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Cover Design FAQ

Here's everything you need to know about commissioning a cover design with us! 

What is the design process?

We're happy to have as much or as little creative direction as you'd like us to have. If you have an exact vision, please don't be shy in sending us a detailed explanation of what you're looking for with any reference images. If you're struggling for an idea, you can send us some key details about your story and we'll come up with something!
In both cases, the first draft of your cover will be delivered to you within 2 weeks of your project start date.

We'd love you to send us any reference images or examples of both imagery and typography so we can understand your vision better. 

Am I allowed revisions?

For photo-manipulated covers, (standard, premium, some ultra premium), you are permitted small revisions after delivery of your first draft. Small revisions are text changes (style, font, placement, colour), along with small adjustments to character features (makeup, shading, etc), backgrounds, and objects. You're also permitted one major redesign, so if you really don't like the first iteration, we'll make another! 
If you still do not like the 2nd major redesign but it is clear we followed the brief, we reserve the right to charge the full fee for a new design. 
If your cover is illustrated, you are permitted the small changes listed above, however we do not encourage too many changes as hand-drawn art takes hours of time, so it's important that the concept it nailed down from the start and any changes needed are small fixes. You will be charged an additional amount should the changes required be large-scale changes (i.e. completely redrawing characters, backgrounds, animals, etc). We ask all our authors to respect an artist's creative vision and trust them to deliver the art requested. If the changes requested are considered superfluous, we reserve the right to charge for changes. 

What do you need from me?

Apart from your wonderful ideas, we will also need to know:
Your final page count (not for ebook - paperback and hardcover only) *Please note, when we ask for the page count, we mean the formatted page count. This is not the same as your Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Scrivener page count. This will be the page count displayed by Amazon or IngramSpark, and is usually provided by a professional formatter.
Alongside the page count, we'll also need your book size for each type (paperback, hardback, etc), a fully proofread blurb, any and all text you want included on the front, back, and spine, ISBN numbers, plus a few other things, but we'll send you a list of things we need to know when you book. 

Do you use stock imagery?

Yes, for our standard, premium, and ultra premium packages. We pull together various stock images to create something unique to you. We'll use multiple layers and edit them together. We never take a simple image and just slap text on top. We predominantly use images from Shutterstock, so if you find any model or images there that you like, please let us know and we can use them on your cover. 

What files will I receive?

If you choose only an eBook cover, you'll receive a high resolution JPG.
If you add a paperback and or hardback, we'll ask which printing platform you're using (i.e. KDP or IngramSpark) and create the files with those specifications. If you're printing wide and need specific file types for both KDP and IngramSpark, (or another platform) then there is an additional charge of $60 USD per extra platform. 

If you'd like the PSD source file, we can send it to you, however this will only be in a flattened format with only the text as editable. The main cover itself will be merged and flattened. This is due to copyright issues of licensed images. 

Do I pay a deposit?

For any project under $600 USD, we take full payment upfront. If your project is over $600 USD, we take a 50% deposit upfront and the final 50% 1 week before the project completion date.
If your project is under $600 but you wish to only pay a partial deposit, then we can do so however both your deposit and any additional payments after will be subject to a 10% interest fee. 

Can I use my own image for the cover?

Yes, however if you'd like a paperback/hardback, the image should be long and stretch on a horizontal canvas in order to be long enough to wrap around. We can create a separate spine and back cover if you only have a single front image, however it may not match as well. It must have a resolution of 300 DPI.

Do I need to provide credit/attribution for any services?

Yes, we require credit in printed materials to be displayed as :
Cover Design by *Artist name* of Stardust Book Services
For online platforms i.e. social media, we ask for credit only on the first cover reveal.
The correct wording will be provided in your contract.

I found a service cheaper elsewhere. Will you price-match/beat it?

We don't aim to be the cheapest, we aim to be the best.

We believe in fair pay for our team, so we do not offer price-matching. Our prices are set according to our experience and high-quality. We know times can be tough, but publishing a book is a business. It requires an investment. If you'd like to work with us, and we assume you do if you're asking this question, we welcome you, but at the fair prices we set for our services.

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