First time here? Watch this video! | The Jobs Board is up and running! | If you need a book interior laid out, visit | Visit our Blog for tips on self publishing

How to Most Effectively Use This Website to Find Your Next Cover Designer

If you’ve been searching for a professional book cover designer, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Most Effectively Use This Website to Find Your Next Cover Designer

If you’ve been searching for a professional book cover designer, you’ve come to the right place.

You’ve Got Two Options:

Option 1 is fast, easy, and $99. Use The Jobs Board. This effective, time-saving solution lets visitors pay to post a creative brief on our exclusive Jobs Board, thus spreading the word about your project with 400+ designers simultaneously. This eliminates the task of individually emailing designers. Instead, available designers will email YOU within days.

To begin using The Jobs Board, click here.

Not sure if the Jobs Board is right for you? Watch this two-minute explainer video.

Option 2 is our free alternative. Our other option requires visitors to browse the site independently and to reach out to cover designers individually via email, pitching your project. This method requires more time and effort but doesn’t cost a thing!

If you’re going with this option, follow the steps below OR, you can watch this explainer video for a 3-minute walk-through!

Short-n-sweet instructions:

  • Browse the 3,000+ covers displayed.
  • Flag a bunch of designs that you like.
  • Find out who designed your favorite covers and visit the personal portfolio sites of those designers.
  • Assess their portfolios and work experience. If you admire enough of someone’s portfolio then that’s a good reason to hire them!
  • Contact each designer directly using the contact info provided on their individual portfolio site.
  • Tell them about your book and inquire about their availability and fees
  • Do not contact INABC trying to get in touch with a specific designer.

Repeat until you’ve found a match!

Extra Tips: 

  1. Make sure that you’re looking at covers from the same genre as your own book. If you’ve written a romance novel, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire Joe Shmo because you love his nonfiction business books. Instead, make sure you’re choosing someone who has designed at least a few romance covers that you like!
  2. Be prepared to contact a few different people. Just because someone is listed on this site does not mean that they are available for hire. Our database is a collection of absolute pros that are constantly working and quite busy. Some designers are full-time freelancers. Others work full-time in-house for a major publisher and only accept a limited number of freelance projects. You might be turned down a few times before you find someone who is able to work within your budget and timeline. 
    *Heads up: Some designers listed on this site do not take on freelance work at all. Others do not take on clients apart from presses or publishers. In the event that a designer specifically does not work with a self-publishing author, they usually mention this on their contact page.
  3.  If you’ve fallen in love with a specific designer’s work but discover that they live in a different country, don’t be dismayed—hiring someone overseas is usually not a problem. 
  4. When you reach out to a designer, they will be more likely to work with you if you are able to give them certain information upfront. Every designer works slightly differently, but below are the key items you should have prepared when hiring any book cover designer. Sending this information in your initial email will save you some time AND spark interest in your project!

What items will a designer need from me to design my cover?

Your cover designer will need a Creative Brief. Below is a list of the items that make up a proper Creative Brief. More more information on this topic, click here.

  • All of the text you want to see displayed on your cover.
  • The trim size: The exact dimensions (height & width) of your front cover.
  • Reading material: This could be the full manuscript, a few sample chapters, or a book proposal/summary.
  • Cover Comps: Five or more covers that exemplify the look & feel you want to capture on your own cover. In a few words, explain what it is that you like about each of these designs (maybe it’s “the title font” or “how the face is obscured by other shapes”) so the designer knows what to pay attention to in each design and what they can ignore. Cover designers will never straight-up copy another person’s design (!) but it’s helpful for us to get a sense of your likes and dislikes. The cover comps are also important to ensure that the person you’ve chosen is truly the right designer for the job. I have turned down projects and sent clients elsewhere if their cover comps don’t match the type of work I do. More info here.
  • A few key words. Do you want this cover to be loud or quiet? Bold or soft? Playful or scientific? Colorful or muted? Nailing down the tone in a few distinctive words is helpful.
  • Things to avoid. Is there anything that the designer should avoid?
  • Your stock imagery budget. This will affect where the designer looks for imagery and how many images they can use in a single design. More info here.
  • Your project budget. Each cover designer’s rate varies, and like everything else, a designer’s rate slowly increases over time. If you have a tight budget, you may need to contact a few different designers before you find someone who works within your budget. More info here.

Good luck!

*blog illustration by Lauren Hall

Template is not defined.
Template is not defined.
Template is not defined.
Template is not defined.
Template is not defined.
Template is not defined.
I Need a Book Cover Logo
Need a book interior?

Job Alerts

Sign up to get notifications about cover jobs posted on INABC.



Join our mailing list to receive a monthly summary highlighting recent cover uploads and blog posts.