Why hire a book cover designer?
Conventional wisdom tells us not to judge a book by its cover, but those in the publishing industry know better. An effective cover design doesn’t just look good on shelves — it should also clearly communicate the title, signal the genre, and capture an appropriate audience for that book. In other words, design is crucial to your book’s aesthetics and sales, and definitely not something to phone in as an author!
This is why almost every professional author should hire a book cover designer to do the job right. A professional cover designer knows what works on the market and will have cultivated their own unique style to make your book stand out. They’ll work with you to create a cover design that satisfies your vision and incorporates their knowledge of genre conventions and publishing trends, to give your book that much-coveted mass appeal.
Finally, they’ll help you with the practical considerations of cover design: converting your ebook cover into a print-friendly one and ensuring that your digital thumbnail is visually appealing. Plus, a great book cover designer will constantly think of ways to get more mileage out of your cover design. For example, how might your cover be adapted into a header on your website? Or if you decide to write a series of books, will you be able to use this design as the foundation for all their covers?
A professional book cover designer will have the answers to these questions (and many more you hadn’t even considered). Fortunately, the designers on Reedsy are some of the best in the business, and they’re excited to tackle your project.
How can I find the right book cover designer for me?
On the Reedsy Marketplace, you can search for professionals by genre, ensuring that you only connect with cover designers who have worked in your particular niche. You’ll also want to take a close look at each designer’s gallery — this will give you a strong sense of their style and whether they’d be a good fit for your book. If you have a distinct aesthetic in mind, keep your eyes peeled for it; if not, browsing these galleries is the perfect way to figure out what you want.
Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, you can select up to five cover designers to receive your project brief. This will be a short description of ideas and expectations for your book cover design, including:
- What your book is about and how your cover might reflect that
- Which colors, fonts, and other design elements you like best
- Examples of covers in your genre that you want to emulate
- Your budget and the ideal timeline for your cover design
The clearer you are in communicating your needs, the better the chances that our designers will respond. For more tips on how to write an effective cover design brief, check out this post! However, keep in mind that your design brief is only a starting point. As you and your designer work together, new ideas will emerge and the cover design you imagined will inevitably change. Try to stay flexible and trust your designer — they’re the professional, after all.
Finally, remember to start looking for book cover designers and sending out briefs far in advance of when you’ll need their services! Designers are busy people and their calendars fill up fast, so the earlier you start looking, the better.
How much does a book cover designer cost?
A professional book cover designer typically costs about $500-$800 for a single project. However, a simpler cover from a less-experienced designer would cost less, while an elaborate cover from a Big 5 designer would cost quite a bit more.
Basically, just like other publishing expenses, the cost to hire a cover designer depends on a combination of your personal preferences and available budget. But unlike other publishing costs, hiring a professional book cover designer is non-negotiable if you want your book to actually sell. Seriously, we’ve done the research — the marketing value of an appealing professional cover is quantifiably high.
That said, getting a high-quality book cover design doesn’t mean you have to break the bank! There are several things you can do to save money on your cover design, from hiring a novice designer to pursuing a photo-based design rather than an illustrated one. To learn more about cover design costs and how you can reduce them, click here.
Some cover designs created through Reedsy
Curious what you’ll be getting if you hire a book cover designer through Reedsy? Check out these cover designs from our top professionals — as you can see, they work in every genre, every style, and for every type of author, no matter what your creative vision. For even more beautiful cover design samples, check out our book cover art gallery.