I own a small press magazine that publishes online, and in print. I see a premade cover that I would like to use for an upcoming issue. Is that possible?

Yes it is! A premade found a home on the May issue of Factor Four Magazine.

I’m part of a publishing group, and I noticed in your Terms of Service that the client cannot publish, copy, or disclose mock-ups or design materials to others. Does this mean I can’t show mock-ups to my group and put a mock-up cover to a vote?

Yes, that is what it means. I do not accept ‘design by committee’ projects or commissions. I will cancel the work and retain the initial deposit as a kill fee, as specified on my Services page if I discover this is happening.

I want to commission you for a custom painting, but I have to run it by my publisher for approval first. Is that okay?

I have to ask first – why are you paying for the cover if you have a publisher for your book? It’s not okay. It’s another type of cover by committee. Too many opinions delay the design process and interfere with my booking schedule.

I have an idea for a cover and would like to discuss it with you. May I call or have a video chat with you?

The answer is no. I prefer to keep detailed records of my communications, and that is best served via email.

I have Photoshop. Can I make changes myself?

The answer is a simple no. If you purchase a premade, certain customization are already free; adding to it incurs an additional fee which starts at $35.00 and can go up, depending on the complexity. Certain nuances, such as color profiles, are built into my designs, and tampering with them can degrade the products I sell.

Do I own the copyrights to my cover?

Unless you have a detailed agreement with an artist or photographer, that answer is No. You have unlimited reproduction rights for e-books and up to 500,000 impressions for printed books at all retail outlets. You can also use the book cover for promotion and advertisement purposes with no additional royalties paid to the designer or stock site.

How can I own the copyright to my book cover?

If the book’s design uses stock imagery from any stock site, such as Dreamstime, Depositphotos, etc., you will need to purchase the image(s) used from the photographer on that site. 

This can result in fees ranging from $250.00 on up per image used.

If you have contracted a designer or artist who owns the photos or any form of artwork or intend to use images from ‘free’ stock sites such as Unsplash or Pixabay, you may need to enter a contracted agreement. 

Still, many artists will not give up the complete copyright of their work without a significant fee, myself included. (and please remember to credit the photographers who freely donate their images!) 

Do you take requests at your premade store?

I do not. I work in different genres when the inspiration hits. Check back often if you don’t find your genre or a cover that you like. I try to upload new work every week. Usually in ‘genre batches.’ 🙂

I see a cover I like, but I don’t have funds available- can you save it for me until payday?

My premades are sold on a first-come, first-served basis— this includes my regular clients and my author friends. I don’t think it’s fair otherwise, and I don’t believe in putting up my work for auctions or bidding, which occurs in Facebook groups. My Facebook page is visible to the public and always will be.

Can I make payment plans on a commissioned cover?

I do not accept payment plans. I also do not pre-date invoices. Commissioned covers have a non-refundable work fee, and pricing is quoted based on project specs. Please query for project estimates regarding this.

Do you re-use any of the stock photos for other projects?

No. Once I use a stock image, including images for premade designs, I place the image(s) I use into that particular project folder.

Can I have the original stock image(s) that you use for premade covers so I can create ads?

No. I’m not allowed to transfer downloaded images to a third party. Once I use them for their intended purpose (as a book cover), I can provide you with the image link if you wish to buy it on your own.

I just bought a pre-made. Can I have the original files in layers?

I do not sell layered files.

Can I have just the art as a PSD file, then? And do the typography myself?

I’m happy to provide an art-only PNG and JPG for established authors who use a specific branding style for their books. The cover design is still under my terms of use regarding the artwork. Examples of established branding by independent authors are Matt Shaw, India Drummond, and Marissa Farrar.

Why do I need to agree to your service terms? Don’t I own the cover and can do whatever I want with it?

You own the right to use the cover for its intended purpose—as a book cover. The stock images are copyrighted to the photographer, and my design concepts for the cover are considered a derivative work. You never really own the copyright in most cases. Respect the work artists and designers put into their craft, just as you—the author—ask and expect people to respect your copyrights.

I have photos (or artwork) that I would like to be made into a cover. Can I mail you the images?

The post office is not always reliable, and I don’t want your work lost or damaged in transit. I accept only high-quality, scanned images via e-mail, and a statement that you own the copyrights to the images is required. I have no issues with doing so. The cover of Sea Smoke & Mirrors by Jenifer LeClair is an example of author-provided photography.

If you have any questions not answered here, please let me know and I’ll add it to this page!

*latest addition: September 28th, 2022*