Here are some quick answers to questions I’m frequently asked:
WHAT I DO: I create covers for ebooks and paperback books.
- What happens when I hire you? Here’s a rough idea:
After agreeing on the contract and payment, we’ll work on the ebook cover until we have a final design. At that time I can provide that cover (as a jpg) , a black/white jpg or png for the interior title page, and an early promotional image (depicting your cover on a tablet or phone). (And if you’re only doing a paperback, I’ll ask for the final payment then.)
Usually that that point, the author can publish the ebook or hold off on the ebooks and work on the paperback. Because I have to know exactly how many pages are in the paperback, I cannot give out a final paperback cover until I know that page count, the trim size, and paper type… so that means the book has to be completely formatted first, either by the author or by a formatting service.
After I have that information, I will provide the paperback cover as both jpg and pdf within a few days, along with final promotional images. Those will be released on final payment.
- How long will it take to produce a cover? Depending on whether I’m booked up, this could take anywhere from 10 days to a month to get to the final cover design. That also depends on your responsiveness to requests for input. If you take 3 weeks* to answer an email, then the process will take far longer. (*I prefer not to work on geological time frames.)
- How booked up are you currently? I’ve got a handful of active clients right now, but I should be able to add a few more.
- What if I want to do a series? I certainly plan to do this work for the foreseeable future, so if you’d like to book an entire series with me, we can plan that. I’ve had clients do seven covers at one time, or do them in batches. The trick to any cover that will involve a paperback is that even though we’re finished with the ebook design, we’re essentially tied together until the paperback’s ready to come out. So if you’re planning a lot of books, then that means a long-term relationship, from inception to the publication of the last book.
- Why not just give me the psd files, then? I adhere to the licensing agreements of the resources I purchase, and that means I can’t give you a file that has embedded fonts or contains the original images in a format where you, a second user, can extract them. I can, however, give them to you if I’ve rasterized the text and flattened the images, so feel free to request that.
- What happens if I don’t like the product? If we’re at the initial stages (before the first rough draft of the image comes to you) I’ll be flexible about refunds. If you change your mind after that, I reserve the right to keep the initial 50% of your payment for time already spent on the project.
- Do I need to credit you? Generally, yes. Please credit the cover artist on your copyright page as J. Kathleen Cheney
- How do I pay you? I prefer Paypal, but can also take Stripe (credit cards) through my StorEnvy store (we’d have to set that one up.)
- Do you need a physical copy? As much as I’d love to have copies of all the books I’ve worked on, I’m in the process of slowly switching over to ebooks only, so I’ll pass. But thanks. ;o)
WHAT I DON’T DO: I’m not a publishing coach, I’m afraid. I do publish my own books, but that’s it, and therefore my knowledge base for things outside cover design is limited.
- Do you do editing or formatting? No, I don’t. I can recommend a company who’s done my books before, though: EQP Books
- Should I publish with Smashwords/D2D/Bowker/Ingram Spark/B&N/etc.? This is really a question an author should decide for themselves. This also applies to the following questions:
- Should I buy an ISBN?
- Should I publish this as a paperback?
- Should I hire an editor? A formatter?
- Should I have my own publishing house? My own logo? An LLC?
I should be generally be dealing with your book after you’ve made these choices. There’s plenty of information about these things out on the internet, and the best solutions for you might be wildly different from my solutions.
- Will you read my book to decide what should be on the cover? No… or not unless you pay me $25 per hour billable reading time (beyond any art that I produce for you.) I realize this sounds harsh, but reading a book will take several hours, and this is a business. And while I often read client books after the fact, that’s for pleasure.