In the informative video below, we delve into how to work with your book cover designer. If you’re an author who understands the impact of a visually appealing book cover and wants to ensure a seamless working relationship with your designer, this is the video for you.
Collaborating effectively with book cover designers is essential for creating a captivating cover that grabs attention and entices readers. This video provides valuable insights and tips on how to work harmoniously with your designer, resulting in a cover that perfectly captures the essence of your book.
For those who prefer to read, the video notes are below.
What should an Author be looking for when they hire a book cover designer?
- Make sure you like their work, check they have made covers in your genre before.
- It helps if they seem like a nice, genuine person that you’d be happy communicating with. Referrals from Author friends can help with this.
- Check the services they provide, some Designers only do covers, while others (like me) will do interiors as well. Make sure you tell them what you require at the start of the process.
- Make sure there is a contract in place. This should make it clear the total cost for the package and exactly what files you will receive at the end of the process as well as other important legal stuff.
- Expect to pay a deposit, this is usually a % of the estimated package price. Good book designers are booked out months in advance so it’s important to pay this deposit to secure your booking.
- Once that’s all out of the way, it’s time for the fun part!
What information does an Author need to give the Designer before you can start work?
- I need to know exactly what files you need, whether it’s a cover only or the interior files as well. It helps if you know what platform you are publishing on.
- The title and author’s name. Is it part of a series?
- Blurb or Synopsis, the genre and who their target readers are.
- I always ask if they have any particular symbols, colours or a mood that is important to the story.
- Who are the main characters, what do they look like? What kind of world is it?
- Examples for inspiration. Some authors give me examples of cover design styles they like, or I will send them some options of styles which are currently ‘trending’ in their genre.
- I’m also fine when an author says, I don’t know what I want on the cover, you decide.
- After that I’ll come up with some concept designs to choose from and we take it from there.
What if I come to you with a cover I have designed myself?
- I have to check with the author on how attached to their design they are, if they think it’s amazing then I have to tread carefully and do a lot of education on what works or doesn’t in their design.
- I have had authors come to me saying “my book isn’t selling. I think I need a new cover.” And that’s great, then I can use their original as inspiration and start again.
- It’s usually a good starting point, I can get a lot from seeing the elements they have included and understand the direction they want to go in. But often they will have put way too many elements on there and we have to scale it back.
- If I think any of the images are usable in my design I’ll make sure we have the rights to use them, otherwise I’ll let them know that I have to find other images of those things, but I’ll always use their design as inspiration.
- One point that all author made covers fall down on is font choice. Finding a font that both reflects the story and is appropriate to the genre is a huge part of my job.
- I do mostly have to start again, but the authors are always happy with my results.
What does an author get at the end of the cover design process?
Ebook and print cover files in pdf and an exclusive, perpetual license to use these designs.
But if they hire a book designer, like me, they’ll get all the files an author needs to publish their book.
- Ebook Cover
- Print Book Cover
- Interior Print Layout
- Ebook conversion – epub and mobi
- Print book mockup image
- Marketing material
What tips do you have for a smooth process working with a book cover designer?
- The main thing is to trust your designer, be open and communicative.
- We love visual references and inspiration, tell your designer all about the story and world, answer their questions and then let them go and do their thing.
- Don’t expect the first version to be perfect, it’s a concept that guides where to go next over several rounds of revisions.
- Don’t expect every single element from your story to make it onto your cover. First and foremost, the book cover is a marketing tool used to capture attention in the marketplace.
- Feel free to make suggestions but don’t micromanage or get fixated on details. Listen to your designer’s advice, remember they are the expert both in the market and in design.
- It can be very frustrating for a designer when the client is requesting changes that make the design worse, and it can happen!
I make design and layout choices based on a variety of reasons from trends, image availability and suitability, to composition and hierarchy of elements, I will always explain my reasoning to my clients.
Do you like being a book cover designer?
I love the process of distilling the essence of each story into a visual format. Each book is so unique! I get to dive into a new world with each cover and pull out the most intriguing parts to draw in the readers. This is the reason I don’t do template covers, I see no point.
It’s a huge responsibility to be the last step in the process, I know how many hours and years of work authors put into their books. It’s exciting to be able to help them package the book into its final form for presentation to the world. As a creative person myself I know just how exhilarating it can be to finally present your work to the world. I love being able to support and advise authors through that process.