In-House vs. Third Party Illustrators for Book Covers

Children’s authors already know the importance of a great graphic artists, but even authors who write for older audiences need to understand the importance of a great artist and how to find one. While your book may not be filled with graphics, there is one image that can make or break your book’s success — your cover.

A great graphic artist will help you great a custom book cover that catches readers’ attention, demonstrates your professionalism as an author, and represents the essence of your book. By using a generic cover or a poorly created one, you may send your readers a negative message about your work and they may be less intrigued to buy and read it. Because a graphic artist is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy one.

Before hiring a graphic artist, understand that there are two types of custom covers:

1)      A custom cover –created by a professional graphic artist

2)      An illustrated custom cover – The illustration is created by a professional illustrator and then that illustration is used in a custom cover design created by the professional graphic artist.

It is helpful to know which type of cover you’d like for your book before hiring a graphic artist. Another important decision is whether to use a third party graphic artist or an in-house graphic artist. Using a third party artist can be more expensive and complicated to work with.

It is important to know . . .

  • Some third-party graphic artists require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates an ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for the service.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the artist beginning work.
  • The graphic artist needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the graphic artist to provide high-resolution image files, not just hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party graphic artist, you could hire an artist through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring a graphic artist from your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

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