As a part of Getcovers marketing team, Michael helps indie creatives master their craft. In his free time, Michael likes playing his electric guitar, losing hours in video games, and reading unhealthy amounts of SF&F (and trying to move his body at least a little bit to not transform into a plant).
Ever wondered what the current book cover design prices are and how to find the right balance between price and quality?
- We’re here to shed some light on the sensitive subject of book cover costs.
- In fact, we’ll be sharing some useful insights about:
- current book cover design rates
- difference in cost tiers
- estimate prices for illustrated and premade book covers
- and so much more
Disclaimer: the purpose of this blog post is not to tell you how to distribute your budget but rather to educate and explain what options you have.
Let’s talk numbers!
How Much Does a Book Cover Design Cost?
Truth be told, the book cover design cost will vary and depend on the designers’ experience and the type of book cover you’d like to get. As a self-published author, you need to consider all the pros and cons, set your budget, have clear demands on design techniques, and do some research.
First, let’s take a closer look at how much it’ll cost you to get a stock-photo based, not-illustrated custom book cover design. In a nutshell, you’ll be dealing with either talented newcomers and freelancers or experienced professionals or high-end designers. Dive in!
Talented newcomers & freelancers
You’ll most likely be working with professional designers who might lack experience in the book cover design field itself. These guys might be looking for ways to improve their portfolio and expand their design expertise. Sometimes they are just at the beginning of their design career or have an intermediate skill level and see book cover design as a part-time gig.
- Pros: If you’re on a tight budget and strict deadline, freelancers can be exactly what you’re looking for. The best part is that you can actually dig up a fantastic professional with a great and unique vision right before they upgrade themselves to high-class designers.
- Cons: However, don’t set your bar too high. As you can imagine, since you’re not spending a significant amount of money, don’t expect the book cover design to be out-of-this-world. You’ll most probably get a simple book cover composed of stock images, with professionally-looking typography and colors.
Warning: ask for the designer’s portfolio, and discuss your collaboration details before getting started. Be aware that some designers in this target group might be using questionable or overused free images. You don’t want to have issues with copyrights halfway through the process, do you?
Average price: $5 – $150
Where to find talented newcomers and freelancers for your next book cover design? Check out this list:
- Fiverr. Caution: beware of scammers if you decide to get your book cover designed by someone on Fiverr.
- Reddit. Protip: check out the HungryArtists thread. It’s an online community of freelance artists who accept custom commissions.
The experienced designers provide more than decent design quality, have a professional approach, care a lot about their reputation, and are willing to network. If you decide to seal the deal with a book cover design company, you can expect many in-house designers, years of experience in the field, and a thorough understanding of the current market trends.
- Pros: Since experienced professionals are making a living out of book cover design, you can rest assured that your cover is in good hands. In fact, you can expect a much higher design level, original imagery, and careful research of your genre and target audience. Besides, many designers in this niche actually prefer working with indie authors rather than with big publishers since there’s more creative freedom and less poking around. Sounds good, right?
- Cons: However, before placing an order, make sure to reach out and see how the designers are handling communication with their clients. Are they asking you additional questions to understand your needs better? Do they reply on time or leave you hanging without an answer? It might also be hard to judge the design skills if you don’t have prior knowledge of the industry. You might want to ask your friends and acquaintances for a second opinion.
Average price: $ 150 – $800
Take a look at this list of experienced professional book cover design companies:
Welcome to the natural habitat of superstar designers! You can expect royal treatment, an awe-inspiring portfolio and resume, and excellent design quality. These designers are the people behind the world bestselling books and, of course, the covers.
- Pros: They might actually read your entire book, not just a blurb or synopsis, before getting started with a book cover design. Some of them even video chat with screen-sharing so that you know what’s going on. These rockstar designers take an individual approach and offer a few different design concepts for you to choose from. What’s the catch then? The cost (#duh).
- Cons: Not many indie authors can afford high-end designers. Besides, truth be told, the design level itself can sometimes be similar to experienced professionals. Keep in mind that you’re, first of all, paying for the brand. In addition, some of these designers are worth it and are incredibly great at designing book covers for a specific genre, for example, sci-fi only.
Average price: $1000 – $2000+
Here are a few heavy-lifters in high-end book cover design field:
Many authors keep asking us what’s the deal with an illustrated book cover design, is the high price justified, and what are the benefits of getting the illustrations.
So welcome MythBusters: illustrated book cover design edition!
How Much Does an Illustrated Book Cover Design Cost?
Let’s start with the basics. There are three types of book cover design out there:
- Photo-based (using original photography for the book cover)
- Design (most often using and customizing already available resources, like stock images or vectors)
- Illustration (literally drawing from scratch a unique picture)
Now, we’d like to explain why the cost of an illustrated book cover design is higher compared to the other options.
- First of all, you get unique and outstanding drawings that will leave your readers speechless.
- Moreover, the illustration method makes the images and every detail stand out and turns your book cover into a charming masterpiece.
- Finally, using illustrations on your book cover boosts the sense of your distinctiveness among other writers.
So next time you see a higher price for an illustrated book cover design, don’t get too intimidated. Trust us: it might be exactly what you need!
Average price: $300 – $2000+
Another confusing term in the world of book cover design cost is pre-made covers. Everything you need to know is right here. Keep reading!
How Much Does a Premade Book Cover Design Cost?
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to book cover options is pre-mades. They are exactly what the name suggests: book covers that have been already pre-designed.
They are cheaper than the custom-made covers, more convenient if you’re working on more than one book at a time, and save a lot of time. At the same time, as you might have already guessed, pre-mades might not always match your story and genre well enough since they were not crafted to fit your book specifically.
Why are the prices lower, you ask? As simple as it is, it takes designers less time to create a pre-made book cover. It also leaves enough space for creative freedom since there are fewer revisions and interference. Makes sense, right?
Average pricing: $50 – $500
Last but not least, you can always try to design a book cover yourself. There are plenty of DIY book cover makers out there, so if you are willing to deal with the learning curve, you might as well try to do it yourself.
Our top choice of DIY book cover makers:
- Adobe Spark
- DIY Book Covers
- Adobe InDesign
To Sum Up
How did you like our financial guide on book cover design prices? Jokes aside, hope we managed to show you that you can find a designer to fit your needs, expectations, and budget without sacrificing quality.
Which option do you usually go with? And how important is the price of book cover design for you?