Cover design process

Book cover design processThe steps outlined below explain every stage of your book cover design in the order you can expect them to occur. Authors often ask me, “How long will it take?” The quick answer is four to six weeks.

Your book cover will receive as much careful attention as it needs to become the best it can be. I’ll make sure you’re completely happy with your book cover before it goes to press. That’s a promise.

Step 1: Free initial consultation
Call or email me to arrange for your complimentary 30-minute consultation. We’ll discuss your book cover ideas and to get to know each other a bit before deciding whether to work together. There is no obligation.

Step 2: I’ll give you a firm quote
We’ll discuss the look you want for your cover and how it can be achieved cost-effectively. Then I’ll provide you with a firm quote.

Step 3: Getting started
When you’re ready, just send me your signed quote. You can mail a check for your 50% deposit, send it via e-transfer, or if you prefer, pay by any major credit/debit card via PayPal. We’ll also sign a simple contract stating that I agree to do the work, you agree to pay for the work, and we both agree that you’ll own the copyright to your final book cover design. Send me any photos, artwork, rough sketches, or ideas you may already have for your book cover.

Step 4: Your first rough cover designs
Within a week you’ll receive your first rough designs by email. Initially we’ll be concentrating on the front cover only, and looking for an interesting direction to follow. We’ll play with ideas, test out different images, and experiment with typefaces and colors. Once we get excited about an idea, we’ll start to focus in that direction.

Step 5: Choosing your images
You may want to use an image you already have. I also experiment with drawings, symbols, maps and backgrounds that I create myself. We’ll discuss the look you want for your cover and we’ll achieve it in the most cost-effective way possible.

Step 6: Fine-tuning your cover design
As you focus on what you like and don’t like about your cover designs, your front cover will evolve to its final version. I’ll create a back cover and spine as an extension of your front cover, then add your back cover text and bar code.

Step 7: Finishing your book cover
I’ll go over each element in your final book cover design carefully to double-check everything is perfect. Then I’ll send you a color proof, trimmed and folded. You’ll see exactly what your cover will look like when it’s printed, and be completely confident that it’s perfect before going to press.

Step 8: Pre-press approval
When you’re satisfied that your cover is perfect, you’ll sign a Proof Approval checklist, confirming that we’re ready to go to press.

Step 9: Communicating with your printer
I’ll contact your printer for technical specifications and uploading instructions. Your book cover will be designed in Photoshop and/or InDesign, and you can leave all the details to me.

Step 10: Going to press
I’ll package your digital files and, upon payment of your final account, upload them to your printer, and make sure your printing is trouble-free. I’ll also send you a DVD containing all your digital files for safekeeping.

Step 11: Marketing your book
While your book is being printed, you’ll be busy marketing it. I’ll create a webpage for your book in my Recent Work section, so readers will be able to find your book on the Internet. I’ll also provide you with low-resolution images of your front cover for your marketing and promotion.

Step 12: You’re a published author
Congratulations, you’re a published author. You’ll soon receive the first copies of your published book. When you do, please send me a copy for my records—preferably a signed copy!

Click here to learn what the Page Design Process includes.