Getting the best from your book cover designer is all about working in partnership with them, from a designer’s perspective any work that is produced goes on to not only represent your book but also the identity and standard of the designer too.
So when it comes to the choice of your designer and then the process of working with them there are several things that you should take in to consideration, budget can be one of the first questions which springs to mind and having a discussion with your designer from the start of the project is always advisable. You should ask about the total cost and dig deeper as to if they charge for images, hourly rates and also extra fees for any revisions.
If your designer doesn’t advertise their fees (and not everyone does) then they should be willing to give you a quote based around your exact needs along with scope for any variation, most authors will be working to a certain budget and your designer should understand this too. As a professional book cover designed for print can cost the author anything up to $1000, it’s best to be aware from the very beginning and have no surprises.
Once you have found a designer which fits your budget you should ensure that you are happy with their style of design, now most designers will accommodate a wide client base and use different designers within their team to ensure they can create for multiple genres, but you may see a specific style of work throughout their portfolio, for example, if they are illustrators only and you need a book cover for a gritty thriller then it may be wise to keep looking.
Looking through their portfolio will give you a good idea as to how expert they are and also their experience, another way to see this is by looking for reviews (both on and off of their website) and also checking their social media pages, you would expect to find a decent amount of history and followers too.
Getting in touch with your selected designer should be easy, most websites will either have a direct email address or a form for you to fill in, personally speaking you shouldn’t really have to wait anything longer than 48 hours to get a response (but do take weekends into account).
In your email to them try to be specific about your needs for the book, what style of cover you’re looking for and how far along the editing process you are too (it helps the designer judge where in the process you are). The more information you can give the more specific they can be when getting back in touch with you.
From here you should next expect to pay a deposit to secure the project, this can be anywhere from 15% up to 50% and would be non-refundable (your designer will put many hours of work into your drafts alone).
The designer will then look to get as much detailed information about your book and your needs as the author from you as possible, they’ll either speak over the phone or send out a briefing form, most designers prefer to use a briefing form or emails as it creates a more detailed account which they can easily refer to throughout the design process.
They key element is to keep in touch and make your designer aware of any changes to your book (especially page count changes), you may find that your blurb alters too and so communicating this in a timely fashion will ensure that your cover gets updated correctly.
Getting a professional book cover designed is an exciting process to be involved with, it’s where the face of your book is created along with materials to help sell it to your readers, it should be fun and give you the inspiration ready for your launch.