD. I invoice towards the end of a project, which can then be paid via PayPal. I don’t ask for half up front, but instead prefer to invoice for the full amount (including the cost of any stock) once we have a final image that we’re both happy with. At that point the invoice should be paid.

It is quite common that a POD template will be needed some time after the front cover files have been provided, which is fine. When you have a final pagecount, I will do the POD template for you.

Ebook and Print Book Cover Art and Design: $500.00 plus the cost of any stock needed. This covers:

  • All mockups and proofs until we have a final design (see FAQs below for an idea of the typical process in creating a cover).
  • You get a layered .PSD file in case you need to change the text, use without text for a book trailer, etc. Note: the artwork is flattened, but all text layers are left unflattened. You will still need to purchase any fonts used in order to change the text.
  • A full-size version (6×9″) for printed posters, swag, etc.
  • An ebook version for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Amazon catalogue and Smashwords. This version should work for all.
  • Two smaller promo files for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., one 3D version and a smaller flat version.
  • POD template .pdf file (no .psd) – one only, for either KDP or Ingram. I don’t do Lulu POD templates.
  • Audible/audio cover (usually done later, once you have chosen a narrator). Note: this is a courtesy for the author only. If an audio cover or ,psd file is requested from a third-party audio publisher, that will be invoiced at the going rate directly to the publisher.
  • I do offer a series discount of $50 per book when having multiples done at the same time, or on subsequent covers for a series that we have done.
  • Additional POD templates, such as hardcover files, are available for an extra charge of $50.00 each.

Print On Demand Book (POD) Templates:

I will need:

  • Your back cover copy and any tagline or strapline
  • Your Ingram template OR
  • For KDP, the exact number of pages after you upload the novel, the colour of the paper (cream paper makes the spine wider), and the dimensions/trim size of the book.

The print cover templates are usually done at some point after the ebook cover and need very little lead time (2-3 days). I do not offer the .psd file for POD templates, only the finished .pdf.

Unique, Affordable Pre-Designed Ebook Covers

You can purchase ready-to-go book covers at a greatly reduced price. The design is already done and can be personalised with your title and author name. Click here for more information on pre-designed ebook covers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Scheduling
    Since I book so far in advance, I will generally give you a target month with a guarantee that work will be started within that month. Once I start, you’ll have initial mockups within that week, and finalization will be after final changes are approved (much of that isn’t dependent on me, so final delivery date depends on signoff).
  2. What are rough mockups?
    Initial mockups may use watermarked stock from stock sites. At this point, we’re just throwing ideas around and approving models, so I don’t purchase stock. If I have a firm idea of the overall theme or background, I may go ahead and do that part of it, so generally I work on the fullsize 6×9″ 300dpi file. Since many of the mockups won’t be right, I generally don’t do any painting, etc., on the mockup at this stage. It is, indeed, a rough mockup – think of it like a storyboard for the cover we’ll chose as a final. I don’t do any text treatment at this stage, so most text will be relatively plain.
  3. What is a Proof?
    When we have a final image that we both think works, I’ll go ahead and purchase all stock needed and start work “for real.” I’ll send proofs at various stages so that you can approve composition, layout, colour, etc. When that has been approved, the proof layout is locked, as I’ll start all the paint and detail work (it’s tough to move things around once I’ve started that stage).
  4. Titles
    After we have the final proof in pretty good shape, I’ll send a round of text treatment mockups. These will be proofs with various title fonts and treatments for you to approve.
  5. Final Proof and Invoice
    When we’re completely happy with the cover, I’ll send a final proof and an invoice which can be paid via PayPal. As soon as I have that payment, I’ll upload the final artwork in a zip file for you to download.
  6. Pre-Designed Ebook Covers
    Once I purchase a ready-to-go ebook cover, is it mine? Of course! These are unique designs, and once you’ve purchased the design it will be deleted from the site – it’s yours. I plan on doing these for several reasons: one reason is to give authors a lower-cost alternative to having a bespoke cover designed. Sometimes you don’t know what cover image might be perfect for your book until you see it. It’s also for my benefit as an artist; at times, a very specific set of cover guidelines can restrict what I might create otherwise. These covers allow me to create something truly unique, which will then hopefully find the perfect home with an author who falls in love with it. I’m looking forward very much to doing these, and I hope that you will love them as well.
  7.  Are there any types of covers that you don’t do?
    I have a policy that I will refuse to do covers for any project that contains hateful material. If you have an axe to grind for a pro-hate belief, I will not do the cover. I have tolerance for most things such as gore, eroticism, etc., but I draw the line at homophobic, racist, anti-woman, etc. works as I don’t want my artwork to support those beliefs, nor do I want to be associated with them. So just don’t. I have done covers for Christian books and I don’t have a problem with it (any more so than I would for any other religion) and as long as you have a positive message that doesn’t advocate hate toward anyone, I’m fine with it.
  8. Do you do fully illustrated covers?
    No, unfortunately I don’t – all of my covers use 3D renders or commercial stock images as a base, which are composited and then overpainted using a Wacom tablet. 
  9. Do you use AI images?
    I’ve recently started playing with this to see what the capabilities of the tech are. I have a section of predesigned AI covers, but my normal predesigned covers and my custom cover work will not contain AI to be best of my ability and knowledge. I state that upfront because the commercial stock sites are flooded with AI images and it’s so good now that it is sometimes very difficult to tell and designers may purchase an image in good faith that may later turn out to be AI, and this is something that we all worry about. All I can say is that to the best of my knowledge I will never use AI in custom work.
  10. Can I have all of the stock images used in this cover, the fonts, or the unflattened artwork file?
    No. This invalidates the licensing on fonts and stock, and I don’t allow others to adapt or change my artwork. I will send you links to the main stock images used if you wish.
  11. Can I show mockups in one of my groups?
    I would prefer that you don’t, for several reasons. The first is that I generally give you a lot of different rough concepts at the beginning of a project, and none of these will be of a finished quality or level of detail. Secondly, most designers have seen the absolute worst feedback come from Facebook groups. I get that it’s fun, and that everyone has an opinion, but generally you end up second-guessing a professional designer with non-professional opinions, and “design by committee” covers generally end up lifeless and dull. But it’s not a law, so let’s talk about it. :D