Info for Authors

If you have any queries about the process of designing a book cover please feel free to contact me. Below are a few notes that may help you. I work with many first time authors. I am always very careful to explain the publishing process as clearly as possible. I am a professional illustrator, and all illustrated artwork on this website is created by me. My artwork is unique and bespoke.

eBook or Print ready?

I create an eBook design in the same resolution as a print ready design, so if at the beginning you require an eBook cover, then decide later that you would like a printed version, there is no problem in changing the format. I will also keep your artwork on file, so even if in 12 months time you decide to go to print, I will format your cover for you.

Print ready book cover design

Creating a print ready design is an intricate process. The positioning and layout of the artwork needs to be very accurate before going to print. It is always advisable to have a professional size up your cover to ensure a professional finish. When laying out a design, I require the correct measurements that you have agreed with your printer or publisher. If your sizing is revised at any time, let me know as soon as you can, and I will make those revisions. The earlier that I have your measurements finalized and agreed upon the better. In a perfect scenario, you would contact me initially with the sizing already decided, but I know that this is often not the case, and sizing is often finalized later on in the designing process.

Book cover bleed…What is it?example-template

Bleed is an important part of your print ready book cover design. All artwork that is formatted for print requires bleed. This is a .25″ area around the edge of the design (purple area in example image) . Bleed ensures that when the book is printed and cropped, the cutting blade isn’t too close to where the design ends. The blade isn’t 100% accurate, so you could end up with a white band around the edge of your book if the extra bleed wasn’t there.

If you have some existing artwork that needs formatting, I can certainly help you. I will also advise on solutions if there are any problems with the image.

What happens when you contact me

I think it might be useful for you to know how your project will progress once you contact me. That way, there are no surprises, and you can put together any information you feel might be helpful. The first thing I will need from you is a synopsis, and if possible, a chapter or two from your manuscript. This will be enough for me to gain a feel for your book. It’s always great if you already have some design ideas that you would like to discuss. After all, no one knows your book better than you the author, so any design ideas that you may have are always very useful. We will discuss your book and talk through some ideas. I will always be honest and let you know if your ideas require some fine tuning.

Once we have decided on a design, I can send you a quote based on our agreed design. To begin, I will request 50% payment up front. Final payment will be on completion. Payments are generally via direct transfer or PayPal. If an illustration is required, I will begin by sending an initial line sketch. Once you have this, we can discuss what changes are needed, and if you are happy with how it looks. Once you are happy, I can begin adding detail and colour.

I always send regular updates as the design progresses to ensure that you are happy with everything. If a back and spine is required, I will work on that after the front is complete. Most printers or publishers require a back front and spine as one file, but some prefer each element as a separate file. I will discuss this with your printer if required. As with the front, I will send regular updates as I add the back and spine details.

Once your file is sized up and complete, I will save your high resolution print ready file to whatever format you require. Final files are often saved as pdf or jpeg. If you are not sure if a format is right, I can always revise at a later date. If you are not sure about any aspects of the designing process, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I am happy to help.

I’m very much looking forward to discussing your project with you.

Sam Wall
Book cover designer and illustrator