Monday, October 31, 2022

Book Cover Designers—If You're Looking For One Then You Might Want to Read This


There are a few reasons that I decided to do this post today. The first of which is that I've been running a fun little tournament on my Instagram for my followers to vote on their favorite covers of mine, so I thought I would share a bit more about the covers in question. I've also recently been discussing book cover designers with a friend who is considering her options and I realized that I had a lot to say on the subject.

But finally, this is a bit of a love letter to my cover designers. I appreciate all of the hard work that they put into each and every one of my covers, and into giving each of my books lovely, unique, eye-catching covers. So, if you are looking for a cover for your upcoming release, I heartily recommend these options.

This post is mostly for indie authors, but if you enjoy seeing a glimpse into how independently published books get out there then you're probably going to want to read it to.

Anyway, with all my preemptive rambling out of the way. Here are the covers.


These covers I found on a site called The Book Cover Designer. Basically, the site is a place where a large collection of cover designers post premade covers, they have already completed, and you sort through the site until you find a cover that you think will fit your book. Then you buy it, and it is removed from sale. The nice thing about all premade covers, not just the ones on this site, is that they are available almost instantly, so if you're last second shopping you might want to check into premade covers.

There are a great many designers and covers on this site so you will get varied results from some stuff that doesn't look all that professional to stuff that looks really, really great. The price range also varies a ton. It can go from $20 bucks to $800, depending on sellers.

One of the issues with this site is that there is just so dang much to choose from and so the cover you are looking for can get buried under a lot of stuff that you aren't. They have search words and divide the books by genre, but it can still be a bit much to slough through. I've browsed hundreds of pages on that site before deciding on a cover.

But if you have the time and the patience, you're more than likely to find a cover that fits your price range and your story.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of this cover designer. I had the cover done when I was fifteen and it was actually my mom who emailed him and did the transaction (since when I was that age, I had no computer or internet access of my own). I need to find those old emails, but without his name we're looking for a seven-year-old email in a haystack. Still, he did a fantastic job. When I first saw this cover, the girl had black hair and a pale green dress, but I knew immediately that she was Chelsea. The rest of the cover was the same and after the colors got changed it became the cover you see today. I think I remember it being about $75.

This cover was designed by a lady by the name of BetiBup. She puts out a lot of covers on The Book Cover Designer. I'm not the biggest fan of some of her styles, but I liked this one, and she is extremely affordable (this cover cost me about $48 dollars, I think). When I first saw this cover, I can't remember what the girl's hair color was, but her dress was black. And I don't think the magic swirling around her was there, but I can't remember if that was added later or not. The one issue I had with getting this cover was that I don't think English was the designer's first language and there was a lot of confusion as we emailed back and forth, trying to get the coloring right. BetiBup was very patient and willing to make any changes that I asked for, she just sometimes didn't fully understand what those changes were due to the language barrier.

While I was mulling over the idea of releasing alternate cover editions of some of my books, I turned to The Book Cover Designer again. I flipped through the pre-made covers to see if anything would tickle my fancy and that's when I stumbled upon this one. I couldn't get the cover out of my head and eventually I reached out to the cover designer, Katharina Fisher. She was very amicable and willing to even design it as a dust jacket for my purposes. Plus, she agreed to continue with the rest of the series, having those custom made and at a discount.

Which is how I got this cover:

I definitely recommend Katharina if you are into more of an abstract look to your covers.

Victoria Cooper Art:

Victoria Cooper is a designer I found through The Book Cover Designer. She had gorgeous premades, but none of them quite fit what I was looking for. But then I found out that she charges roughly around the same amount to make a custom cover as she charged for her premades. Most cover designers charge much more for a custom cover than a pre-made which leads to me feeling guilty and deciding to only get a premade and waiting till Kingdom Come for them to make a premade that fits exactly what I'm looking for.

I worked with Victoria Cooper a lot. She did the covers for all of my Winter Cursed books, Of Gold and Iron and Of Stars and Shadows, and a good number of my Amar books including the whole Return to Amar series.

(and while I am changing these covers, I still love the originals)

She's quick, reliable (I've never had to schedule out to have a cover made, I just emailed her whenever I needed one and she would get me a final file in a few weeks), polite, and always willing to make revisions. She won't even complain when the whole concept has to be scrapped—which has happened once or twice, oops.

But more than that, she also isn't afraid of a little experimentation inside of the parameters of your design. For Winter Cursed I wanted the picture of Elisabeth holding an apple while there are brambles with roses blooming on them circling the image.

This is what the original concept for Winter Cursed looked like:

But Victoria had the idea that it would look better if it was more of an isolated image with a simple, but eye-catching background and have the brambles wrap around a frame (I chose a mirror to match my story) and viola, we got the cover we have today.

She also, played around with the color. I liked the brown the best because that was the first one she showed me and I absolutely fell in love with it, but she also sent me a blue version and that was when I knew that needed to be the color of the second book's cover.

So yeah, I definitely recommend her.

Fantastical Ink:

Fantastical Ink is the designer of my Harbinger of the End cover.

Fantastical Ink was amazing to work with. When I ordered the cover, I didn't know the full specifications of the cover size and I had yet to write the blurb for the back cover, so they said that I could purchase the cover then and when I was ready, I would give them the specifications and they would adjust accordingly. Which was a huge help because KDP can sometimes be finicky about cover sizes and my edits can sometimes add a few thousand words so contacting them after that to have the cover size adjusted meant that I had no problems whatsoever uploading my cover.

One of the things about them is that they are a little on the pricier side. They're one of the companies I was talking about where there premades are much cheaper than custom covers. You also have to schedule pretty far out. They keep a calendar on their website for what months they are available to be booked and the months fill up so if you want to work with them, I recommend scheduling it a little bit in advance. They do, however, sometimes do 20% off premades sales. It was through one of those sales that I purchased Harbinger's cover.

Another thing of note with Fantastical Ink is that to buy a cover from them you have to sign a contract with them saying that you will have to purchase a secondary license from them if your book sells a certain number of copies and that they are the only ones who can add to the book (add dust jacket flaps, turn it into an audiobook, or give it a back and spine). I oftentimes go with someone else for all of those things if it is going to cost too much to have the original designer make a back and spine (usually if it is more than $50), but with this cover I cannot. If you don't outsource that shouldn't be a problem at all, but I've had to jump through certain hoops (such as the fact that the audiobook cover will be of the alternate hardcover version since it would cost $5 to get it converted with someone else and much more with Fantastical Ink).

Still, they make gorgeous premades and I love to check out what they come out with.

100 Covers:

So, you might not feel comfortable working just one on one with the designer and would rather do business with designers that have a company backing them. Well, then these next two designer options are probably more for you. The first of which is 100 Covers. They did the cover for Domain of the North: Awoken

100 Covers is extremely affordable (you can get a custom-made ebook cover for only $100 dollars) and they offer unlimited revisions. This is very important to me because I usually have the designer tweak one small detail at least a dozen times before I decide that I liked the first option best—I know, I'm probably a pain to work with. Which leads into the next thing, you don't talk to the designer 1-on-1 with 100 Covers. Instead, you talk to a go-between who keeps everything civil, makes sure that you are satisfied and that everything you want is passed on to the designer. This helps to avoid getting snapped at by a harried designer (not that such a thing has happened to me while getting covers done, but I did have an artist I worked with snap at me before and it can get a bit awkward after that). Revisions do take a little while to be completed, but it's worth the wait.

One of my favorite things about 100-Covers is that audiobook and Kindle Vella covers are automatically included in the cheapest option. If you order the full-wrap option (the $200 one), dust jacket flaps are also included. A lot of people do not include these features. I usually have to pay $5 per each audiobook cover I want converted, $10 for dust jacket flaps, and I paid an extra $40 dollars for a Vella Cover for my other story I'll be releasing on that platform, Savage Gods and Spellbooks.

Also, they don't charge extra to do an illustrated cover versus a photo manipulation cover. Most companies will have illustrated covers cost more, and for good reason. It takes a lot more work to create an image from scratch. But 100 Covers doesn't charge extra which is, well, it's fantastic.

But most importantly still, 100 Covers offers a series discount (!!!!) 50% off each subsequent book in the series, so if you order the ebook option all the books after that will be only $50 and if you order the paperback option each book after that will be only $100.

Mibl Art and its Sub-Categories:

This one is quickly becoming some of my favorite designers to work with simply because they offer so dang much. I first found them through their sub-group GetCovers, which is their budget-friendly covers option. You can get a cover for $10, $20, or $35 depending on how many stock images you want (I always go with the $35 option). Don't worry, if you think that there's no way you can get an excellent quality cover for that cheap, then rest assured I've worked with them extensively and you can judge their cover work based on the covers I have listed here:

Also they offer 100% money back guaranteed if you are not pleased with their work

They have a very quick turn-around, so if you're in a hurry know that you'll get your cover in time.

On top of designing super cheap and amazing looking covers, GetCovers offers a whole range of other services. I used to have someone on Fiverr convert my audiobook covers, but Fiverr charges fees so a cost of $5 goes up to $7. GetCovers charges no fees, so it is only $5. They are also who I go to for dust jacket flaps (it costs $10), or if I want a back and spine done for a cheaper option than the designer I am currently working with offers (unless of course I signed a contract like I did with Fantastical Ink). It costs $10 for a basic spine, $20 if you want something a little fancier.

The $10 option

Something fancier I got for $20

Considering that a lot of designers charge AT LEAST $50 more for a full-wrap this is an amazing deal. (as an example, I went with the $100 option for 100 Covers which means that I don't get the full wrap, but rather than paying an extra $100 dollars for a full-wrap and dust jacket, I can get that from GetCovers for $20-30 dollars). They also did the typography for my Harbinger of the End hardcover since the artist who illustrated it didn't work with fonts.

MiblArt offers higher-end cover design for a somewhat more expensive rate. Their covers are $150 for ebook and $200 if you want the wrap-around addition. It's much more expensive that GetCovers, but I think the quality of their work speaks for itself. The designed my The Gods Created Monsters cover and tbh I still can't get over how perfect that cover is and how it so perfectly matches everything I was going for.

Mibl also does cover redesigns, for the same price as a regular cover, but they'll take an older cover and spruce it up, keeping a lot of the same elements but just making it shnazzier. This is actually what I'm doing with my OGaI and OSaS having them redesigned to better fit their genre and while I can't share the new covers just yet, I'm in love with what we have so far.

GetPremades is the final sub-group and I think its name is self-explanatory. It offers some of the best quality premade covers I've come across. Its price is comparable with MiblArt so you won't get too much of a discount with them, but sometimes you come across a cover you just can't live without and would never have thought of designing yourself like what happened with me.

GetPremades also offers custom premades in that you can order a specific style pre-made, they will make it. Like Victoria Cooper, it costs as much to make a custom cover as a premade so you're at your leisure to choose what cover would work for your story best. They will then offer you the first opportunity to buy the pre-made. If you decide against it, they will put it up for sale. It's a good option if you want to see how a cover design would work out with minimal commitment since you don't actually have to buy the cover when they are through (although I've loved the designs they've come up with for me and haven't been able to resist). This is what I did for the Era of Evil and Winter Cursed Omnibus covers.

With MiblArt and GetPremades Custom Covers, you do not pay until you are satisfied with the final version of the cover. Those two also offer a 10% series discount so every book after the first in a series will be 10% off. (GetPremades offers series continuation on all their pre-made covers so you don't have to order a custom cover to be able to have your books all match in a series)

MiblArt and GetPremades also include a free Title Page in your purchase, you have to pay $5 extra for a title page from GetCovers.

All three options have unlimited revisions, and they get them done fast, within a matter of days. They do the same thing that 100 Covers does and have you speak to a representative rather than the designer themselves. Also, they offer regular discounts, just join their newsletters and they'll keep you appraised of whenever they are running a sale.

I use MiblArt and its subcategories so much, there's rarely a release that goes by that I don't use them in some way or the other. Whether as an alternate cover, to make my audiobook cover, or get a spine and back.

Illustrated Covers:

Or perhaps you want a fine art illustration cover on your book. I can't say I blame you, it's one of my favorite cover styles. If you're wondering how to get a lovely, illustrated cover I'll tell you where I found my own. I stalk the artists on Instagram, lol. I probably follow hundreds of artists over there to keep an eye on what their art styles are, their pricing, and if their commissions are open or not.

For most of the illustrated covers I've gotten, I contact an artist not a cover designer. I discuss their rates for what the cover would cost, some have specific prices for covers while others calculate it depending on how many characters and what type of background it is. Another thing that I make certain of is that I'm purchasing an illustration I can use for commercial reasons or if that is automatically included in the price.

Illustrated covers take a while to complete, it takes at least a month to finish a cover of this style. Not to mention that the artists have other commissions/take hiatuses and are not always available all the time so when I want a cover done, I schedule it several months—sometimes half a year or more—in advance.

Hannah Rogers did the covers for A Tale of Gods and Glory, and my Rage Like the Gods books.

She's lovely to work with, and really works on the cover until she can get every detail just right. She only does the front image, so I have to find someone else to do the back and spine if I want it to be more than an ebook, but she does do her own typography.

Kae did the cover for the alternate hardcover of Harbinger of the End

Kae does do the back and spine, she even did the dustjacket flaps. However, she doesn't do typography.

I have several other artists reserved for other book covers, although I haven't had a cover done by them yet, I look forward to working with them, and I'll be able to share more about them after I have (perhaps I'll do a part two of this blog post sometime in the future when I've hired out more designers...)

Honestly, with illustrated covers the choice for me comes down to what sort of style I like the most, and think would work best for the cover. Who you hire largely depends on whether you want a more realistic image or something more stylized. And what fits in your price range.

It's also possible to purchase illustrated covers from a cover design company, although with that you can't actually pick what sort of art style you want since you have to work with the designers they have hired.

100 Covers has illustrated covers, as I mentioned above since, well, my cover with them is illustrated. And as I stated before, it doesn't cost any more than a regular cover does, so, if you're in a bit of a pinch for money, this is probably the cheapest option for an illustrated cover. However, they are quite stylized so if you're looking for something more realistic this might not be the best option for you.

MiblArt also does illustrated covers, their basic design pack for this kind of cover is $380, but it will cost extra if you want more than two characters on the cover. I have yet to get an illustrated cover from them, but their portfolio is amazing, and compared to what some artists charge $380 is not actually bad for a cover with at least two people on it. They claim to have the cover to you in 30 business days and honestly if I ever have a designer fall through and am incapable of finding another one (since I have to schedule so far out for artists), this one is my backup plan.

Moorbooks Design:

I'm finally getting a cover by Moorbooks and I honestly couldn't be more excited. To see why I'm so hyped check out their portfolio. They also do premade covers if their price is a little too much for you. The cover reveal for the book I'm getting done with them is at the end of next month if you want to see if it was worth the hype.

If you want stellar lighting and a high-quality cover for a still-reasonable price I'd recommend checking out Moorbooks. One thing I'll note is that they do charge extra if you want more than two characters on the cover. MiblArt does not which is why they're doing my The Gods Created Monsters books. Also, since Moors is very popular, I'd recommend reaching out to them a couple of months before you want the cover done because they get booked quickly.

So, all cover designers have their ups and downs. Ultimately it is up to you on what company or designer you decide to go with. I've had pleasant experiences working with all of them, and I personally love all of my covers. Hopefully, this post has helped you pin down a designer you would like to work with if you were on the market, and if not... well, it's something to refer to when you are.


  1. First of all, all of your covers are gorgeous! Second of all, this post is extremely informative and helpful! I agree that it depends what kind of feel you want for your cover to determine which option you choose. I mean, even the covers you got from GetCovers are pretty. It still seems unreal with how little they charge. Thanks for the post, Nicki. =)

    1. Aww, thank you, I think so too. There are so many good options to go with for cover design, it can sometimes make it difficult to decide on one to go with XD It's absolutely wild how good the GetCovers are at that price, I didn't believe it when I first came across them, I thought they were a scam because there was no way. But I'm glad that I gave them a shot because they're a wonderful company to work with.