FAQs for Graphic Design Services

I’ve compiled a list of questions that I get asked frequently. If you have any questions that I haven’t answered or you’d like a more in-depth answer to please use the form below.

Last updated on 04/09/2019

Q: How does this work?

  1. After you decided upon the services you want and place an order, I’ll send a questionnaire for you to fill out which will help me understand your needs better. Once you answer the questions and send it back to me, I may do a few follow up questions and I will let you know when I can schedule in your design project.
  2. On or around the starting date I gave you, I will start concepts for your design. For a cover design, I will start off with the front/eBook cover. I provide at least 2 first drafts/concepts upfront. Please be aware that unless you provide the images, anything I create at this stage will have the watermark of the stock image provider on it. Once we decide upon the design you want, I will ask you to purchase the images and I will create the cover design of your choice.
    • If one concept is headed in the right direction, we will work on improving that until you are 100% satisfied with the result.
    • If none of the original concepts I send work for you, I will ask for feedback on what you liked and didn’t like before working on new ones. If we need to make more than 3-4 rounds of completely different new concepts, something is wrong and refund or serious rethink is needed. At any point, you can request a refund if the design will not be used. 
  3. Once you have selected a concept to move forward with, I will ask you to purchase the images needed for your design. At this point, any earlier concepts are “off the table” and no longer available to be used. If you decide to continue with an earlier draft after it has been rejected, the later draft designs will be charged for at a separate fee of at least 50% of the value of the normal design fee.
  4. After you decide to go with one of the concepts, I will make as many changes as necessary to the design, within reason. I want you to be happy with the final product, but if I can see that no matter what changes I do, or if I just cannot do what you are looking for and it’s not going to be satisfactory, I reserve the right to cancel the project and refund all fees you have paid up to that point.
  5. Upon finalization of your project, I will send an itemized PayPal invoice (for tax and reference purposes) that will need to be paid before I release the final design files to you. You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay the invoice.

Q: Do I really get unlimited revisions?

Within reason, yes. I want you to be happy with the design I create for you and will keep designing until you are. I will not charge you extra fees if you want reasonable changes because I think this is unfair to you. But I also know from experience that there comes a time when I have to say enough. If we’re on round 5+ for revisions, then we really need to discuss what it is about the design that is bothering you. It’s possible that there is a miscommunication between us on what needs to be done, or possibly I’m not the book cover designer for you and you would be happier with someone else.

Q: What are reasonable changes?

The following are considered reasonable changes:

  • Changes that do not substantially alter the approved concept and,
  • Are within the original brief and,
  • Can be done through the use of existing stock imagery,
  • Do not constitute a completely new cover design
  • Usually these changes consist of tweaking certain individual elements of the cover, changing colors, moving elements, changing text placement and/or fonts, and resizing.

Q: When should I book you?

To be absolutely safe, I would suggest scheduling your project 2-4 months in advanced of your deadline. You can book 6 months in advance as well if you prefer it. I don’t ask for a deposit until and you can cancel any time before the actual scheduled date.

Q: I need a design by tomorrow, can you start right away?

Maybe, but I won’t. I’m not interested in rushing a design or working late into the night. Great designs, or even a decent one, take time. I need to go through the information you sent me, plan the look of the design, search through stock-photography sites looking for the best images to fit your concept, and then there is the removal of unneeded parts, blending, painting, fading, and manipulation of the image to make it work. That alone will take me days to accomplish. When you add projects I’m currently working on, clients on my list waiting for their designs, a family and ranch to take care of, and it’s impossible.

Q: Do you have a wait list I can get on?

I have a cancellation list. This means that you can give me a tentative date for when you would like to be scheduled and if I can move you to an earlier slot, I will do so.

Q: Can I cancel an appointment with you?

Yes, you can. As long as we haven’t started working on the cover. But I would prefer it if you would let me know in advance so I can give away the dates. (You can read more about Cancellations in my Terms of Service.)

Q: Do I really need to buy my own images for my book cover design? Other designers don’t do this?

No, you don’t have to do anything, and I’m well aware that other designers don’t do this. However, it is something I require if you want me to design your cover for several practical, legal, and licensing reasons that I have stated in this article.

Q: What is a stock image?

Stock images are pre-taken images by photographers for no specific project. They are sold at low-cost to people who need them worldwide. The common pitfall is that these images can be re-used and you run the risk of having the same image on your cover on another books. I try to circumvent this through photo-manipulation and blending for a unique look.

Q: Do I have to use stock images? Can’t you draw my cover?

No, you don’t have to use them. You may purchase the license for the pictures from an illustrator, draw your own pictures, or take your own photos and send them to me to use on your cover.  I don’t do illustrated covers that I have to draw from scratch. I can use illustrated stock images for some illustrated covers but most of the time I recommend a traditional illustrator for these cases.

Please be aware, if you send me an image that you don’t have the right to use, I will not be held liable if the creator comes after you. That is why I use reputable stock-photography providers for all my covers.

Q: May I work with my stock image provider?

You are welcome to work with any stock image provider you wish. You can also find a list of stock-image providers here.

Q: Can you create a print cover from an eBook cover?

If I created the eBook cover design, then absolutely. If another designer created the eBook cover then you may have to speak to that designer. Some designers place limitations on others creating print covers from their eBook cover designs. Other times they don’t, but the eBook image is too small to work with and enlarging it creates fuzzy, pixellated front covers. I may have to  I have to design a completely different cover so as not to infringe on the rights of the designer.

Q: Are you able to design the print cover without a final page count or the back blurb, then fine-tune it once I have the information?

Absolutely. I can get started on your cover design and complete the print cover when you have the information I need.

Q: I like your designs but I don’t see an example of the same genre as my book. How do I know you can design what I want?

I design for lots of different genres, and am always adding new ones to my portfolio of work. I love designing for new genres so I am sure I can make a book cover you’ll love. If you don’t like the design, I will change it or re-design until you are happy.

Q: Do you charge royalties for your designs?

Nope! I’d never heard of a designer doing this before someone asked and I looked it up. If you do find a designer who charges royalties for a design, I would suggest looking for a new designer.

Q: What can I do with the cover?

You can use it for any promotional purpose as long as no one takes the credit for the cover design and you don’t directly change the cover (like the colors, or change the font of the text, etc). If you want the ability to change the cover, I do charge for the layered design files.

If the cover features photography or artwork by someone else, then you are bound by the terms of use or licensing on the stock imagery you purchased for the design. You may not be able to do some things with it depending on how the image is licensed.

Q: Why are your prices so expensive?

Actually, they aren’t. But you are welcome to look elsewhere for a designer. Or create your own covers. There are several places where you can get templates, and both paint.net and GIMP offer picture editing programs you can  download for free.

Q: How does payment work? Can I use a check? Do I have to pay it all up front, or can I just pay you when it’s all done?

I accept payment through the PayPal invoice I send you or through personal/business check. I prefer that the total cost be paid upon finalization of the design but I understand that that isn’t always possible and I offer a payment plan. However, 100% of the balance must be paid before the release of the final design.

Q: What if I can’t afford to pay right now? Do you do free or reduced designs?

I’m sorry. I can’t reduce my prices anymore. My family needs to eat and my bills need to be paid. However, I will occasionally consider a trade of services for a design if you like to discuss it with me. Otherwise, my suggestion would be to wait until you can pay for it, choose another designer, or create your own.

Q: Do I have to sign any non-disclosure agreements, privacy documents, or contracts?

Nope. I do provide a Terms of Service, which you should read.

Q: Should I credit you on my book’s copyright page?

Though not required, if you would like to add a credit line for the book design inside your book, I would greatly appreciate it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, something simple like:

Cover Design by Stephannie Beman at stephanniebeman.com

Please do not add my name as a contributor/illustrator to your book when uploading it to places like Amazon, it really messes with things.

Q: Do you require all designs be added to your online portfolio?

I love to show off my work and I reserve the right to use approved designs in my portfolios, but I’m not required to add a design to my online portfolio. I use the design only for the marketing  purposes. If you would prefer that your design not be added or added after a specific date I will certainly consider your wishes.

Q: I really want to get my book out, but I have no clue about self-publishing, can you help me?

Certainly.  I work with authors from all over the world so am very familiar with the various publishing methods, from Kindle ebooks to POD (print-on-demand), I can advise you which route to take (no charge). Just drop me a line.

My Question is not here…

Sorry to hear that. Please you may refer to my terms of service, use the contact form below, or email your question directly to me,  and I’ll answer it.

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