Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to create a book cover?
It is preferable for the client to provide a summary of the book (a blurb - short description of a book). Summary shouldn't be longer than 200-300 words.
Communicating and sketching concepts usually takes about 3 days; putting it all together and getting feedback from you can take anything between 7 to 15 days.
The time frame will also depend on whether at the time we're already working on other design projects. I can let you know my availability before you decide to hire me for a project.
How many final choices of the book covers do I have?
I am usually offering 3 completely different cover designs, sometimes with additional versions of each.
Using images on the cover of the book?
If you have specific images in mind for your front cover, I'll be happy to use them as long as you have permission to use them commercially and they are of appropriate resolution (300 pix for print, at least 150 pix for eBook).
If you don't have any images, no worries, I'll create a cover using my own resources. Images we use are from bigstockphoto.com and I can get them for you free of charge.
If you wish to select and buy certain images from other websites, additional fee will be applied on the overall cover design cost. To be able to control your costs, you may wish to approve a maximum budget for these resources, or you can choose to approve them individually before I can use them.
What information do you need before you can start designing?
There's some information I need before we can start designing:
Will it be a print book, an e-book or both?
(In case of a print book - is it planned as paperback, hardback, or hardback with paper jacket?)
What is the genre of the book and what is its target audience?
Do you have a summary of the book (blurb)?
Where is the book being published (Amazon ePub and Create Space, Lightning source, NOOK Book...)?
All art - images, photos, illustrations - for book covers needs to be 300ppi, in CMYK. If you are not printing on Kindle I'll need a book cover layout template and any guidelines your printer can provide you with.
I am keeping the rights to the elements used on book covers. You keep all rights regarding the usage of the cover we design for you. I keep the rights to use your name/company name and trademarks, and a general description of work I did, as a reference in my portofolio and promotional materials.
It usually takes about 10-15 days to create a book cover. Deliverables usually include, for e-book, covers in JPG format in dimensions needed for the website to which you wish to publish, and for print books, a PDF file ready for print.
How long should a blurb (short description of the book) be?
Maximum 200-300 words.
How should I provide my files to you?
Print cover: CMYK 300 dpi (dots per inch).
E-book cover: RGB 150 dpi.
JPG, PNG files.
Text/Copy: DOC/TXT/RTF files.
Font Files: TTF/OTF files.
* Please note that 300dpi is NOT the same as 72dpi converted to 300dpi. It's not just a number or a format, it's about the quality of the photo. If you want good quality of your printed cover, please provide good quality materials.
* If you have an image in RGB mode when we need CMYK, or vice versa, I can, in most cases, convert it as needed. However, as the results of such conversion may not be ideal, I am recommending using images created in the required colour space whenever possible.
FAQ - Colour CMYK vs. RGB
Colour is a great way to achieve focus or delight with a design. A well-chosen colour can help your brand along – there are even brands which, effectively, communicate visually through colour alone. We all react to colour instinctively, and usually intensely. While most people will raise an eyebrow at being asked about other design ‘tools’ – if they prefer triangles or circles, say, or serif or sans typefaces – ask anyone what colours they love or hate, and the answer will come without hesitation.
But colours are also tricky. I’ve had clients come to us with their logo and on-screen palette already developed, only to discover that, when those colours were used for print materials, they didn’t come out of print right. I’ve had them approve a logo seeing it on their desktop computer, and then backtrack upon seeing it on their phone or another computer, asking for an extra revision or two to find a better colour. Many have heard of Pantone, RGB and CMYK colour spaces mentioned, but weren’t sure what it was all about.
So, what are colour spaces, and why do we care?
Put very simply, a colour space is a set of colours reproduced on a screen or with colour swatches. RGB is a bunch of colours intended for screen, for instance; Pantone and CMYK are used in print. It has to do with the way the colour is created. For RGB, basically, on a computer screen red, green and blue light are added together to create a wide range of colours. Shine all three to the max, and you get white; turn all off, and you get black; shine red and blue together and you get purple, and so on.
CMYK, on the other hand, is a colour space based on ink. CMYK stands for the 4 colour process inks used for offset press printing – cyan, magenta, yellow and black. By combining these inks almost any colour can be made; this is why CMYK is used for full colour printing.
Pantone Matching System is also used for print. It’s a standardised set of colours (called spot colours) created using 14 base pigments mixed in specified amounts.
Choosing your palette
When choosing a palette for your business or product, you should keep in mind that there isn’t always a way to reproduce every colour from one colour space in another. For instance, some Pantone colours (like metallics and fluorescents) can’t be reproduced in CMYK, and printing everything from Pantone can be costly. If you want to control your budget, you may need to use a grey instead of a metallic silver (and it really won’t look as good, if we’re honest), or else just stay away from metallics altogether for a consistent look.
At a minimum, we advise choosing an on-screen palette (specified in RGB or HEX code) and a print palette (in CMYK space). Printing materials in RGB mode can be done, but you may be unpleasantly surprised by the results – something that looked red on screen, for instance, can be a dirty shade of pink printed onto paper. Similar is true when translating CMYK onto most screens.
When choosing your RGB colours, I advise you look at them at a few different devices (on your desktop at work, laptop, phone) and in different settings (dark room vs. outdoors on a sunny day). Many screens, due to poor quality of the hardware, their settings or condition, won’t reproduce the colours well. Check how your colour scheme performs across different platforms before deciding on it.
When choosing your CMYK and/or Pantone values, we recommend asking your printer for a proof the first time you print something. I’ll help you find print colours closest to what you see on screen, but it’s always good to see an actual printed sample or, at least, a preview on a professionally calibrated screen, to prevent unpleasant surprises. All good printing services will be able to provide this sort of preview.
Do I use Kindle as printing service?
If you are not using Kindle as printing service, I'll need a book cover layout template or guidelines directly from your printer.
If you are using Kindle as printing service I'll need the number of pages, book trim size dimension and paper color so template for the cover could be done.
Communication between client and designer
Be as clear and communicative as possible. Be open to feedback. I will be ready to answer your questions, question your ideas and encourage your concepts but you need to communicate. Knowing what you are looking, helps me to finish the process.
Or, if you don’t know what you are looking gives me a opportunity to create something of my own.
Also if you need your design done by a certain time then please keep your eye out for my correspondences so that we can get the project completed as soon as possible.
I may suggest other concepts, designs or any other aspects of the design. This is to broaden the idea of what you’re looking for, not to be personally critical of you or your ideas in any way.
Legal rights on book covers ownership
I keep the rights to the elements used on book covers. Client keeps all rights regarding the usage of the cover we design for you. I keep the rights to use your name/company name and trademarks, and a general description of work I did, as a reference in my portofolio and promotional materials.
How do I say thanks to Nada Orlic?
If you wish to give me a credit within your book, you can do so by inserting the following:
Cover designed by Nada Orlić - Erelis Design (www.nadaorlic.com)