Why is the price so low? Am I getting less for my money?
Graphic design is our hobby, not our livelihood. That keeps our work here fun, not overwhelmingly busy, and on the more affordable end, since we don’t depend on it for rent and groceries.
Design work is generally expensive for everyone, including the designer. There’s the cost of a computer capable of handling intensive design programs, high-speed internet, subscriptions to stock image repositories, and the high-priced (but worth it!) design programs themselves. All told, it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars a year just to be able to do design work. And then there’s all the time a designer devotes to it.
We already have and use the same professional design programs and professionally shot stock images the big publishers and book marketers use, and when we take on freelance commercial work, we charge a lot. But we also use our subscriptions and programs for our own little projects and websites, and there’s nothing that says we can’t extend that to include some independent authors and bloggers who could use a hand. In the end, we’re able to use the resources we already have and some spare time we’d be wasting anyway, and turn it into affordable freelance work for independent authors and bloggers who don’t yet have a big marketing budget in place.
However, that’s not to say that some much higher priced design isn’t worth it. Many of the designers who charge a lot more than we do also have a lot more time to devote to it, as it’s their full-time job or a large part of their livelihood. We do this in between spending 40 hours a week working elsewhere, doing laundry and cooking and grocery shopping, occasionally socializing with family, and just all the little time-consuming things that come with life. If you have the budget for it or need lots of specialized design work, you should definitely seek out someone who does this work full-time. But if you’re on a tight budget, we’re offering an alternative.
Are there any hidden or additional charges?
Nothing’s hidden around here, though there may be additional charges if you request additional services.
For instance, if you select a pre-made design, but you want a different background, different fonts, different text colors, or a different model in the image, we’ve ventured out of pre-made territory and into the realm of custom design.
Of course, if that happens, we’ll discuss it in detail with you before we do any work or send you an invoice, so you’ll have the final say in choosing only the work that you can afford.
Can you send me the layered file, so I can make my own changes?
We don’t sell templates, just finished designs. Besides, we’re bound by a license agreement not to give anyone the original stock photo, and that’s part of the design file. However, we keep the layered designs for at least six months, so that should be plenty of time for you to request a last-minute title change or minor adjustment to your purchased cover if need be — and unless your request requires a ton of work, we’ll do it for free!
Do you sell the same cover more than once?
Never. Our shop is set up to allow only one purchase of each premade cover, and of course custom orders are just that — custom and singular. We will never sell an identical design, premade or not, to any other author.
Please remember, though, that we use stock and public domain images as the base for our designs. This means that someone else can go to the site where we bought the original photograph, and they can use it in their own book cover design. However, your book cover will still be unique in its combination of images, fonts, layout, textures, and titles, and it doesn’t make your cover any less significant. Even the big publishers often use common stock images.
Do you make print covers, too?
So far, we haven’t, but that’s not because we won’t. We’ve just been focusing on pre-mades for eBooks to help more authors get affordable covers for their indie work. If you need a cover for print as well, please contact us, so we can discuss details. Pricing will depend largely on how many stock images are used in the design.
Please remember, too, that the standard license of the stock images we use is generally only for fewer than 500,000 printed copies, so if you hit the big time, you’ll need to purchase an extended license to continue using it. Extended licenses aren’t cheap, but they’re nothing compared to how much money you’ll be making if your book becomes a huge best seller.
Can I request a specific font?
That depends. If it’s a font for which we have a commercial license, and it doesn’t look bad on the design, sure. However, many of the “free” fonts you find online are only free for personal use, and buying the commercial license required to use it on a book cover can be pricey, so if you have your heart set on one we’d have to buy, that’s going to add to the up-front cost of the cover.
Another thing to consider is that not every cool font is right for a book cover. Many fonts, such as Scriptina or Papyrus are so overused that they’re considered amateur or even laughable. In the design world, only people who don’t know what they’re doing would freely choose those fonts. And some fonts, awesome as they may look at first, are way too decorative and make some titles difficult to read.
With that in mind, though, let’s talk about it. The worst that can happen is that the font doesn’t look good or costs too much, and we agree on a different one instead.
Can I request edits after my cover has been completed?
We keep designs on file for at least 6 months after completion, just in case. We will make up to 2 edits to the title, author name, or other text on a completed design– even adding a review quote or blurb, design permitting — for free during this time. If it’s been more than 6 months, contact us. We’re not big on housekeeping, so there’s a chance we might still have the design and can still help you out.
Bigger edits, like a new custom size, background, etc, require quite a bit more work, though. Provided we’re able to make the changes you need, a small fee will be necessary.
Can you edit a design someone else made?
Unfortunately, cleaning up someone else’s mess can be… well, messy. And time-consuming. And sometimes just not possible due to problems in how the design was saved. It’s actually much, much easier and faster to create an all new design than it is to edit one we didn’t make.
What we can do in many cases is create a similar design, perhaps even using the same stock photo image, and get things the way you want them in the new design. The cost will depend on how many stock images are used in the cover, as well as where we get them from, since the original image may not be available on our subscription. If that’s the case, we’ll discuss it, and either you can pay the cost of the image(s), or together we can choose a new one that’s more affordable.
How soon after I order will I get my pre-made cover?
That depends a little on you, but it’s usually pretty quick — generally 2-4 days on average for one ebook cover. First, we’ll send you the proof within 48 hours, and then we should have the final cover to you within 24 hours of your approving it. Since the bulk of the design work is already done, we just have to change the text, make sure it meets your approval, and send it over.
However, there may be times when a particular font doesn’t work with your title, or perhaps you have an exceptionally long title, and we’re placing it on a design that was originally created with one- or two-word title. In that case, we may send you a couple of other options to choose from, and how quickly you respond with approval will determine how quickly we can deliver the finished design.
Please note that if you place multiple ebook cover orders at once, it may take a day or two longer in total, depending on how many you order (more work for us to do to send you all those proofs!), and how quickly you approve the proofs.
What's the turnaround time on a custom order?
It all depends on the order. In most cases, once we have the details worked out and your 50% deposit, orders are completed and delivered within 1 week. Additionally, turnaround time is partially dependent on you. If you have very specific requirements that involve lots of legwork ahead of the design (e.g. several very specific images on a limited budget, four or five images that must be worked into a single cover, etc), if you take a long time to select/agree to the stock images we’ll use, if you request lots of edits, or if you take take a few days to approve the final proof, that 1 week is out the window. For the quickest turnaround time, we suggest keeping an open mind but coming to the table with lots of flexible details and a few ideas.
What if I'm not happy with a custom design draft?
Well, that’s why it’s called a draft. Before we get started, we’ll have already agreed on most of the details during our discussions, right down to the stock photo of a couple or scene to be included in the design. So if there’s something in the first draft that you want changed, just let us know.
We don’t really put a limit on the number of edits we’re willing to do in order to get things right, but please keep in mind that if you decide to change stock photos after we’ve already purchased the one you approved, we’ll have to charge you for the new one. Likewise, if you request an inordinate number of redesigns or change your mind way too many times throughout the design process, we’ll have to charge something for the additional work. That’s pretty rare, though, and we’ll certainly give you a heads up before it comes to that.
Deposits & Payments
Do you only accept PayPal, or can I send payment another way?
At this time, we only accept payments through PayPal, and to be honest, that’s probably not going to change. We’ve been using PayPal for more than a decade, and it’s remained easy, quick, and reliable. We know that may not work for everyone, but we have to go with what we know works. On the upside, you don’t even have to have a PayPal account to use them; you can simply go through our checkout and send your payment by credit card through PayPal, without ever having to register on their site.
Can we work out a trade instead of traditional payment?
We’re not exactly opposed to a deal in trade, but we’re not sure the usual things people trade would work for us. For instance, we already get 99% of our books for free and currently have a couple hundred waiting to be read on our Kindle. We also don’t do advertising, so a spot on a blog sidebar isn’t something we’d generally need or want. However, if you have a cool idea, let us know.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind after buying?
All sales are final, and we do not offer refunds, so please be sure about your purchase before sending any payment. If you have questions, let’s talk about things before you buy.