Custom Cover Design – FAQ
When it comes to the creations of Covers I have found there are two types of authors: those who know exactly what they want, and those who aren’t sure. I’m happy to work with either.
Whether you know exactly what you want, or you want me to provide a concept for your cover as well, the process begins with discussions. It’s that simple, just get hold of me via email: send me a quick email at email@example.com
Sending me your questions does not obligate you to use my services, as neither does requesting my services guarantee them.
After you contact me, I will ask you a bunch of questions, to establish if I think I can provide you what your cover needs in order for it to be a successful selling tool for your writing.
Other than that, below are my Terms and Conditions which you will need to be aware of:
How much do you charge?
I charge US$25 per hour. I only charge for design time, I don’t charge for discussions or the time taken in hunting up suitable imagery.
I do charge for mocking-up Concept Designs, should they be required, but please rest assured I will establish the cost with you before I go ahead. This is usually $100 - $200 depending how many you need and what level of finishing they require, all of which I will discuss with you before we begin.
Please note, I charge an additional flat fee of US$75 to provide the final Cover design as a print version.
Can you please provide more Information regarding the creation of Concept designs?
Certainly, as stated above, should you require Concepts mocked-up, you can expect to pay for my time and by what standard the concepts are finished.
To be precise:
1 polished concept design, = US$50 per design.
1 rough concept design, = US$25 per design.
I realise that standards are subjective, so please email me, and I will send you samples to show you the difference between what I regard as ‘polished’ and ‘rough’.
You should not expect to have to purchase any photos in order for me to create Concepts.
I usually make Concepts using the ‘complimentary’ (low resolution and copyright marked) versions provided by the Photo Stock Libraries.
However, should you require a polished Concept or I feel the complexity of the Concept design, make it more practical to go ahead and buy the photo rather than wasting my time (and therefore your money) by essentially making the Cover twice using first the complimentary, and second the purchased photo, then you will be required to purchase the necessary photo(s). This will be discussed and agreed by both of us before I proceed.
Regardless of the costs involved with creating the Concepts, all rejected concepts remain my property, both in terms of imagery I have designed and the idea if I have come up with the concept. You may not take my concept design to another graphic designer, to replicate, or attempt to replicate the design yourself.
Certainly however, if you have suggested the idea for a Cover this concept remains yours. Moreover, I will delete any purchased photos which you have provided.
How long will it take?
This needs to be divided in two parts:
Firstly, the Graphic Design work itself, and for which you will be charged:
In my experience the Cover usually takes 8 – 12 hours depending on the complexity of the project. Once we have discussed your project I will be able to give you a better indication of how long I expect it to take.
But for example, if your cover takes ten hours at $25 per hour, that’s $250, and then you may want a print version at another $75.
All in all, if your budget is for $300-$400, you should be fine.
Secondly: the actual time the whole process takes is somewhat harder to pin down, as each author and each project is unique. However, with back and forth discussions, finding of suitable images, possible creation of concepts, and how busy I am, you need to allow a minimum of 2 to 4 weeks.
How and when do I pay you?
Payment is made via PayPal. (If you’re located in New Zealand you’re welcome to pay via direct credit).
The ‘when’ is broken into stages. If you require concept designs, this must be paid before proceeding on to the final, and if you want both ebook and print editions, the ebook version will need to be paid first before I start on the print version.
And until Payment is received all graphics I provide you will be supplied will be low resolution images and include my copyright marks.
What size do you supply the ebook covers?
Ebook covers are supplied as a jpeg 72dpi resolution and a standard size of 1600 pixels wide by 2400 pixels high.
However if you let me know who you’re publishing with I can check out their ebook requirements to make sure that size is suitable and I’ll give you the size they ask for.
If you require two or more ebook sizes, let me know so we can discuss if this means additional design time and charges to the project, or if there’s a way to create a single size which will meet both/all ebook distributors requirements.
|Kura Carpenter Book Cover Designer|
What size do you supply the print covers?
I have two standard sizes, you can choose from either 5inch by 8 inches OR 6inch by 9inches.
Print cover designs are supplied to you as high resolution graphic in PDF format.
What if I want a different size for print? Or two sizes?
Just let me know, I’m happy to make changes, but please know the US$75 is charged for each size.
What about the spine and back?
Just send me the PDF template generated by your printing service (such as CreateSpace etc) and I will handle it from there.
Do you supply original Photoshop files?
No, all images are flattened.
What kind of photos/imagery do you use?
I use Royalty Free high resolution imagery from professional Stock Photo libraries.
As I am using Stock Photos you need to be aware that others also have access to the same photos, however I always alter and customise them a great deal.
I am happy to show you a selection of ‘Before and After’ imagery if you’d like.
Who buys the Stock Photos?
You do, this ensures you are the copyright holder and can buy the correct license your work will require. (Don’t worry, it’s not hard and I will walk you through the process if you need it.)
But in general there are two license types, the basic one allows the photos to be used only in the creation of a book cover, and has a very reasonable maximum of 250,000 books. (Some Stock Libraries allow up to 500,000, it just depends on the supplier.)
The second license type allows for the use of any merchandising you plan to sell like cups, t-shirts, bags etc. As can be expected the Stock Libraries charge more for the merchandising type of license.
Please note: There is an important distinction to make between the limitations of use set by the Stock Libraries, and the limitations of use set by me regarding the final cover design.
What are the limitations on the Cover Design set by you as Graphic Designer?
Even if you should you purchase a merchandising licence from the Stock Libraries it should be recognised this only refers to the photos in their original and unaltered state.
Once I, as Graphic Designer, have altered these images and created a Custom Cover design for you, I have my own limitations on the use of the Cover, which are as follows:
You are purchasing the Cover ‘as is’, a complete entity in itself, comprising of both imagery and text, this means you cannot make any alterations, extract or separate out any of the parts in order to re-use these parts whether its upon websites, other promotional material, or indeed repackaged to use as a different book.
Basically, what I’m saying is you can’t strip the Cover for parts. I hope you’ll agree that’s fair.
In fact, I hope you’ll agree that all my Terms are fair, and I have laid everything out to the best of my ability, but if you have any questions at all, please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
These FAQ and Terms and Conditions are (c) Kura Carpenter 2016
Below are examples and Testimonials from Authors I have worked with to create their own Custom designed Book Covers:
|"Torn" , author Mary Brock Jones, cover designer Kura Carpenter|
"Kura Carpenter has an uncanny ability to read an author's mind, and design a cover which best depicts the story and bring out ideas behind the story.
I enjoyed working with Kura enormously, every conversation produced a good result, and the finished product is superb.
Eyecatching, riveting, and evocative! Thanks Kura. Let's get on with the next one, please. "
- B.Hale (New Zealand)
author of Ice Escape
"Kura did a great job of designing the book cover for A Necklace of Souls, even giving me coffee to keep me sane and being patient with my indecision.
Kura understands what designs will sell; in less than 30 days, e-sales have been steadily positive."
- RL Stedman (New Zealand)
author of A Necklace of Souls
"I engaged Kura's services to design the cover of a guidebook to the customs, ceremonies and traditions of the City of London in 2014. Kura quickly identified the image that the guidebook's cover should convey - a fresh and contemporary look & feel merged with the highest tradition of the ancient City - reflecting the City's ability to be at once über modern and yet a glorious proud medieval anachronism.
Kura helped me identify / filter design themes that appealed to me, and those that did not. I was particularly impressed that Kura was able to capture the essence of the City, and translate that in to a design that appealed to me without having previously visited the City of London or experienced its manifold ancient institutions.
Kura helped me focus on the important elements of the cover design, and subsequently produced a series of posters and supporting imagery for promotion of the publication in digital and print form.
Having browsed Kura's portfolio of work, I'm particularly impressed that the design Kura produced was something unlike much of her other commissions - showing Kura's ability to capture and convey the essence of the publication's content no matter the subject.
As I embark on the next edition of the guidebook I'm pleased to engaged Kura's services once more to refresh and update the cover design in order to link with the Magna Carta 800 celebrations commencing in the City of London in the summer of 2015."
- Paul David Jagger (United Kingdom)
author of "The City of London Freeman's Guide"
"Dear Kura,I am writing to say how delighted I am with the cover you designed for my book ‘Weekend in Weighton’.
Not only am I very happy with the finished cover I also thoroughly enjoyed working with you during the creative process. I learned a lot going through your ‘patented’, step-by-step design journey.
I must also commend your patience, fast turnaround [especially given the difference in our time zones!] , amazing creative input, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile.I am extremely happy to recommend you and I look forward to working with you again.
Thanks again for all your dedication to the ‘WiW’ cause."
- Terry Murphy (United Kingdom)Author of “Weekend in Weighton”
"I have had a fabulous response from the designer of the cover for A Baltic Affair. The designer, Kura Carpenter, has captured the spirit of the book beautifully in her artwork. I have no hesitation in commending her to other authors and to publishers.
Kura is brilliant at capturing the author's ideas and turning them into something stunningly visual. The PDF she has sent me contains eight variations on the concept she has created around a map, a sunset over the sea and a ship under full sail. The colours are breathtaking. the impact is 'pick me up' which is exactly what you need on a cover. This one definitely demands closer examination, and once someone picks a book up off a shelf, you are halfway to a sale. At least that is what a number of marketing experts tell me. I'll believe them, because I know my own reaction when a cover attracts my attention, if I like the blurb I read and I like the genre and possible storyline - I'll take it to the cashier and buy."
- Patrick G Cox (Germany)
Author of “A Baltic Affair”
"Working with Kura was brilliant – I had a complicated novel that had completely stymied me when it came to designing a cover myself, but after bouncing a few emails back and forth with Kura it was clear that she really got it.
A couple of days later and she had sent me a set of awesome concepts, all of which were a different take on the novel, and all of which would have been perfect.
The final version is going to kick arse, and the author is over the moon about it (when I showed him the concepts, his response was "TERRIFIC!!!!!!"). The books stores aren't going to know what hit them..."
- Stephen Minchin, (NZ)
Recommendation in reference to "Tropic of Skorpeo", by Michael Morrissey.
"Working with Kura is an absolute pleasure! She is multi-talented, scholarly, personable and possesses a lovely sense of humor. She is also astute and conscientious about her work and professional relationships with clients.
The first time I worked with Kura, she assisted me with a redesign of my book cover for a stage play celebrating the life and writing of Dorothy L. Sayers. Her approach to the project and the suggestions she made not only demonstrated a sensitivity to my vision but also mastery of her craft.
I have just completed my second project with Kura which was to create a front and back book cover for an animation film script. Again, I was delighted at her versatility and the ease with which she was able to accommodate my vision and make wonderful contributions to the work. I look forward to working with Kura again and I give her my very highest recommendation. "- Victoria Nelson (USA)Scriptwriter of “Jack Marlin, Private Eye: The Case of the Barbary Blackbird”
“Kura is clearly and outstanding designer, but what really sets her apart is her patience and her dedication to creating the ideal final product. We went through countless revisions and she readily incorporated all of my feedback and offered her own brilliant ideas. I can't say enough about how great is was to work with her.”
- Wade Crawford (USA)
Author of Deviants and the Divine
“Kura is a talented designer: she perfectly understood my concept and since the beginning she demonstrated great creativity. Kura also dealt with me in a very professional manner and with remarkable communication skills. I certainly would work with her again.”
- Giuseppe Tortorici (Dublin, Ireland)
Author of Isemen
“I enjoyed working with Kura. she is a talented designer; she nailed the concept perfectly, and she has great communication skills. I give her five stars!”
- James E Thomas (USA)
♫ Author of Reed Butler's Story
“I am truly delighted with the results of my collaboration with Kura! Thank you again Kura for a wonderful design! When I opened that package today and saw the cover and the colors it literally took my breath away. It is so beautiful! Thank you again so much for your kind assistance.”
- Victoria Nelson (USA)
Playwright of L is for Sayers
“Kura is a very talented cover designer and I was delighted with both her design and her responsiveness in fine-tuning it. Highly recommended!”- Titus Powell (London, UK)
Author of The Dare Ring
“Kura made the creation of the cover for my novel ‘A Dark Future’ an easy and painless process, allowing me to concentrate on the production of the book itself.As the second book in a series, there were some constraints to the cover design, and Kura accepted these without concern as she did with any suggested changes. She regularly gave updates and advice for improvements to the design, making the end product better than I could have hoped.With her technical skill, her eye for design, understanding of the requirements of a book cover, and her attention to detail, I would not hesitate to use her again, neither could I recommend her highly enough to others.”
- Justin Elliot (Dunedin, NZ)
Author of A Dark Future