Custom Covers

I offer two types of custom covers for the two broad classes of authors I frequently come across. Those who want to be a bit more involved in the design process and those who’d rather just tell me about their story, give me a few ideas about what they like, and leave the rest to me.

You choose the one that works best for you.

Build your own Premade

All the simplicity of the premade cover process, but you give me initial input on character, setting, subgenre, and plot details, as well as examples of covers you like in a questionnaire.

Custom E-book Cover

You take a more hands-on role and choose the design concept and give me input on character, setting, subgenre, and plot details, as well as examples of covers you like in a questionnaire.

Build your own Premade

Get a custom cover with all the ease of a premade
(save $50 by joining my email list)
$300
$ 250
  • Includes custom 3d rendering and digital painting for 1 character
  • Includes professional, genre-appropriate fonts and title treatments
  • Designer chooses a market-driven concept for you
  • Includes minor revisions
  • Includes a free 3d book mock-up image to be used for promotional purposes
Popular

If you’ve ever just wished you could tell your designer what your story was about and then just have them give you a great cover, the build your own premade cover is for you.

Custom E-book Cover

Get the full custom cover experience
(save $50 by joining my email list)
$350
$ 300
  • Includes custom 3d rendering and digital painting for 1 character
  • Includes professional, genre-appropriate fonts and title treatments
  • You love the first mock-up or I create a second mock-up free
  • Includes one round of revisions
  • Includes a free 3d book mock-up image, a twitter graphic, and an instagram graphic for promotional purposes

If you want more involvement in the process by having a second mock-up as a back-up and a round of revisions, the custom e-book cover is for you.

All customized covers include regular updates on where we’re at in the process, so you always know what’s going on with your cover, and you can see what that process looks like below:

What to expect from the custom process

You pay a 50% deposit and submit a story questionnaire.

You’ll give me character and plot details, but also information about the kinds of covers you love in your genre, so I know everything I need to know to build a cover specifically to market YOUR story, whether you choose a build your own premade or custom e-book cover. 

scifi romance book cover

I create a polished cover from my favorite design concept and you can request minor revisions.

I finalize the cover, you pay the remainder of the cost, and I send the final cover your way!

Space Opera Book Cover

If you like the first mock-up, I make your requested round of revisions. If not, I create a second mock-up and we do your round of revisions then.

I finalize the cover, you pay the remainder of the cost, and I send the final cover your way!

FAQs

To save you time, I’ve answered some of the most common questions I get regarding custom covers and build your own premade covers below:

Before you book a cover with me

For all that this is a complex question, there’s a really simple answer to this one actually.

You are the right kind of author to work with me if you:

  • write science fiction or fantasy.
  • realize that a book cover is first and foremost about marketing, so all design decisions and revisions should be made with that in mind. Minor details of the story have their place in the pages of the book, not necessarily on the cover.
  • understand that while the anxiety of commissioning a cover can sometimes make authors want to control everything about the cover, the quality of your cover will not be as good if the person with less cover design experience tries to micromanage all of the details. You’ve seen what I can do, and you hired me for a reason. Give me the freedom to create something wonderful for you.
  • know that a good book cover is one of the best things you can do for your book and are willing to respond promptly, pay your invoices on time, and do your part of the work so that I can create an eye-catching genre-appropriate cover for you that does its job well.

And that’s it really.

When you purchase a cover from me, you’re paying for my time, my skills, the assets I use in your cover, and most importantly my experience and knowledge of what makes a good book cover in that subgenre. You have to trust me. Too many “chefs in the kitchen” and too many un-thought-out revisions can quickly ruin a great cover, and I care more about creating a cover that attracts the right readers to your book than about earning more on a cover because you paid for lots of additional revisions which may have resulted in a cover that doesn’t market your book as well.

Some authors can feel a bit intimidated by the process of creating a book cover and knowing what to tell a designer. If you’re not familiar with what makes a good cover or you’re unsure what kind of cover you want, this can be especially daunting.

However, the good news is that you’re getting a professional to do your cover, so you don’t actually NEED to know all of this. The questionnaire you’ll fill out is really just a simple way for you to tell me the important details about your book (e.g. main characters, genre, basic plot/premise, setting) so that I can use my knowledge and experience to help us better determine the type of cover it needs to appeal to your ideal readers. You’ll also have a chance to point me towards some of your favorite covers so I can get a frame of reference for the covers you find appealing.

So if you’re new to this process and concerned that you don’t know what to put on your cover, rest easy. Answer the questionnaire as best you can and relax knowing I’ll be here to make sure you get a great cover that’s not only eye-catching, but also sends the right cues to target your audience of ideal readers.

P.S. I have a series of articles I write on what authors need to know about book cover design. While I’ll make sure any cover I create meets these principles, I always recommend authors educate themselves so they can make more informed decisions. You can read the articles currently available on my website here and sign up to my email list here to read the more in-depth articles available to my e-mail list. 

Some of the information you need to know to fill in these questionnaires is obvious, even to those who may be new to the process (e.g. the title and author name(s) that you want to appear on the cover, a physical description of any characters that may appear on the cover, basic details about setting, and genre).

However, I ask some questions that may come as a surprise if you’re new to book cover design or book marketing in general. These questions are all designed to a) help me quickly discover the essence of your book, b) better position your book among its peers to get it into the hands of the right readers , and c) identify that sweet spot between what would be a great cover marketing-wise for your book and what would be a cover you like. For this reason, it may help you to collect the following before you fill out the story questionnaire:

  • A short summary of the main plot and premise (Note: Try not to get bogged down in subplots or details here. The cover showcases the premise and promise of the book, not the details.)
  • A list of books you think of as similar to the one we’re creating a cover for
  • A list of authors you think of as writing similar stories to the one you’ve written
  • A brief summary of the main theme and the overall tone of your story
  • Any reference images you want to share regarding the look of characters, setting, magic, symbols, important props, etc.
  • Several downloaded images of your favorite covers in the subgenre you’re writing in

Since cover trends change over time, it’s most helpful if you choose books or covers that were released in the last few years. However, there is no right or wrong answer to this, and you’re certainly more than welcome to include older covers as well as more recent covers.

Not a problem. Just purchase an additional character add-on here for each extra character you need.

Well, most obviously, build your own premades are created based on the questionnaire you submit. That means that if you order a build your own custom premade, all the character details (e.g. hair color, eye color, skin color) will match what you describe on the questionnaire. Similarly, if you specify that your story takes place in a rural setting, you won’t see any city skylines in the background of your cover, nor will you see genre cues from a different genre.

This is different from a premade cover where I create covers based on story ideas I make up that fit common subgenres (e.g. a brunette YA fantasy princess story, a blond epic fantasy warrior girl story). If you can find a premade cover that fits your story, it can work brilliantly for you and save you some time and money. However, premade covers are “off the rack”, which means that some details may not quite match your story (e.g. hair color, exact type of magic). In these cases, you must either make do or potentially pay a small fee to have the important details changed to match. There’s also always the potential worry that you might select a premade cover you like that fits your story without realizing it’s created to market to a different subgenre (e.g. if you’re new to publishing and you accidentally purchase an urban fantasy cover for your epic fantasy because the main character looks right and has a similar magic). This is more common than you might expect, and I’m always happy to answer questions about potential premade covers you’re interested in.

With the exception of the story questionnaire though, the design process for build your own premade covers and premade covers is really the same. I create build your own custom premade covers  the same way I create my own premades by researching the subgenre market, brainstorming concepts that nail the design language of that subgenre, and then fleshing out a concept into an eye-catching cover that sends the right cues to catch the eyes of the right readers.

Just like my premade covers, only minor and less time-consuming changes can be requested for build your own premades (e.g. font type/color), but that usually doesn’t matter since the cover was designed based on your questionnaire so the details should already match what you need.

And yes, I know it can be scary purchasing a cover sight unseen, but I promise that all build your own premade covers will be up to the standard quality of my usual premade covers, so if you love my premades but they just don’t work for your story, a build your own premade might be just what you need.

Just head to my custom order calendar to pay your calendar deposit and reserve your slot. It’s that simple.

After you book a cover with me

Series continuations can be purchased at the current price for a build your own premade or custom cover.

Once you’ve reserved your calendar slot, you’ll be sent my standard contract to sign (you can read it here) and a questionnaire to fill out giving me some information about your story so I can get familiar with the kind of cover you might need and start brainstorming design options.

After you’ve signed your contract and submitted the questionnaire, I’ll review your answers to make sure we’re a good match. (I don’t do chick lit covers for example, and it would be a disservice to you to accept money for a genre I can’t do justice.) Once I’m sure I can make a great cover for you (usually 2-3 days after you sign and submit), I’ll sign the contract myself and you’ll get an e-mail greenlighting the project!

After that, you just have to wait until your reserved calendar date when I’ll start work on your first mock-up!

After you’ve reserved your calendar slot, you’ll be sent my standard contract to sign (you can read it here) and a questionnaire to fill out about your story, so I can identify how to best market your book.

Once you’ve signed the contact and submitted the questionnaire, you can take it easy and relax. Your part is done, and I’ll be in touch if I have any questions and to let you know as I progress from one step to the next in the design process for your build your own premade.

Other

There are a lot of different ways book covers can be created. I discuss the most common techniques used for fantasy and science fiction covers and how I personally create book covers over here if you’re curious.

I specialize in fantasy and science fiction covers. 🙂

If you have other questions I haven’t answered, please check out my FAQ page or my Terms and Conditions page where I provide the default contract I work under. A lot of the answers to your questions can likely be found in one of those two places. If checking there doesn’t answer your question though, please feel free to contact me here. I’m always happy to help.

I have a series of articles I write on what authors need to know about book cover design. While I’ll make sure any cover I create meets these principles, I always recommend authors educate themselves so they can make more informed decisions. You can read the articles currently available on my website here and sign up to my email list here to read the more in-depth articles available to my e-mail list.