Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? Awesome! Here’s some queries that come up frequently. If yours is not covered here, please drop me a line and ask. I love questions.
How much will my project cost?
Each book project is unique, just like your wants and needs are unique. That’s why I don’t have cookie cutter design packages. I want to make sure I’m flexible enough to provide each project what it needs. I estimate based on the effort required to complete. That will vary depending on a lot of factors, which we will discuss in the creative briefing. After I have all the info I need, I send you an estimate. If you approve the estimate we start working together. If you don’t, we don’t work together. It’s that simple.
If you have a particular budget you have to work within, I completely understand. Let me know what that budget is, and I’ll tell you right away (without wasting your time or mine) whether I can work within it. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended.
How long will my project take?
Project turn-arounds vary by type and how busy my schedule is. Formatting projects typically take 3 – 5 business days once the invoice is paid. Custom projects take longer, but covers range 1 – 2 weeks, and custom interior design typically range 2 – 3 weeks. I am happy to discuss possible timing before I’m contracted, but I cannot confirm timing until after I’ve been contracted and the initial invoice has been paid.
Who owns the copyright of your designs?
I retain copyright and grant exclusive use for all my cover designs and custom print interiors. I retain copyright and grant non-exclusive use for formatting projects. I understand (and expect) authors to use images of the cover in marketing for the book, and I’m happy to help create files for marketing pieces.
OK, so does that mean I can use the cover image any way I want?
Well, no, not really. You can’t resell your artwork, or use it for purposes other than marketing your book, including items for resale (like t-shirts and other items at Zazzle for instance). Most times, there are limitations in the licensing of stock images and fonts you purchase or I purchase for you for use in your book project. If I purchase these items on your behalf, I will supply you with the licensing terms, which you and I must follow. If you have questions, best to ask, or get a legal opinion.
I’ve contacted you about formatting my book? What happens next?
Thanks for contacting me. I will do my very best to email you back within 24 hours. I’ll likely ask some questions about formats you are looking for, where you plan to sell, etc. I’ll also ask you to send me your manuscript and any images you want to include. Once I have all your information, I’ll confirm the cost of the project and send you an invoice through PayPal. Once the invoice is paid, I’ll confirm timing for the project and get to work. When your book is formatted, I send a draft to you for review and feedback. This is your opportunity to make changes. Your changes are made and a final file is sent to you.
I’ve contacted you about designing my cover (or interior). What happens next?
Thanks for contacting me. I will do my very best to email you back within 24 hours. I’ll probably ask for a face-to-face Skype meeting, which I call a creative briefing. We’ll chat about your unique book project and I’ll ask lots of questions (about your manuscript, your visual ideas, how you like to work, your goals, your target market and your sales channels). I may even assign you some “homework” for the call (I promise it will be quick).
Once I have all the info for the project, I will prepare an estimate of the work and outline what’s included and what’s not for your approval. When you approve the estimate, I issue an invoice for 50% of the amount through PayPal. Once the invoice is paid, I confirm timing for the project and go to work.
I’ll work on designs and prepare to present options to you. We’ll review them in our next Skype meeting. You’ll have an opportunity to take them away and review. You’ll choose a concept and give me feedback.
I’ll continue to work in mockup until you approve the design. We will do revisions up to the number included in the estimate. Then I will build the final artwork or flow the final book. If there are rounds of revisions left included in the project, there can be one more round of revisions at this final stage. The balance invoice is issued to you and final files are released once the balance of the estimate is paid.
I have files to send you, but they are too big to email. What can we do?
If you have big files to send, please let me know. I can set up and invite you to a shared, private folder on Dropbox, so we can exchange files back and forth. If you don’t have Dropbox, it’s very easy to install on your computer. Check out Dropbox for more information. I remove files one week after project close, so if there’s items in that Dropbox you want to keep, save them to your computer right away.
I have an image for my cover in mind. Can you use it in my project?
That depends on a number of factors, like the source of the photo or illustration, the copyright or/and licensing of the image, the file format, the book format you are producing and the resolution of the photo. Best to send me a link to the image in question and I can advise you on your particular situation.
I know exactly what I want for my cover (or interior). Can you build it for me?
Happy to! I work with clients who are very visually oriented and know exactly what they want. Some bring mood boards, some bring particular images, request specific fonts or some bring very specific direction for their artwork. Your preferred working style will be one of the questions we will cover in the creative briefing.
I have no idea what I want for my cover (or interior). Can you help me?
Happy to! I have clients who are not visually oriented and are looking for ideas for their cover or interior. Your preferred working style will be one of the questions we will cover in the creative briefing. If you are looking for help with a conceptual idea, we can work through your preferences with a series of questions and customize the number of concepts including in the estimate to meet your needs.
Will I receive your working files when the project is done?
Typically, no. I work mostly in InDesign and Photoshop, and most authors don’t have access to software to open or edit these files. If you require the working files at the project’s completion, let me know up front, so I can include it in the estimate for you. Some items (like fonts) cannot be sent due to licensing issues. If you have particular questions, please ask.