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Graphic Design Guide Outsourcing Your Book Cover Design: What Authors Need to Know

Outsourcing Your Book Cover Design: What Authors Need to Know

Outsourcing Your Book Cover Design: What Authors Need to Know

If you’re self-publishing your book, you should engage a professional book cover designer to boost your chances of success. Book covers are crucial in the digital publishing industry. According to a survey of over 500 readers, 79% feel that book covers are significant when purchasing. It means that the difference between selling 500 and 15 books each month is a good book cover. The main concern is preparing your book cover to appeal to readers and increase sales. Unfortunately, there is no set of uniform principles. Bookshelves, like fashion, are evolving. As a result, best-sellers outsource book cover design and reprint new editions with updated cover art to appeal to new buyers. Well, put aside others’ practices and observe what’s imperative in your case. Since you can’t DIY, you should outsource a professional book cover designer to meet your goal.

Everything Authors Must Know

What are the crucial elements of a book cover design?

The title, subtitle, typeface, orderly layout, testimonials and reviews, author bio, and spine are all crucial components of a book cover design. These features work to entice potential readers while conveying the book’s character.

  • The title and subtitle express the vital notion, while the typeface promotes readability and visual appeal.
  • A logical arrangement ensures harmony among design elements, while testimonials and endorsements enhance credibility.
  • The author’s bio adds a personal touch to the book’s presentation, and the spine completes it.

How do I outsource a book cover design?

1. Extensively Research Market

The initial step in choosing a book cover design service is to conduct research. It appears more complicated than it is. However, building a list of possible designers may be simple. Searching through other books on Amazon is a marvelous way to find a book cover designer – specifically, other novels written by independent authors. Navigate to your best-selling books on Amazon and pick the covers that appeal to you. As you may recall, many writers include a list of cover designers in the introduction to their books. You may go to this page by clicking the book cover and selecting the “look inside” option.

2. Shortlist Style-Aligned Designers

We all have unique thinking styles. And your opinions on a stunning book cover are no exception. Other authors could favor a vibrant book cover, while you might prefer something more modest. You may, for example, create a private Pinterest board with beautiful book covers you admire. This allows you to find the similarities between the book covers and the cover designs of the books you want to read. Remember that each designer has a unique style, so add a list of designers who share your aesthetic.

3. Custom or Premade Cover Design Distinctions

You should also consider if you want a pre made or bespoke book cover. Various designers provide readymade book covers for sale. Usually, it is just a plain cover. While purchasing the cover, the designer will add the author’s name and book title. They might also be limited edition premade covers that, once purchased, cannot be changed. Alternatively, a bespoke book cover provides designers with detailed information about the book, allowing them to create a one-of-a-kind cover specifically for you. A personalized book cover costs extra since the artwork is just for your book. The designer will also modify the cover based on your ideas.

4. Recognize the Outsourcing Procedures

Before outsourcing a book cover design service, you should understand what the book cover design process involves. For example:

  • How many models are produced?
  • Do you have any ideas or suggestions for your book design?
  • Do you have to pay for the alteration you want beyond the original planning stage?

Every book cover design you outsource is distinctive in its operations. As a consequence, it is vital to understand your method ahead. If you are dissatisfied with one strategy, look into others.

How much will the book cover design cost in 2024?

In 2024, the book cover design cost varies greatly for self-published writers. Here are some market-oriented ranges you may consider.

  1. The lowest price range is $5-$75, which is dangerous and may not represent original or professional quality. Premade book covers are suitable for genres such as contemporary romance and thriller.
  2. The $100-$200 price range is appropriate for more intricate prefabricated book covers, such as fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction.
  3. The $250-$450 range covers high-quality services like e-books and complete print designs.
  4. The $500-$1000 level is for high-quality, professional-looking covers frequently needed for substantial creative work. Designers and businesses in this category portray their work as premium services owing to their skill and rising demand. However, appointments can be lengthy and may necessitate waiting lists.
  5. The $1000+ level is allocated for renowned artists or people in the publishing industry. Covers in this range are assured to be of high quality. However, there may be a lengthy waiting period.

Consider your budget, desire to invest in your brand/business, creative objectives, completion timetable, and comfort working with an individual designer or a book cover design firm when determining the appropriate pricing range for your book cover.

What questions to ask before outsourcing book cover design?

Outsourcing the greatest book cover designer for your project requires attention to detail. Therefore, it’s critical to ask the proper questions before outsourcing a book cover designer. Here are the top ten queries to consider before outsourcing a book cover designer.

  1. How much experience do you have designing book covers?
  2. How do you go about designing?
  3. How do you go about creating covers for the genre I belong to?
  4. In book cover design, what does “literally vs. figuratively” mean?
  5. How do you respond to criticism and revisions?
  6. How quickly can you respond?
  7. How do you set your prices?
  8. What kinds of files might I expect to get?
  9. How do you ensure the book’s target audience and substance are reflected in the cover design?
  10. Do you have any references or endorsements from prior customers?

You’ll be more prepared to outsource the ideal designer to produce a captivating cover that will make your book stand out in a crowded market if you ask these ten essential inquiries.

9 tips to consider while outsourcing a book cover

  1. Avoid worrying about current design trends. Create a cover that will appeal to your desired audience.
  2. Make a list of the ideal readers who will support you before you begin.
  3. Start an investigation. Make a list of books you want to be like.
  4. You have two choices: select from a list of freelancers or pay for a premium service. Although less expensive, freelancers may not always be reliable.
  5. Treat the designer you outsource as if they are an expert. Pay attention to them. Avoid confronting them. You choose an expert; now, appreciate their knowledge.
  6. Remove as much emotion as possible from the decision-making process.
  7. Choose a designer who is compatible with your book’s aims.
  8. Make a list of 10 exceptional designers, narrow it down to two or three, and then call five of your most reliable ideal readers to give the final vote.
  9. If you are doubtful, ask your audience.


Are you ready to boost your book with a professionally designed cover? The book cover is the starting point for the story in the publishing industry, where first impressions are everything. And designers are the ones who help you to make your idea a reality. Therefore, investigate reputable design agencies like We Tech You or freelance designers on Upwork or People Per Hour to build a strong collaboration with them. This will help you to end up with a unique and creative cover.

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