7 Ways to Irritate Your Cover Artist

(I was going to post an entry that actually had to do with writing, but I thought that this might be more useful.)

You’ve written your “perfect” book. You’ve researched all your options. You’ve chosen to self publish and you’ve even formatted your manuscript, but there’s something missing.

The Cover.

Whatever your reason, you’ve decided to hire someone to create the “perfect” cover for your book.  So, now that you’ve picked them, here are seven sure fire ways to make them mad, or at the very least irritate them.

1. Mail more than one artist at a time. This is the same as saying, “hello, I’m playing the cover artist lotto and the first one who answers me gets it!”. If you can’t take the time to check the artists’ portfolios and choose the one who does the kind of work you want, then why should they take the time to bother with you?

2. Continually repeat something. Example: “Make it look realistic. I want it realistic. It should look realistic. Make sure it is as realistic as possible. Draw this as realistic as you can.” Annoying, isn’t it? Guess what, your cover artist thinks so too. It’s one thing to say this (once) in reply to a rough draft/sample, etc, but to randomly harassment them, or put it in your initial emal(s) more than once is going to irritate them. They got it already. If you don’t think they’re smart enough to grasp it, or talented enough to do what you want, then don’t hire them.

3. Harassment mail. It’s a pretty safe bet that your cover artist does this on the side. They probably have a real job, children, a house to clean, and many other things to do. Most artists will be very up front with you about how long it’s going to take to get the work done, and mailing them every hour isn’t going to speed the process up, only slow it down as they now have to take time to answer your each and every mail. No one harassed you when you wrote the book, so don’t harass them for the cover or they may rush it to shut you up and you’ll end up with a crappy product.

4. Change your mind repeatedly. Example: “I want a woman on the cover… Oh. Now that I see the woman, I don’t like it. What about a cat?… Oh, you know, I don’t like that now. What if we do something completely different? I’m thinking a tank!” There’s nothing wrong with wanting a small change after you see your cover; sometimes things don’t look as well in execution as you think they will, but to keep making the artist redo it is annoying, and they may very well tell you no.

5. Suddenly disappear. Life happens, and an emergency may prevent you from concluding your business, but to just drop out of the world or – even worse – suddenly block their email address just because you changed your mind and want to hire someone else, is rude. Be honest. Say you’ve hired someone else, or that you’ve decided not to publish your book, or that something has come up and you need to put the project on hold.  It only takes a moment.

6. Don’t answer your final mail. I’m talking about that final mail, after you’ve agreed you like the cover, everything is prefect, and they send you the files – and then the crickets chirp in their inbox for a week or more.  Maybe it’s because you can’t pay them right away, if that’s the case then send them a note back that says, “Thanks. Got it. will pay you —-.” That’s all you need to say, otherwise it leaves your cover artist with the impression that you didn’t get the mail or the files. They didn’t leave you hanging, so don’t leave them hanging.

7. Take advantage of your cover artist. Maybe you got lucky and found someone to do your cover for free, or maybe it’s just that you expect them to do multiple redos or multiple versions for the price of a single cover. Either way, if they’re willing to do this you should thank them instead of criticizing and continuing to expect more and more. It’s just plain rude, and it makes them less likely to help you, or anyone else, in the future.

Look for the next post – “10 Ways to Make Your Cover Artist Love You.” coming soon.

2 thoughts on “7 Ways to Irritate Your Cover Artist

  1. Ruth Ann Nordin August 1, 2010 / 8:28 pm

    Everything in the list is annoying. How awful to put up with this kind of stuff. 😦

    1. People are lazy, and this is ultimately a waste of the artist’s time.

    2. Tacky. I hate it when people do this. It’s like they think you’re a moron.

    3. Just plain annoying. We are all busy, and people should respect that artist’s have a personal life. Plus, a good cover takes time, just like the author didn’t write the book overnight.

    4. This would make me pull my hair out. If someone changes their mind, they should offer money to compensate the artist for the work already done.

    5. This is downright rude.

    6. I hope I didn’t do this. I answer so many emails in a day and worry I missed one or two. One person had emailed me two months ago and I just found it last week. I felt so awful and apologized but I still feel bad about it.

    7. Where’s my frying pan? I need to knock some sense into people.

    • Joleene Naylor August 2, 2010 / 10:18 am

      Ha ha! No, you’re the poster child for the next post, actually 😉

      The worst is when they get the work for free and then do the other things on the list too! That’s when I snap! Sadly, I snap internally, use some of those choice words, and then just ignore their email for a few days because I can’t bring myself to be rude, even though they’re driving me insane.

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