You Get What You Pay For

As you start shopping around for a cover designer, you may wonder why there’s such a range in cost and maybe even why it’s so expensive. So today, I want to break down what exactly you’re paying for when you hire me under my different services. This will give you an idea of how designers decide on pricing. And also to give you insight into why we charge the prices we do.

Keep in mind, I’ve been in business since Jan 2012 and I have a four-year college degree in graphic design, so my knowledge and experience will be higher than someone who just started recently which is reflected in my custom prices.

Let’s start with the least expensive option and work our way up to the most expensive.

Premade Covers

What is a premade cover? A premade cover is created by the designer using genre tropes in hopes that it will fit with an author’s story, or inspire an author to write a story based on the design. The designer then posts this cover for sale and promotes it.

Pros:

  • Premade covers from an established designer are typically much cheaper than purchasing a custom cover from him/her. For me, I sell premade covers from $50 to $125 USD for a single eBook cover.
  • The cover is ready to roll. The designer will just need to change the title and author name, and then you have your cover in hand. It’s great for if you need a cover right away but the designer is booked.
  • You can get a high-quality design without having to pay custom prices.

Cons:

  • For the most part, designers sell premade covers as-is. Therefore, there’s not really any room for customizing the cover further. Some designers allow hair color change, or very minor adjustments like that, but a lot are not allowing any changes other than the text on the cover.
  • You may not find a cover that matches your story super well, or it may take a lot of searching to find a cover that fits well enough with your story.
  • A lot of times, anything extra will be an additional charge.

What you’re paying for when you buy a premade cover:

  • My time spent on the design and the time it will take me to update the text on the cover.
  • The stock and/or boutique images used in the design.
  • The fonts used in the design.
  • The programs needed to create the design.
  • My knowledge and experience in the genre, copyright, image licensing etc.

I, like most designers, can charge way less for a premade cover than my customs, because it usually takes me a fraction of the time to create the design. I have the skills from my time creating covers, so it’s only a matter of putting the idea together. Since I’m my own client when designing it, I can quickly make decisions about the design.

Personalized Premade Covers

This is something I’ve recently started offering and I know other designers are too. So, what is a personalized premade cover? Basically, it’s a premade cover, but you get to provide all the details and then I design a cover to those specifications. The author gets first dibs on the design, and if he/she passes, then I put the cover up for sale to the public.

Pros:

  • You get to provide details about your specific story and then I design a cover based on that information and geared toward your market.
  • You can purchase the cover for the cost of a premade.
  • You get one round of revisions for free.
  • Images are included in the cost, unless a specific image is requested that isn’t at one of my image sites.
  • No deposit required, so if you pass, you’re not out any money.
  • If you purchase the design, you essentially get a custom cover at a premade price.
  • This is a great option if you are writing a long series and need a lot of covers.

Cons:

  • I personally don’t guarantee the ability to work on the covers, at this moment in time, since I work on them as time permits. You’re not booked into my schedule, so if I have free time I work on a personalized premade, but if I don’t have any free time, then I can’t. I reach out to each submission when I know whether I’ll be able to work on the cover or not.
  • If revisions go beyond one round, there’s an additional fee.
  • Specialty stock from boutique sites is an additional fee.

What you’re paying for when you buy a personalized premade cover:

  • My time spent on the design and the time it will take me to do a round of revisions.
  • My time spent doing market research in your sub-genre to make sure your cover blends in yet stands out.
  • The stock and/or boutique images used in the design.
  • The fonts used in the design.
  • The programs needed to create the design.
  • My knowledge and experience in the genre, copyright, image licensing etc.

I started offering this option because I do occasionally get downtime if a project is rescheduled, so it’s nice for me to have that potential income to fill the void. There’s also authors out there looking for a specific cover, but not necessarily wanting to hire a designer to create a custom cover. It’s a great opportunity for both an author and me if the author isn’t on a tight deadline.

Trust Me Package

What is the Trust Me eBook cover design package? The Trust Me eBook cover option is great if you already have a specific idea in mind for the cover or if you want to trust me to design the perfect cover for you. I will design 1 concept based on your input. Images can be provided by the client or I can find the images.

Pros:

  • You get to provide details about your specific story or provide specific images that you want me to use, and then I design a cover based on that information.
  • The cost for my Trust Me package is $250 USD for the eBook cover.
  • You get up to 10 rounds of revisions for free.
  • Image costs are included in the package, up to 5 from the image sites I subscribe to, including some boutique/specialty sites.
  • The audio cover design is included for free, which is a $50 value.
  • You get a date on my schedule so your design is guaranteed.

Cons:

  • A deposit is required upfront to reserve the design slot.
  • Sometimes, my schedule can be booked out 3+ months, so you have to plan ahead to book a slot.
  • If revisions go beyond 10 rounds, there’s an additional fee.

What you’re paying for when you book a Trust Me cover:

  • My time spent on the design and the time it will take me to do multiple rounds of revisions.
  • My time spent doing market research for your sub-genre to make sure your cover will compete with the current market.
  • The stock images used in the design.
  • Speciality stock (within reason) is included, if needed.
  • The fonts used in the design.
  • The programs needed to create the design.
  • My knowledge and experience in the genre, copyright, image licensing etc.

You may be wondering, what is the difference between the Trust Me package and the Personalized Premade? The main, big difference is a guaranteed slot on my schedule. Next, you get a lot more revisions in case you’re not completely happy with the first concept. Lastly, I include an audio cover free upon request which I would charge $50 as an add-on for a personalized premade.

Premium Package

What is the Premium eBook cover design package? Not quite sure what you’d like your cover to look like? The premium eBook cover option is perfect for you! I gather information from you about your book and design two different, initial concepts for you to choose from based on the design trends and your preferences. This allows you to compare two different directions we could take your cover and decide which you prefer.

Pros:

  • You get to provide details about your specific story or provide specific images that you want me to use, and then I design two different initial concepts based on that information.
  • The cost for my Premium package is $350 USD for the eBook cover.
  • You get unlimited revisions.
  • All image costs are included in the package as long as they’re from the sites I subscribe to, including some boutique/speciality sites.
  • The audio cover design is included for free, which is a $50 value.
  • You get a date on my schedule so your design is guaranteed.

Cons:

  • A deposit is required upfront to reserve the design slot.
  • Sometimes, my schedule can be booked out 3+ months, so you have to plan ahead to book a slot.
  • The cost for my Premium package is $350 USD for the eBook cover and this can be outside of an author’s budget.

What you’re paying for when you book a Premium cover:

  • My time spent to create two initial concepts and the time it will take me to do multiple rounds of revisions.
  • My time spent doing market research for your sub-genre.
  • The stock images used in the design.
  • Speciality stock (within reason) is included and I try to use it when possible to help make the covers more unique.
  • The fonts used in the design.
  • The programs needed to create the design.
  • My knowledge and experience in the genre, copyright, image licensing etc.

My hope is this gave you some insight into why designers charge different rates, and why certain packages are more expensive than others.

The best tip I can leave you with is the following: find a designer who has experience and knowledge in your genre because your money will be best spent with them. If you find a designer who knows your market really well, or takes the time to educate themselves on your market before designing your cover, you will set yourself up for success as long as you also trust your designer and take their recommendations seriously since they should have a very good understanding of the current market.

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