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A Comprehensive Guide to Book Cover Design Cost

Current & Appropriate Rates for Book Cover Design

A Comprehensive Guide to Book Cover Design Cost

Current & Appropriate Rates for Book Cover Design

After months of drafting and redrafting your manuscript, you’re on the brink of publication! But just as you’re ready to share your story with the world, you realize you need a brilliant book cover that stops people in their tracks. But how much does a cool book cover design cost?

In this article we answer the question ‘How much does a book cover design cost?’


How Much Does a Book Cover Cost?

Book cover design costs can vary widely, ranging from $400 to $3000 and beyond. Many factors play a crucial role in determining the final fee for your unique book cover.

Keep reading to find out exactly what it’ll cost to get the perfect cover for your book.


A Breakdown of the Book Cover Design Cost

The purpose of this article is simple: to provide you with a detailed overview of the current industry-standard book cover design rates. By doing so, you’ll be able to offer a professional cover designer a competitive rate, budget effectively, and spend with confidence, ensuring you’re making a sound investment in the future success of your book.

Here’s what true professionals are receiving from their traditional publishing clients:

*All budgets are listed as ranges. Specific factors defining the scope of work will affect a designer’s final fee.

Large, Commercial, and “Big 5” Publishing Houses

$1,800 – $3,000+ USD

Medium-Sized Commercial Publishers

$1,200 – $2,000+ USD

American University Presses

$500 – $1,200+ USD

Small Presses

$500 – $1,000+ USD

Nonprofit presses and small poetry houses

$400 – $800+ USD

If the higher-end figures seem daunting, don’t flinch. It’s important to stick within a budget you’re comfortable with.

However, if you’re excited by the idea of having a design that matches the high artistic caliber of books by acclaimed authors like Michael Lewis, Colleen Hoover, or Stephen King, it’s important to understand that tapping into the creativity of top-tier designers come with a price tag reflective of their high-quality work and expertise. Offering them a rate that compares to what they receive from similar clients respects their craft and ensures that you’re getting a cover that stands out in the crowded market.

Sounds fair, right? By setting realistic expectations and understanding the value behind the book cover design cost, you can make informed decisions that elevate your book’s appeal and potential success.

If you end up working with a freelancer who is early in their career or with a designer who is not regularly designing for the largest publishing houses, you should feel comfortable negotiating for a rate on the lower end.

Make sure that you check someone’s client list and portfolio carefully when settling on a fair fee. Double-check that the work in someone’s portfolio has actually been published and is not student work. For more advice, we highly recommend reading this excerpt from the informative book The Design of Books.


The Importance of a Great Book Cover: Beyond Aesthetics

The influence of a book’s cover on its sales potential cannot be overstated. A study highlighted on 99designs revealed that books with redesigned covers saw a 51% increase in clicks compared to their original designs, with some experiencing a surge as high as 122%. This dramatic uplift in engagement underscores the powerful role that a visually compelling cover plays in attracting potential readers and boosting sales, confirming the critical importance of investing in professional book cover design.


Exploring Book Cover Design Options: A Comparative Look

Have you been asking yourself, “Should I design my own book cover?”

If so, here are some things to consider before going down that road.

  • DIY Using Tools Like Canva:
    • Pros: Cost-effective, full creative control.
    • Cons: Will lack professional finesse, certainly impacting sales.
  • Book Cover Templates:
    • Pros: Affordable.
    • Cons: These lack originality and you can’t always guarantee exclusivity when buying a book cover template. Your book will not stand out in a competitive market.
  • Hiring a Professional Designer:
    • Pros: Custom, professional design that captures the unique essence of the book.
    • Cons: Higher investment, but with the promise of unparalleled quality.

What to Look for When Hiring a Book Cover Designer?

Selecting the right designer for your book cover is a pivotal decision. Look for a portfolio that resonates with your vision, ask for testimonials that speak to the designer’s professionalism, and seek a willingness to communicate effectively throughout the design process.

At INeedABookCover, we’ve curated an exclusive selection of top-tier designers right here and facilitated a Jobs Board here to streamline your journey from a concept to a captivating cover. Because when it comes to telling your story, only the best will do.

Investing in a professional book cover is not merely a transaction; it’s a commitment to your book’s potential and its reception in the literary world. The cost of book cover design is a reflection of skill, dedication, and the transformative power of art. At INeedABookCover, we understand the value of your narrative and offer a gateway to designers who do the same. Because in the end, you truly get what you pay for—a cover that speaks volumes before the first page is turned.


Investing in a professional book cover is not merely a transaction; it’s a commitment to your book’s potential and its reception in the literary world. The book cover design cost is a reflection of skill, dedication, and the transformative power of art. At INeedABookCover, we understand the value of your narrative and offer a gateway to designers who do the same. Because in the end, you truly get what you pay for—a cover that speaks volumes before the first page is turned.


For more information on Book Cover Design Cost

For more insights into book cover design cost and its impact on your book’s success, we highly recommend starting with this enlightening article by Micaela Alcaino. It delves into the pivotal role that book covers play in book sales and eloquently discusses why talented artists rightfully deserve fair compensation for their craft. Following that, enhance your understanding by watching this informative video on how to be a solid client in the design process. Together, these resources will equip you with the knowledge and perspective needed to navigate the world of book cover design effectively.

*This article was written with US design budgets in mind. Budgets in other countries may differ.

*This article relates to designed book covers. Jackets with custom illustrations have different budgets. More information about custom illustrated jackets is <COMING SOON>


This article is part of the Jobs Board Series, informational guides aimed at non-creatives seeking direction on how best to approach, communicate, and work with a professional book cover designer.
Blog post cover illustration by Lauren Hall

Article written by Caitlin Christensen

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