FAQ

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We get it. The process can be overwhelming. With over two decades of experience, we’ve anticipated some of your questions. Don’t see your question below? Ask us.

Why hire a book cover design specialist?

Studies indicate that on average, potential buyers spend 8 seconds looking at a book’s front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back before they make a buying decision in the traditional brick-and-mortar environment. And it may be as little as 3 to 8 seconds at online booksellers’ websites. As specialists in the book cover design industry, we know about all the details that make or break a book cover—such as the emotion of color, the power of typography, the importance of the spine, the technical requirements of a bar code, the intricacies of book printer specifications, and the fine points of today’s ebook covers.

Guy Kawasaki, author of “APE,” says that the third biggest of 10 mistakes that a self-publisher makes is trying to design her own book cover. “The cover is one of the most important marketing pieces for your book, so hiring a great graphic designer is money well spent. The beauty pageant that is on Amazon web pages displays fifteen to twenty covers at a time. With a graphic the size of a postage stamp, you need to entice people to click.”

We redesign far too many book covers for clients who thought they were saving money working with a local or bargain graphic designer, unfortunately inexperienced in book cover design. We also help clients recover after being misled into a “cheap and fast” route, only to be told by their distributor that in order to be accepted they must have the cover redone by a professional. Experience saves you time. The right experience will save you money.

We do what we’re good at — creating a cover that sells — so that you can focus on what you’re good at — running your business and promoting your book.

How can we work effectively despite the geographic distance between your office and mine?

No problem. Today’s technology allows us to create a close working relationship immediately. In fact, we work long-term with clients all over the U.S. and in several other countries — few of whom we’ve ever met in person. As much as we enjoy face-to-face meetings, we’ve actually found that everyone is more productive when communicating over the phone or through email, saving considerable time otherwise spent traveling to and from meetings. Computers allow us to show you full-color design concepts the instant they’re completed. A simple phone call or email keeps the ball rolling and ties close. Whatever your working style, we promise it won’t take long before you feel like we’re just down the street.

How much does book cover design cost?

Good. Fast. Cheap.

You can’t have all three. Pick two.

You’re worth it.

Check out Pricing to hear more.

How long does it take to design a book cover?

As long as necessary. Under normal circumstances, concepts are delivered within 10 business days. The entire process, from our first meeting to delivery of your completed book cover, may require six to eight weeks. Most of our clients prefer a two-phase process where we first deliver a front cover for promotion and pre-sales to get the buzz going. Then, after the manuscript is fully edited, the interior is designed, the page count is firm, the back cover sales copy is written, and the printer is selected, we finish up the complete book cover — including the spine and back cover — in time for printing. Scheduling is rigorously managed here at Dunn+Associates to meet important deadlines. When opportunity knocks, we’re behind you all the way and will do everything we can to deliver concepts in a hurry — sometimes within just a few days. In a nutshell, we work to accommodate your style. That said, most clients prefer a more relaxed pace, and we believe you’ll get our best work when time allows those creative juices to flow.

How important is the book’s back cover?

The front cover draws prospective readers in, but the back cover sells your book. What’s the first thing you do once you’re hooked by a great looking book? You turn it over to find out more. While browsers spend 8 seconds looking over the front cover, they spend 15 seconds on the back. Doing what? Looking for a good reason to buy. Your back cover is where you clinch the sale or end up back on the shelf. It’s where you get your message across, tell readers what’s in it for them, differentiate your book from all the others, and establish yourself as the expert on your topic. Prospective buyers do judge your book by its cover—the whole cover. Let us know if you need a recommendation for a book cover writing expert. If you prefer everything under one roof, just let us know, and we’ll take care of this, pulling the team together and delivering your final product seamlessly.

If I want to self-publish, how do I get started?

We design covers for many self-publishers. Wherever you are in the development of your book — thinking, planning, writing, or producing — consider hiring a coach to support and guide you through the self-publishing maze. Be wary of charlatans and choose your coach wisely.

Self-publishing expert Dan Poynter has the knowledge to make your venture faster, easier, and more successful. Visit Dan’s website. It has hundreds of pages of information and free documents plus books, reports, and audios. We highly recommend Dan’s book, The Self-Publishing Manual, as a primer for working successfully with us.

If you are new to self-publishing, we also recommend that you join IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) for support in all aspects of independent publishing. Click here to learn more information about IBPA and to visit their website.

What about marketing my book?

Your Dunn+Associates cover design is your most valuable and important marketing tool. If you want to take an active role in marketing your books, we highly recommend John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. John consults in the areas of book marketing, publicity, direct marketing, pricing, and general planning for book publishers of all sizes as well as for individual authors. While most of John’s consulting is done over the phone, he also provides on-site consulting services. Learn more about John Kremer’s services here.