Familiar with the process? Here’s the rest of the fine print:
Pre-made Cover Art
Once your payment is made, I will customize the title and author name, and make any font changes at that time. There is one round of revision covered in the fee in which I will make any corrections. If you want excessive custom work done (changing the models’ hair color, changing some of the elements), you are best ordering a custom cover because alteration fees will be charged.
You can order a pre-made cover any time, including for a project in progress or not started, even if you don’t have a title. Once purchased, I will hold the work and you can send me the title and info whenever you have decided upon it.
The various bundles and service tiers are fairly clearly laid out so you know what to expect from me and what will work with your budget.
Clients have the final say on artwork and have a strong voice in the process. If you’re purchasing custom cover art, after your down payment you’ll receive access to my cover art questionnaire for your input (and I will check in and ensure you’ve received it). All cover art and other designs are done using stock photos and in Photoshop. I no longer do art using 3D programs (with the exception of the occasional background image if I’m unable to find something suitable), so I am not the best choice for those types of covers.
Visual design is a back and forth process. My cover questionnaires ask for a lot of information, so you can provide detail about colors, images, overall feel/look, and samples of other work that you like. I often provide sample designs with watermarked images I haven’t bought yet to get your thoughts before delving right into the design. I do not just randomly design something and start charging for revisions.
While I understand wanting to get cover feedback from close friends or family, which is fine, I do not design by committee and ask that clients do not share drafts publicly or on forums for soliciting feedback. If you ask dozens if not hundreds of people for feedback, you will get dozens if not hundreds of different opinions, and that can negatively affect the design process. Talk to me if you’re unsure about a design and we can figure out what will make it work.
The list of books I’ve worked on, what editing I offer, and what to expect, can all be found here.
Please send your manuscript in doc, docx, or rtf format laid out exactly as you would like it to appear, including the dedication, about the author, bibliography, etc. For ebook formatting, I also need a large size of the cover art.
If you don’t have a copyright page, I can use my own template, but I’ll need your name as it should appear, the cover artist’s name, the ISBN if you have one, and any other details (have a look at published books to see what they include).
Revisions to Completed Projects & Additional Rounds of Changes
The number of revisions rounds I do on cover art projects are listed with each product in the shop. For interior formatting, one round of revision is included to correct anything I might’ve missed or a handful of typos. For ebook formatting, the only corrections I will make are to any issues with the files on my end.
Please send your absolute final drafts for formatting. I understand the likeliest way to find a typo is to get the book formatted and printed and suddenly find them, and I understand you want your very best work out there, but remaking the files over and over takes time away from my other clients. Changes to ebook files mean you have to re-book an ebook formatting services. Excessive typo correction to interior formatting or more rounds of revision for cover art will require an alteration fee added on.
If you want additional rounds of changes to covers or for changes to be made at any point after the work is finalized, that will be covered by my alteration fee as well.
My base hourly rate is $40/hr, billed in fifteen-minute increments with a minimum of half an hour. So if you need revisions to a completed project or after your max number of revisions, it’s a minimum half hour each time; if it takes forty-five minutes, that would be $30; if it takes an hour and a half, that’s $60, etc.
If you need smaller projects (like ebook formatting, teasers, or banners) turned around within forty-eight hours, there is a $50 rush charge. For mid-sized, like interior formatting, it’s $100 for a turn around time of three days.
If you need a cover art project turned around within ten business days, there is a $250 rush charge.
If you need something altered or done during holidays (like my listed Christmas vacation), there is a $35/hr surcharge on top of my usual hourly rates unless we have made previous arrangements.
If you have a particular budget in mind, please keep this in mind before booking services. I am never able to go below what is already quoted on the site and I do not make exceptions–I am cognizant of the costs involved in self-publishing however I do need to keep my own lights on and cats fed, and do not negotiate my prices.
To get the most “bang for your buck”, be clear about what you want going into the project and remember that changing your mind late in the process will increase the cost. Please pick up my guide–it’s free!–to familiarize yourself with self-publishing terms, processes, and how to format your manuscripts.
All sales are final. Flat fees and down payments are non-refundable unless I am unable to complete the work due to act of God or my cats eating me in my sleep. This policy applies to everyone; in order to check out, you much confirm that you’ve read my ToS, and you are not exempt from it because you didn’t read what you were agreeing to. If you change your mind about a service and no work has been started by me yet, you may apply that down payment or fee toward another service.
Once designs have been decided upon, formatting is complete, or edits are done, I will invoice for the final amount owed, less the down payment. The invoice contains a breakdown of the cost if multiple services were ordered, or by hours if editing was ordered. Final payment is to be made by PayPal in USD (or e-interact transfer for Canadians).
Unless we’ve worked together several times in the past, I will not start work without a down payment in place. If this is a problem, I am not the right designer for you and wish you the best of luck elsewhere.
By contracting me, you are agreeing to my ToS and paying your full final invoice in a timely manner. Unless I am unable to complete the work and we mutually agree to cancel the contract and what the partial fee is, you agree to pay all fees associated with contracting me if you choose to cancel after work has already been started.
Late payments: Given that this is how I make my living, invoices must be paid within five business days of when they’re sent. After that time, a 5%/day late fee will apply. This means that if your bill is $100 and you are three days late, that’s an additional $15 owed; five days late, and that’s an additional $25 owed. I strongly dislike doing this but, again, late payments mean I can’t pay my bills, which does not go over well with my landlord. There are price ranges listed for all my services–even hourly-based things like editing have averages listed–so please do not book work if you can’t pay in a timely manner.
I understand there can be extenuating circumstances. If we’ve worked together several times in the past and you’ve always paid on time, please let me know if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation when your work is delivered. I am happy to work out a payment plan with you. This is offered ONLY to long-time clients in good standing.
All design is copyright Skyla Dawn Cameron. Individual photos used are copyright the photographers and used in accordance to the rights from third-party vendors. Until you have paid the final invoice for your cover, you may not use the design in any way, commercial or non-commercial.
After you have paid for a book cover, you are free to use it for ONE title (ebook, print, etc, at long as it’s the same book) and on advertising material (bookmarks, etc), however please credit either Skyla Dawn Cameron or Indigo Chick Designs where applicable (such as a copyright page in a published book). Depending on the photographer, you might be required to credit them as well, and I will discuss this with you if that’s the case.
You may not reuse it on other books, even sequels. If you need sequel book covers, you must purchase them. Slapping another title over my design to reuse the same cover again and again is in violation of not only my rights but quite often those of the photographers whose photos have been licensed. If you would like to reuse a cover for a bundle release, contact me. (This isn’t merely my own policy; often the stock photos used on covers are typically licensed for ONE title, and reusing it requires re-buying the image.)
Buying a cover does not transfer the copyright to you. All designs/layouts are copyright Skyla Dawn Cameron and all photographs are copyright to their prospective photographers. Covers cannot be used without paying for them. If you would like the layered PSD cover file to give to another designer to create sequels based on my work, there is an additional fee. It’s bad form to have another designer copy someone’s design exactly: I have been asked in the past to copy exactly someone else’s premade cover for a potential client and I have refused. Please do not ask designers to do this.
If a third party would like to license your cover art for additional publications, please contact me about pricing.
You may use your cover on promotional materials–bookmarks, posters, etc.
I retain the rights to my designs, unless you wish to specifically purchase it.
I retain the right to display all covers and designs in my portfolio, including but not limited to my website, Facebook page, and Pinterest. I respect your promotional plans and will strive not to share your cover until you’ve made it public.
I retain the right to decline clients. If you have previously violated my ToS, been late with payments, or sent harassing messages, I may choose not to work with you in the future and you will be banned from my shop.
Statement on AI
Although some sites, like Shutterstock, now offer AI-generated “stock”, I have not and will not use this in my cover designs, nor will I use other generators like Firefly, DALL-E, Midjourney, etc.
Why? The simplest explanation is that I believe we’re all in this together in the arts and we owe it to ourselves and our community to spend our dollars on the work by other humans. The stock I buy pays photographers, who in turn pay models; Daz/Poser-made images also employ designers creating textures and other elements. Ethically, I do not think it’s right to cut the human elements out of the process so for me, no, AI-generated images are not just another “tool”.
What’s more, there are questions about how ethically sourced the training data is for these programs, and there is exploited human labour doing the training itself. From all angles, this is morally wrong to me.
I can guarantee at no point will any of my covers will intentionally include AI-generated images. There remains a chance bad actors might generate “photographs”, not label them as AI, and then upload them like normal photos. I take as many precautions as I can to ensure photos are created by humans, but errors happen. In the event I learn a photo from a cover turned out to be AI-generated, I will disclose this to the author as soon as possible.
As well, I will not work on books using AI-generated text. If you write your book using Sudowrite, for example, please do not give it to me to edit. Do not ask me to create a cover for it. I want no part of it.
Turn Around Times
Always plan for delivery to be on the longer estimate of the turn around times I list here and on the product pages. If I say 2 – 8 weeks, for example, it’ll likely be in the middle range but plan for the 8 just in case. And if I’m not able to start work for two weeks (example), that period is not factored into the turn around time.
I give those estimates because my workload varies from month to month and I usually have anywhere from 6 – 12 clients–sometimes with a couple of projects each–at any given time. I endeavor to deliver things sooner than needed, however illnesses and emergencies happen. If the date you require something is sooner than the date range I give, you are welcome to contact me about adding a rush charge to your order.
If I think a project might be late, or if I need clarification, I will contact you about it. You are welcome to check in with me before the estimated turn around time is up, but please note that I work normal business hours, and my time is best spent working on projects rather than talking about work on projects. During particularly busy periods of time, it may take me a few days to get back to you.
Please inquire if you are interested in a service not listed here. Occasionally I do flyers for businesses and other types of designs. Flyers are $100; other designs are based on my hourly rate of $40/hr, typically falling in the $80 – $120 range.
When you use PayPal, I will have access to your real name and often your address/phone number or whatever you have on file. I do NOT share that information with anyone. I display pen names only for the list of manuscripts I’ve edited and never, ever reveal real names. I will also never share your email address with anyone; if we decide I’m not the right person for you, I will point you to some other options but it is up to you to contact those other people.
Final notes: I will not work on covers you already have another designer contracted for. If you decide to go in another direction with a cover, please sever your contract with the existing designer working on the cover before hiring me. This does not apply to different covers–you are not required to work with me exclusively, obviously. But it’s unprofessional and bad form to have two people working on the same cover at the same time. I am upfront about my terms, turn around times, and rights; I expect clients to be upfront with me as well.
Many photographers have limitations on their stock that prohibit use for certain material, such as illegal, pornographic, or immoral purposes. Please keep this in mind. As well, I won’t design covers for work that is blatantly racist, homophobic, misogynistic, transphobic, or otherwise hateful.
You must be eighteen or over to contract my services; I will not work with minors on their own. If you’re a parent whose minor wants to hire me as a cover artist or editor, contact me and we can discuss whether I’ll be a good fit, but understand my contract and payment terms will be with you and not with your child.
Updated May 2023