The time it will take to have your book cover designed will vary depending on the designer you’re working with. So this entry is specifically from my own personal experience, and I encourage you to talk to your designer about what you should expect when working with them.
Will your designer read or not read? Between 1-5 weeks
I love books, that’s why I write. And I love book covers, that’s why I design. And I wouldn’t be fulfilling my personal level of satisfaction if I didn’t read your stories. It’s what it’s all about. The interpretation, the visual inspiration. Having a relationship with your story and hearing what it has to say to me, then doing my best to deliver.
Reading books takes an alternating length of time. My usual schedule is committing between 1-2 weeks to reading. It may seem like a long time to you but I may be also reading two other books at the time. Be flexible with your designer if they’re reading your book. Reading is time consuming- and I doubt they’d charge you for the time they spend doing it. I don’t, as I enjoy it, but I can also get a panic attack when I feel I’m not reading fast enough! So just keep in mind that for some it could take them 4-5 weeks, for others they could wrap it up in a weekend. But for reading it in the first place? Definitely a bonus.
Brainstorming: 1-4 days.
Brainstorming is all about gathering your resources and tapping in to the well of inspiration. Feeling the ideas, projecting them, analysing them. This is my average brainstorming process (which can wildly fluctuate!):
1. Jotting down notes and ideas while reading your book. Specifically to do with reoccurring themes and scenes of your book.
2. Analysing your genre to see the style that they design in.
3. Filling up a page with ideas for your book, like mind-mapping.
4. Sourcing images to see what will work best for your book.
5. Refining the best ideas and then pitching you the best ones.
Putting the cover together: 4-10 days.
Some covers come together much easier than others. It depends on if I’m using photo-manipulation for a cover, if I’m illustrating, or personalizing a font face. It depends on how many changes we go through when getting and giving feedback from a client. It’s important to put together your design then check it 24 hours later after you’ve had time to let it sit, which can add an additional day.
Sometimes a cover will take less time, sometimes it will take more. This is dependant on if I’m working on a lot of other covers at the time, and any other work I might be contracted on. And of course these time frames fluctuate depending on how quickly my clients respond to me, and that can speed up or extend the process.
My advice is don’t rush your designer- unless that is they haven’t got back to you in two weeks and you haven’t seen or heard from them at all! Use your own intuition at that point but give your designer the space and energy they need to produce something beautiful for you.
What’s your experience when dealing with designers? How long has it taken for you in the past, or how long did you expect it to take?