FAQ

General questions, pricing and payment

1Read this, please. It's important.
A good cover should hint, not say. It should be perfectly "on genre", so that potential readers will be able to say what the book is about at a glance. When we browse a list of books we don't really care what the main character is wearing or what the room looks like if the whole artwork meets our expectations for the genre. Remember the cover is the most important marketing tool for a book and its main purpose is selling the book, not telling the story. Shall it lie a little bit? Yes, if it serves the purpose, all advertising does, it's just how advertising works. It obviously has to be consistent, so if in your fantasy book the only race is humans you shouldn't have an elf on the cover. I can make some other examples but you got the point. Same for the situations: there's no need to depict 'that exact scene from the third chapter', if that scene is overly complex and would make the cover cluttered. Simplicity is key: remember most of your potential readers will see your cover in thumbnail size so it has to be appealing and making they want to click on it to take a closer look. If you get that click you are closer to a sell, but if they don't understand what they are seeing they will skip to the next one. Readers of K9 thrillers look for a dog. Epic Fantasy readers look for a warrior in armour. Military sci-fi enthusiasts love spaceships. Readers of action thrilles will stop by if they see a tough guy with a gun. What is a post-apocalytic cover without a yellow sky? I could go on and I may have been a bit simplistic but, again, you got the point. I'm not saying all covers should look the same, I'm saying the OVERALL LOOK of your cover is by far more important than the scene itself. So, when you place your order and you write your brief, please consider the above.
2How does the service work?
Firstly, choose the kind of cover you need: a custom, a pre-made or an illustrated book cover. Then you’ll need to complete the briefing form. After that, you’ll be directed to Paypal to pay a deposit (or full price, for premade covers). My design process is well explained in the home page. After you order is placed, you'll get a confirmation e-mail and the estimate date of delivery.
3What is your turnaround time?
It really depends on the workload. Premades are usually delivered in no more than two working days, unless you require changes to the design. Custom and illustrated covers take longer, up to three months sometimes. If you're on a deadline I suggest to enquiry before placing your order.
4What are the differences between “custom”, “pre-made” and “illustrated” covers?
A custom cover is a design tailored to your needs: I'll manipulate and combine several photos to create your cover and I'll do my best to design something very specific, suiting the mood of your book. This option requires a bit of flexibility on your end, since I rely on commercial stock images. A pre-made cover is a ready-made design, a sort of "generic" cover; my collections features a large number of covers in almost every literary genre, with dummy titles that I'll change according to your needs. An illustrated cover is a very special design, I'll literally draw your cover the old-fashioned way using digital tools. I recommend this option if you want we depict a very specific character or situation, since this technique allows me do design almost anything.
5How do you design your covers?
Custom and pre-made covers are designed mainly with photo manipulation, I extract elements from different photos then I manipulate and blend them into a totally new picture. Illustrated covers are made the old-fashioned way, but using digital tools. Needless to say the latter option takes more time and effort, so the price is slightly higher, please read "What's included in your flat rates" for more information.
6What's included in your flat rates?
My flat rates include everything within reason, especially for illustrated covers. Scenes with up to three or four characters are considererd normal. But if you need an extremely busy scene with six characters battling against each other with a burning city on the background... I think it's obvious my flat rate does not apply, so, if this is your case, please ask for a quotation.
7Do you offer discounts to recurring clients?
My fees are very reasonable, therefore I do not apply discounts to returning clients.
8Do you grant discounts for series design?
Sorry, I no more offer discounts for series.
9What is the "Series" banner featured on some premade covers?
Some covers feature a banner saying "Series Available", this means that the main features of the cover are available in several poses or versions, so I can create more covers that will be consistent with the first one.
10Where are you based and what are your working hours?
I'm based in Italy and my working hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. I'm not workng on weekends and public italian holydays.
11What's your hourly rate for edits?
My rate is $60/hour with a minimum fee of $30.

Design process

1Do you use Generative AI tools to create your covers?
No, I never use AI tools. I only use personal or licensed stock images and digital illustration for my covers.
2How does the design process work?
My design process is clearly explained in the homepage. If you need more information just send me an e-mail.
3What if I want to cancel the project?
If you change your mind or we find I'm not a good fit for your project, please contact me as soon as possible and I’ll refund your deposit. A $10 cancellation fees apply, just to cover Paypal fees. You can cancel your order only before the final files are delivered.
4What if I already have a picture for the cover?
I can create a cover based on you picture, but it must be a print-quality, high-resolution image and you need to make sure you have the right to use it.
5How many revisions can I ask for?
After I send you a final version of the cover we discussed in our consultation you can ask up to 3 rounds of revisions to fine-tune your cover and make it perfect.
6What's a round of revision and what's not?
A revision round is a slight change to the basic concept of your cover. For example, deleting or moving an element, changing the color grade or moving the title. A complete change of the concept cannot be considered a revision and is therefore subject to an extra fee that have to be negotiated.
7What if I need some adjustments after the project is complete?
Small changes and minor adjustments are free within 3 months from the delivery of the final files. If multiple changes are required, charges might apply. Contact me for details.
8What is the format of the final files?
eBook covers are delivered as JPG files, 1600x2560 pixels, which is the standard Kindle size. If you need different sizes please let me know. Printed book covers are delivered as PDF files, ready to be uploaded to KDP, Ingram Spark or other printers. Add-ons are usually jpg or png files with transparent background.
9What if I need the eBook cover now and the printed book cover (or dust jacket) at a later time?
No problem: you can purchase the eBook now and then get back when you are ready for the printed book.


Add-ons and extras

1May I purchase add-ons only?
Yes. But you can't do it on the web site, please contact me for further information.
2May I get a PSD (Photoshop) file of my cover?
Yes, you can get the cover file in PSD format but please note that all layers will be flattened, and you won't be able to change it. It will only be possible to edit text layers. Since full-layered PSDs contain licensed material (stock photos from third parties that could be extracted from them) I can't distribute those files because of licensing and copyright issues. Furthermore, even though you purchase that file, please note I still retain the copyright on it so you're not allowed to modify it or use for purposes other than a book cover.
3I need a logo for my series, is it included in the cover design?
No, unless it's very basic and easy to design. Please contact me for a quote under no obligation.
4Can you design characters, maps and so on?
Yes, I can draw almost anything. If you need a map of your fantasy world, characters or inner illustrations for your book please contact me and I’ll send you a quote under no obligation.

Print book design process

1What does the printed book add-on include?
It includes the front cover, the spine and the back cover for one printing service, so select the appropriate provider in the brief. Please understand this add-on does not include a wrap-around picture (see following point). If you're going to publish through multiple services, just select one of them and add a note in the "additional notes" field saying you need multiple files. Please note each printing service requires a different file with different specifications so additional fees apply.
2Do the artwork wraps around in the printed book add-on?
No, all my packages include the front cover only. A full wrap artwork comes at an extra cost to be agreed upon, but I never recommend this option for legibility purposes. Usually the front cover fades into a pretty neutral texture which will cover the back of the book, so the text will stand out and will be perfectly legible. If you're unsure about what this means and what's the final result just ask for a sample, I'll be happy to send it.
3What if I don’t have the trim size or the page count but I still want to order the printed cover?
No worries, I’ll design the cover for a standard 6"x9" book, with an approximate page count, and I’ll send you a high-resolution jpg you can use for your book's promotion. Once you have the exact trim size and page count, I’ll adjust the size of your cover and I’ll send you the actual printer-ready file. You’ll be charged for the standard printed book add-on, the first size adaptation (if necessary) comes at no extra cost. Multiple size adaptations are charged by the hour.

Copyright, license and credits

1After I buy the cover, do I own all the rights on it?
According to the international copyright laws, please understand that you are purchasing only the right to use the artwork as a book cover, not the copyright on the design itself, which remains mine. You can't use the artwork for purposes other than a book cover, unless a fee is negotiated. If stock images have been used, after the payment the cover is yours to use under the stock photo provider's standard license (for example see https://depositphotos.com/license.html), which allows you to sell up to 500,000 (half a million) printed copies, eBooks are unlimited. If you exceed this amount you must purchase an extended license for each image used in your cover. You can upgrade to the extended license when you sell that many copies. Upon request, I’ll provide a list of the photos I used and their IDs. Print limit do not apply to illustrated covers but please note I retain the copyright on those covers as well. As a rule, I am no more releasing the copyright on my covers but, if you still want to purchase full rights on the cover, please contact me to negotiate a price. Remember in this case you should also purchase the licences for all the stock images I used for the cover.
2Should I credit you for your service?
I usually place a discreet footer with the copyright information on bottom of the back cover. If you do not want it, I'd appreciate your adding the followig sentence to the copyright page: "Cover: © (CURRENT YEAR) Ivan Zanchetta & bookcoversart.com".