When it comes to what author’s want to know there are some reoccurring themes. I’ll sum up the top 10 questions about the book cover design process that have been most asked by my clients so that you might have a bit of a head start when getting in touch with me, or another designer.
Disclaimer: These questions and answers come directly from my own experience and it may not be the same for other designers. Think of it more as a rough guide to other designers, and the definitive guide to working with Scarlett Rugers Design.
What do you need from me?
- Your title
- Your name
- A synopsis of what your story is about. The general overtones.
- Any ideas you may have
- Any examples which support those ideas
How long will it take?
First concepts take 7-10 working days to develop. Once I send them over I then make changes and adjustments within 24-48 hours (normally within a day). From there it really depends on your own schedule. Some authors like to take an hour to respond with their feedback, some like to take a week. Sometimes real life gets in the way and you have to go on hiatus. I have some book covers that are wrapped up in two weeks, some that take five months. Book cover design is not supposed to be rushed. It is an art form and needs time, patience and dedication.
Will you read my book? Will you give me a review/your opinion on it?
So long as you send it to me, yes I will read it. I need a couple of weeks to read it over, as I will be working through your MS as well as many others in preparation of their book cover design launch.
Will I give my opinion and/or a review? No. To keep things as professional as possible I do not share my personal opinion of you work. I use it as a tool to guide me in the right direction but I will not share with you or publicly what I think of your book. It just comes down to a conflict of interest, and respecting the bond between designer and author.
Do you think this is the right title?
I might seem like the right person to discuss if it’s the right title for you, because I deal with them so often, but I’m not.
- Title comes under copy, and I deal with design, not copy. Although I, myself, am an experienced writer my practised skills and expertise are in a visual field, not a text field.
- A title is also an incredibly personal thing, and it is your most dedicated readers and close writers who should share their opinions with you.
- I’m not your demographic. If you are publishing a heavy science-fiction novel, you wouldn’t ask a reader of romance their thoughts on the title, and vice-versa.
Can you please tell me what you think of the blurb?
Please re-read point 4. Your editor is the best person to talk through this with you as they know your book as well as you do, but can come at it from a 3rd party POV.
When do I make the payment?
It is a 50% deposit up front, and then 50% at the end of the project before the final transfer of files.
I don’t know my final page count yet, and I won’t know it for a while, is that a problem?
That’s very normal, especially if you’re looking to do an eBook release prior to the paperback. I can use a .5″ spine until you give me the final page count.
How quickly do you need feedback from me?
I don’t work with any deadlines, so I’m very flexible. Book cover design is not a rush job, and sometimes it can take a long time. Getting feedback from outside sources, getting polled responses, sharing it with beta readers, sharing it with your family, working through your editing, marketing and planning for the initial release… all of this takes time. You take as long as you need to, to send me your feedback.
Can you make it look exactly like this book cover on someone else’s book? Or even like this, but with some flying monkeys, some romance, and I want it to show action and I want it to show my characters exactly as I imagine them, and there’s also a death in there so add that in too.
This is where I come in. I read your book, analyse your brief, hear your ideas, and tell you when there’s too much/too little/too conflicting and realign ourselves with the true purpose of your book cover. This may mean working with your ideas, it may mean refining them into something that will work magic.
What do you need for the promotional extras that come along with my book cover package?
They’re promotional extras which you’ve going to scatter throughout the internet. The standard extras my packages come with are:
- Facebook cover
- Web banner
- A3 poster
- Your choice (if those 4 aren’t what you need)
So you have to ask yourself, “When am I going to be using these?” Are you running a promotion, where you need to add a date/location? Do you want your website address on there? Do you need a block of room where you can put in your own copy, and chop and change it whenever you need to?