10 Ways to Make Your Cover Artist Love You

Yesterday I posted a blog “7 Ways to Irritate Your Cover Artist”, so today I want to look at the flip side and give you some tips to make your cover artist love you forever (or at the very least recommend you as a client.)

1. Do your homework. Most artists have a portfolio, so check it out and make sure that the artist you’re contacting actually does the kind of thing that you want them to do! Even better, if they have a FAQ, or a website that details the process, be sure to read it. This can save you both a lot of time. It cuts down on unnecessary emails, and it means fewer reworks for your artist – which may mean a cheaper cover for you!

2. Be up front. If you can’t pay them until you get your paycheck, or you can’t afford what they want to charge, then say so. Your cover artist is a human being, too, and chances are they’ll work with you. If not, then you should find someone who is a better fit before you’re committed.

3. If you know exactly what you want, then tell them! Some authors don’t know what they want for a cover, or have only a vague idea, but if you’re one who has an exact image in mind then share it! Use links, photos, drawings of stick people, long descriptions, whatever you think you need to get that exact image across. Your cover artist can’t read your mind, and saying, “A youngish male with brown hair” doesn’t automatically translate into a Zac Effron look alike to most people.

4. If you don’t, then provide lots of details. Nothing is more helpful, especially when you don’t know what you want, then to communicate the genre and the “feel” of your book. Is it a gritty thriller? A crime drama? A melancholy YA? All of should be rendered differently, and your cover will do a better job of expressing your book if your artist knows what you want expressed.

5. Answer their emails as promptly as possible. We all get busy. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get back to emails, but I make an effort to answer all “business” mail within 24 hours. You’re paying for the cover, so that makes it your business mail, too.

6. Be polite and courteous. If you don’t like what someone’s done, then discuss it in a reasonable and calm manner. There’s no reason to be angry or use abusive language. Something like that will get you blacklisted.

7. Show some amount of enthusiasm. You don’t need to leap over the table, or heap on hollow, gratuitous compliments, but you should be reasonably happy with the final product. If not, then you and the artist should have a long conversation, and if so, then it doesn’t hurt to say so.

8. Offer to pay for revisions. There’s a pretty good chance your artist will say no, but the fact that you offered is an acknowledgement that your artist’s time is just as valuable as yours. This is especially true for major revisions or redo’s.

9. Tell your artist that you got the file(s)!! I cannot stress this enough! You don’t need to be best friends; you don’t even need to chat with them if you don’t want to. A mail that just says, “I got it, thanks,” Gets the message across. If you don’t do this, you may get an email in a week asking to make sure you got the file(s).

10. Thank your artist for their work. Yes, you’ve paid them, but the word “Thank you,” can go a long way, and it doesn’t take anything away from you. Chances are, they’ve said “thank you” to you for the business.

I hope these tips have been helpful! And (you know it’s coming) should you be in the market for a book cover….. http://www.CoverArt.JoleeneNaylor.com .

5 thoughts on “10 Ways to Make Your Cover Artist Love You

  1. Ruth Ann Nordin August 1, 2010 / 8:51 pm

    I never thought of the “feel” of the book cover. I’ll have to keep that one in mind. It’s a good point too because a techno thriller and legal thriller would have a different feel, even if they are both thrillers. Great post. I’ll keep these in mind. 😉

    • Joleene Naylor August 18, 2010 / 8:27 am

      We’ve been twittered! 😀

      • Ruth Ann Nordin August 18, 2010 / 1:01 pm

        Ever since I added the Tweet button, the site has taken off. I didn’t realize Twitter was that important. LOL

  2. Joleene Naylor August 2, 2010 / 10:15 am

    Yeah, that can be really helpful! Though if someone sends a good synopsis, the feel will come through in it. Sometimes, as a writer, you don’t really think about things like that because you’re so focused on the story (I am so guilty of this!). but a good synopsis will usually demonstrate the feel of it.

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