Blue Handle Publishing
Book Cover Design Cost
Book cover design is almost as important as the manuscript itself. Even with the greatest marketing campaign, if your book is hard to find or the cover turns off the readers it's going to affect sales. You have to know your audience (reader and genre) and make sure you work within those fields. One of the strongpoints of Charles D’Amico’s approach in the beginning was/is his covers. Even industry experts have spoken about the detail and approach to his covers. Charles didn’t spend a ton of money, but has an artistic background and found a great person to work with. This allowed him to put together a plan (or storyboard) for what he wanted, then trust the artistic talents of the designer.
How much does it cost to design a cover if you self-publish?
Cover design depends on how much you bring to the table with ideas and details. If you have a plan and are just looking for someone to help bring it to life you can keep the cost down. The average cover design can run you between $300-800. If you are looking for original art, say hand drawn for fantasy fiction or another genre that tends to push the boundaries on artistic influence, this cost can be much higher.
What about Hybrid-Publishers?
Once again, like editing and formatting, this cost is often baked into the price you’ve agreed to pay your hybrid publisher, which means they will charge you a package fee for all of it. They will work on your book, help you get it ready for distribution and market it. This also means, as an author, you are fronting a large portion of the cost. These overall costs can range anywhere from $5K to $20K, and you would need to speak with your hybrid publisher about how much time/money is actually spent on the cover to land on the exact cost of your cover design. Blue Handle is not a hybrid publisher but a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.
What about traditional publishers?
Once a traditional publisher decides to sign you as an author with a royalty advance, the cover design costs nothing from the author’s end. It may cost nothing up front to the author, but it can cost in the life of the book. The more a publisher thinks they have to put into the book the less royalties an author is going to make. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.