1. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    ePublishing how much to pay for a cover?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jim79, Jun 2, 2014.

    Hi there,

    I've been trawling though the internet looking at various ebook covers and the prices that some of them charge. is there a good price to start at or should you just go for the most expensive one that you can afford and hope to get as many readers as possible?

    Thanks

    James
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no 'best' or even 'good' price to start at... there's only what artists charge, which can range from -0- to thousands of dollars...

    you need to browse the art listing sites for styles that fit your book and quality that fits your aesthetic standard, then balance what you realistically think you can make on self-published book sales against what the artist whose work you like best will charge and what you can afford...

    if it's going to cost you more than you can count on making on book sales, then you'll need to either not care that you'll lose money on the book, or lower your standards...
     
  3. graphicsmyway
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    graphicsmyway Banned

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    it depends, and i don't think it should be more expensive some good graphics designers can do that at a very cheap price of $5 and even give you bonus. It all depends on what you want.

    if you wouldn't mind i can even help you out with amazing cool/unique designs.
     
  4. graphicsmyway
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    graphicsmyway Banned

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    covers are not expensive, you can get a cool/unique one from 5$ and above
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Five dollars for a "professional" cover? You're joking, right? They might be "cool/unique", but that doesn't mean they'll sell books.
     
  6. graphicsmyway
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    graphicsmyway Banned

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    Definitely they will sell get a good designer to help you out. I have experienced that.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But not for $5. That doesn't even pay for the time it takes to get the paper out of the drawer.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. Totally agree. Work that out to wage per hour? Erm ...so they spend about 30 minutes on a cover? (If they spend less, it's hardly going to be worth paying for.) Wow. They've got to be damn good, and get a LOT of business, in order to make a living at that rate. If they have one other client waiting at the same time, they can earn about ...$10 per hour? For a professional? I don't think so.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  10. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Are they working from a sweatshop?
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    For five dollars, my first guess would be that everybody gets exactly the same cover, but surely that would be noticed very quickly... I'm not sure how it could possibly work. Maybe some website where you type in your text, paste in your photo, enter the credit card number for the five dollars, and it automatically combines the two without human intervention, and spits them out?

    Dunno.
     
  12. graphicsmyway
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    graphicsmyway Banned

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    Not like that
     
  13. Quoux
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    Quoux Member

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    Seeing as some artists are rather unknown yet talented, and just have a drive to get their work out to the public (for a chance at recognition and later inflated pricing) its not impossible to believe that you could have a decent book cover done for free, let alone $5. But even though it is good, it's still not professional. Professional is purchasing a book cover design from someone who has been in the industry for a good amount of time and knows exactly in what way to market your book graphically.

    At any rate, to help answer your question without saying anything arbitrary, you can expect to pay $40-$50 for a good book cover with nice illustration, or at least good design. I'd say for a fair end commercial book, you could expect somewhere in the $100's to $200's. Anything more than that is just going to be out-of-the-ballpark quality, or the artist charging for his time. The other thing might be you paying for a higher end artist who is more well known. Besides that, an eBook cover is a lot more inexpensive than his paperback counterparts.
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess it depends on what you're looking for. A stock photo used to create a cover, and the artist/designer doing the titlework and such, would cost a lot less than an artist creating unique art for a cover. That said, I am not sure why an ebook cover would be inexpensive as compared to a paperback counterpart. Often the cover art (ebook/print/and even audiobook--normally adjusted for dimensions) are derived from the same piece of art.

    Maybe you're discussing the contract details, where an artist might request more for a piece to be used for a print edition vs. an ebook edition, but that's not my experience. Normally the contract covers all editions of the book to be released.

    And why wouldn't the artist's time be considered part of the cost tabulated for the end product?
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I took a look at your website, @graphicsmyway, and I'm not going to condemn your offer without a reason. But I would like to know more about it. The first things that comes to mine is an introductory rate that hopefully for the service provider leads to more business, (a version of but perhaps not as harsh as a bait and switch).

    Are you looking to build your reputation by offering cover designs at a low price? Are there any fees like royalties? Do you get something from the designers who advertise the $5 fee on your website?
     
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  16. Quoux
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    Quoux Member

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    Oh very true, when I said "inexpensive" I was thinking of stock photos, but I was also thinking of self-publishing rather than contracts. I left out mentioning the artist's time, I apologize :b it was partially calculated in.
     
  17. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Really!? around $5?! Honestly I would not even trust somebody to do any work, regardless if they are amazing or not, with that price. Jobs that I do for magazines, publishing, companies, businesses for a 1 page print averages around $250-$350 (includes photography, retouching, graphic design, digital art etc) (excluding studio shoots and production, only talking about post production)

    There is a saying that you get what you paid for. Now it all depends on the complexity of what your looking for with a cover.

    Expect your budget to be around $100. Give or take. You do not need to have an artist charge you hourly. Most artists work on flat rate anyways. Depending on what you are looking for, on your search for artists, look at their portfolio and find one that fits you and your budget. It does help when you have friends who can do it for free, but still, it is more appreciated to pay or compensate them for something. There are freelancing sites where you can have designers bid on jobs and have them show and tell you that they can do the job and how much they are worth for what you want to have accomplished.

    Remember, the artist for your cover is representing you and your story. Consider them advertisers making online viewers and internet browser want to stop and look into what your story is about based upon the cover they created for you.
     
  18. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Also when you find an artist you want, you should have a contrast stating what the job entails, the amount being paid for compensation and the deadline.

    You do not need to pay royalties to the artist unless: 1. The artist requests to have royalties (in which I would decline the offer of business) because the image used is either copy written or artist has a policy for all images published publicly. 2. The artist created the piece of work before your request and was not originally designed to be used for this outlet.

    Need not to worry. Rarely artists request this when being commissioned to do work!

    Also in the contrast with compensation, state the payment terms. Below is an example of a hire-an-artist contract.

    -------

    YOUR NAME
    YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION

    DATE

    This contract outlines an agreement and all contractual obligations made on _______ between (Client) and (Artist).

    Artist agrees to a signed contract for (Client) to provide the requested commissioned work for (name of project), along with the requests provided below.

    Request of the Client's demands with work
    Request the date the work needs to be completed by

    Client Obligations
    State briefly but clearly what you are going to provide the client. Does the artist need a summary of your novel? Does the artist need to see scratch work of what you are looking for?

    Artist Obligations
    Artist agrees to complete the tasks in the timeline provided by the client.
    Artist agrees to complete the tasks with the provided demands of the client.
    Artist agrees to communicate with the client and to provide work in progress samples in quarterly intervals until job is completed. (basically they are showing you when it is 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 completed and finished.

    Payment Terms
    Client is obligated to pay the negotiated total of (ex: $100.00) upon 14 days after completion, approval and delivery of the job.
    Artist is obligated to deliver the completed task upon approval based upon the specifications provided by the client.
    Client has the right to terminate and cease payment of the job if the task is not up to the expectations provided by the artist, if the task is not met at the completion date requested while the job is in progress.
    During approval process, the client has the right to terminate the contract if the demands of the job are not fulfilled. If the client terminates the job upon completion, the client must pay 50% of the total amount negotiated.

    License and Release

    Client and Artist agree that there will not be a license or a royalty agreement for the job requested. Client will possess ownership of artwork for public and private usage of web media, print media, publishing, distribution and sales.
    Client shall allow artist to display work for public and private portfolio usage only, six months, after completion date and shall not publish for print media, distribution, publishing and sales without written permission from client.

    Copyright is forbidden on the completed task or association without the completed task without client permission.


    I understand that this will become a binding agreement for (job title), subject to the terms and conditions between the artist (name), whose signature appears below and the (client name) upon acceptance.

    Artist name PRINT __________ Artist name Signature __________ Date_______
    Client name PRINT __________Client name signature __________ Date _______


    This is an example above that will give you an idea. Things can be changed, added or removed. As far as the release goes, this will help protect you and the artist. Basically to break it down, it is telling the artist that they are doing this for you and you only. It will also prevent them from using that image to sell it to another outlet.
     
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  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I notice @graphicsmyway didn't answer my questions.
     
  20. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Probably because either she is not available or because of my post.....
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The evidence suggests otherwise, though it's not proof. @graphicsmyway liked my post on Friday, without answering and before your posts. Given the curious nature of the claims, one has to wonder.

    I'll keep an open mind but I certainly wouldn't patronize the site without more information.
     
  22. RobertGMoons
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    RobertGMoons New Member

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    Keep in mind, if the artist relinquishes the copyright, he/she will most likely charge more than a limited-use license.
    Good luck with getting a graphic designer to do a book cover for $5.00. If a designer can do a cover in 5 minutes or less – maybe. I work as a graphic designer / illustrator and can only speak for myself, but that's unrealistic. To do a book cover can take hours to days, depending on the complexity.
     
  23. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    You know those indie books or new author books that come out with a cover that looks like a terrible low budget CGI from late 80s?
    Yeah.. that's a 5$ job nowadays.
    If you somehow manage to wrest away control from the publisher over the book art, you could get some amazing talent off Deviantart.
    Honestly, those cheap covers make me put the book down right away... They just lower the perceived value of the book by 90%...
     
  24. Chesster
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    So far I havent had to face this dilemma, because each piece I have written, I have kind of used as a stepping stone. Taking heed from each story on what I could do better next time, always honing my style and my writing quality.
    Soon though, I do hope to be in a position where I have a book available online and with that I will obviously need a cover. Luckily for me, I completed a foundation degree in multimedia and graphic design so I am tempted to go down the DIY route. I imagine there will be posts on Google with detailed descriptions of formatting size etc so I can't see the point in paying someone, when I am more than capable.

    Has anyone taken this approach before?
     
  25. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have any education/experience in marketing? Because it's not just about good art.

    And yes, a lot of people have taken that approach. And a lot of them didn't understand marketing, buyer appeal, etc. Great art - not so great cover.
     

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