Custom Cover Design Rates

Hello! I'm Arial Burnz and I'm the cover designer as well as an author. This page covers my rates and guidelines for how I do cover design. Scroll to the bottom if you've worked with me before. Otherwise, I highly encourage you to read this page to learn what I need from you to make the best cover I can.

Flat fees for work are charged up front unless arranged otherwise. Final cost of stock images and extra time will be invoiced and must be paid before the final cover image is delivered. Thank you!

eBook cover ONLY – $100 + stock images

This includes up to four hours of design time, including consultation and minor changes for final design. Any time spent over the four (4) hours due to changes or redesign will be charged at $25 per hour. NO charges or work will be incurred without prior approval of both parties. Any stock images used in the cover (usually no more than 5 images) are charged at $5 each and I use DepositPhotos.com as my stock image house. You are welcome to browse that site and send links to her for design suggestions.

Print cover ONLY – $100 + stock images

This includes up to four hours of design time, including consultation and minor changes for final design. I will coordinate with you to obtain the print cover template from your publishing vendor (e.g., CreateSpace, Lulu, Lightning Source, etc.). Any time spent over the four (4) hours due to changes or redesign will be charged at $25 per hour. NO charges or work will be incurred without prior approval of both parties. Any stock images used in the cover (usually no more than 5 images) are charged at $5 each and I use DepositPhotos.com as my stock image house. You are welcome to browse that site and send links to me for design suggestions.

Print cover AND eBook cover – $150 + stock images – BEST VALUE!

This includes up to six hours of design time, including consultation and minor changes for final design. I will coordinate with you to obtain the print cover template from your publishing vendor (e.g., CreateSpace, Lulu, Lightning Source, etc.). Any time spent over the six (6) hours due to do further changes or redesign will be charged at $25 per hour. NO charges or work will be incurred without prior approval of both parties. Also, print covers can be done at a later date if the print book is not yet formatted and the eBook cover is needed first. The thickness of the book will determine the size of the print “flat” (as it is termed).

Cover Request Instructions

Below is the form I use to gather information about what you’d like to have on your self-published book cover. Please keep a few things in mind when completing this form:

  1. Understanding Photo Collages—My cover designs are photo collages, meaning I use photographs and edit them together to create the complete book cover. The simpler your idea, the faster and easier it is to complete your cover. I do not have the luxury of scheduling photo shoots with models, so I am limited to the images provided on stock image websites. Though I can alter some of the pictures—like putting two people together from different photos or placing someone in a scene they weren’t in—remember that time is money. The more time I spend “Frankensteining” a person to be in a certain position you envisioned, the more your cover is going to cost. You don't want me to spend four hours looking for “The Right” pose, which just might not be available, so hold your ideas loosely.
  2. Stock Image Sites—I have an account with DepositPhotos.com and images used from this site will save you money since I buy in bulk and pass the savings on to my clients. I charge $5 per image from this website. However, if there is a particular photo you must have for your cover, please provide the link to that picture on the site where you found it. I might be able to find the same photo for less, but in all likelihood, you will be charged the full price if the image must be purchased at a site other than my preferred image site. You are more than welcome to browse DepositPhotos.com and send me links to pictures you really like to help me see any vision you might have for the cover and what your tastes are like.
  3. Mock-ups—When I create a custom cover, I will use watermarked images that are usually of poorer quality. These “comp” images are supplied by the image vendor and provide a way for me to create a “proof” for your approval without spending money on the images. No images will be purchased until you have approved this proof. Keep in mind that the mock-up will be pretty close to the final cover image, minus the watermarks and with better quality images.
  4. Getting it Right—I pride myself in getting your cover right the first time, and you and I will have discussions about the information you provide to guide me toward the cover you want. However, if I have completely missed the mark on designing your cover, I will comp your project two hours of design work to make corrections (this is at my discretion). If I can’t get your cover right on the second try, I will probably refund your money, but you will also not get any images. AND this may be an indication I may not be the right cover artist for your book. My primary concern is that you be happy with your cover, so no hard feelings if this ends up happening. It’s definitely not personal!

I aim to give you high quality work that is affordable and will represent the contents of your book. If I do well and you’re pleased with your experience, then I have high hopes you’ll want to tell your friends about what I’ve done and send me referrals. As such, it’s important to me you are pleased with the final product. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this form and feel free to provide any additional information you think would help me do my job easier in the provided space below. Thank you trusting me with your project!

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