Welcome to my Frequently Asked Questions page. I’ve found certain questions come up a lot during the course of a design project and thought I’d head off some of them by answering the most common ones here. If I’ve failed to answer your particular question, feel free to shoot me an email from my Contact page.

~ Dara

#1. If I hire you to design my cover, what will the process be like?

My process usually goes something like this:

* A customer contacts me about their project.

* I email back a cover art form. It’s important the customer fill this form out completely, as this is how I learn what their characters look like and other bits of vital info.

* The customer returns the form to me and I get to work on the cover.

* Using the info they’ve supplied in the form, I create a mock-up (or first draft) of the cover and email it to the customer for feedback.

* If the customer approves the design as-is I finalize the cover and email it to them in several sizes.

* If the customer doesn’t like the design, they ask me either to make small changes to it or to toss it out altogether and come up with an entirely new design.  I’m happy to create two or three of these mock-ups until we come up with one the customer is pleased with. However, if the customer requests an excessive number of mock-ups (I’ve had people request as many as 11 in the past), there’s a possibility I’ll tack on an additional charge for that – but never without first discussing it with the customer.

* Once the customer finally has a cover they’re happy with, I shoot them an invoice and they send payment via PayPal or cheque. Then we’re all done.

#2. If I buy one of your covers, will I ever see ‘my’ cover on someone else’s book?

I create all my covers using non-exclusive images, which anyone has access to. So while it’s unlikely another artist will combine the images, fonts, and colors to design a cover identical to one of mine, I can’t guarantee no one else will ever use the same models or images to create something similar.

#3. Why did you pass on my project and can you recommend another designer who might take it on?

Because I already have a large customer base and my existing  customers are my first priority, whenever I find myself with a huge backlog of work I temporarily stop taking on new design projects. This isn’t personal, I simply don’t like to book myself too full, as my customers get impatient with long waits and so do I.

Another reason I may pass on a project is if I’m not confident I can fill the customer’s needs. Sometimes authors have an extremely elaborate idea of the scene they want depicted on their cover, what poses the characters should be in, which way their heads should be tilted, the exact design of their spacesuits or wizardly garb. And this is great, but if I suspect I’m not going to be able to find the right images to create the specific look they’re going for, I’d rather say so and let them move on to another designer, rather than disappoint them with something that isn’t what they envisioned at all. I also feel some ideas just don’t work well with photo manipulation and in those cases the author might do better to seek an illustrator.

Luckily, I know many excellent designers with room for new customers so feel free to shoot me an email any time for recommendations.

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