Poll

Who designs most/all of your covers, and coincidentally how much do you make self-publishing?

Big-name designer, custom design, $85k+ monthly
Big-name designer, custom design, $21k+ monthly
Big-name designer, custom design, $8500+ monthly
Big-name designer, custom design, $4200+ monthly
Big-name designer, custom design, under $4200 monthly
Big-name designer, pre-made, $85k+ monthly
Big-name designer, pre-made, $21k+ monthly
Big-name designer, pre-made, $8500+ monthly
Big-name designer, pre-made, $4200+ monthly
Big-name designer, pre-made, under $4200 monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, custom design, $85k+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, custom design, $21k+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, custom design, $8500+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, custom design, $4200+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, custom design, under $4200 monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, pre-made, $85k+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, pre-made, $21k+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, pre-made, $8500+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, pre-made, $4200+ monthly
Moderately priced, not-quite-as-well-known designer, pre-made, under $4200 monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, $85k+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, $21k+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, $8500+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, $4200+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, under $4200 monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, pre-made, $85k+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, pre-made, $21k+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, pre-made, $8500+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, pre-made, $4200+ monthly
Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, pre-made, under $4200 monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, custom design, $85k+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, custom design, $21k+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, custom design, $8500+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, custom design, $4200+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, custom design, under $4200 monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, pre-made, $85k+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, pre-made, $21k+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, pre-made, $8500+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, pre-made, $4200+ monthly
Bargain basement, basic designer I found on the web, pre-made, under $4200 monthly
Close friend/family member designer, $85k+ monthly
Close friend/family member designer, $21k+ monthly
Close friend/family member designer, $8500+ monthly
Close friend/family member designer, $4200+ monthly
Close friend/family member designer, under $4200 monthly
I design my own, $85k+ monthly
I design my own, $21k+ monthly
I design my own, $8500+ monthly
I design my own, $4200+ monthly
I design my own, under $4200 monthly

Author Topic: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income  (Read 1036 times)  

Online Corvid

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POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:37:55 am »
Who designs most/all of your covers? What kind of covers do you typically purchase (custom, pre-made)? And, how much do you earn as an author each month on average?

Remember, your vote is anonymous - so please feel free to be honest. Besides, there's no shame in earning less than $4200/month in this business. That's most of us. The more honest your answer, the better the poll.

Thanks for voting.  8)


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    Online Indiecognito

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #1 on: August 10, 2020, 10:01:23 am »
    Nothing to do with that, but if I made $85,000+ monthly, I would lose my mind.

    I make a good living (five figures a month) as an author. But not THAT good.  :) MUST...WRITE...MORE...BOOKS.
    « Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 10:58:38 am by Indiecognito »

    Online Carol Davis

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #2 on: August 10, 2020, 10:29:49 am »
    I'd hazard a guess that very few people on this forum make (or could even dream of making) $4200 a month, so I have to ask: What made you pick those income levels???? They're kind of... insane.







    Offline Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #3 on: August 10, 2020, 12:05:24 pm »
    The poll doesn't allow us to choose two options. I've sometimes been this one:

    Largely unknown, best-kept-secret designer, custom design, $8500+ monthly

    And other times been this one:

    I design my own, $21k+ monthly


    A professional designer is obviously more likely than the average person to create an attractive cover, one that also appropriately signals tone and genre. So an author who's not prepared to invest lots of time in learning design is usually best off hiring someone who already has that experience.

    Still, design is a skill like any other and can be learned and practiced if an author truly wants to put the effort in. Just realize that the same principles that apply to writing apply to cover design: early efforts are rarely good, and the creator is often too close to the work to accurately judge it. Plan to invest learning, practice, and care on covers.

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 01:35:42 pm »
    What is the point of this poll?
    Jena

    Offline EmberKent

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #5 on: August 10, 2020, 02:00:22 pm »
    What is the point of this poll?

    Cost-benefit analysis, I think. Trying to see if there's a trend between a certain spend on covers and then profits.

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #6 on: August 10, 2020, 02:30:05 pm »
    Cost-benefit analysis, I think. Trying to see if there's a trend between a certain spend on covers and then profits.

    Maybe.  But the amounts listed (4,200, 8,500, 21k, 85k) seem pretty random.
    Jena

    Online Corvid

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 02:40:35 pm »
    Maybe.  But the amounts listed (4,200, 8,500, 21k, 85k) seem pretty random.

    Multiply each by 12 (as in, 12 months), and it becomes less random. Roughly $50k per year/$100k/$250k/$1M.

    The $50k per year is set as the minimum, because in many (no, not all) cases that's considered one bar to clear that means you can do this business full-time. Obviously, yes, this will depend on a number of factors including where you live, how you manage your finances, etc. But, $50k per year seems a good starting point. The other annual incomes are useful benchmarks as well.

    However, for the poll, I broke it down monthly for the added detail it provides, rather than the pat answer of the larger sum (the annual amount) that authors will tell you, and usually tend to be less accurate than if someone tells you what they bring in each month.


    Offline kathrynoh

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 05:35:19 pm »
    I feel like there's a big flaw in this poll. You can't determine if someone is earning more because they are using a more well known designer or if they are using the well known designer because they are earning more.

    Even if I was earning $84K+ a month, I probably wouldn't go with a big name designer because a lot of them are booked out over a year ahead. That would take way too much planning for me. I don't necessarily think the cover designer's fame correlates to the best possible cover for ME. There are some designers that charge top dollar and do fabulous work but the reason they charge so much is because they do things like custom illustration which wouldn't work for the genres I write in.

    Even though I answered the poll, I tend to be all over the place with cover designers. If I find a $50 premade that works for me then I'll go for that. If I want covers for an entire series done at once, I'll use a designer that I know is reliable. I'd bypass a designer that i think is 10/10 for design skills (if you could possibly measure that objectively) for a designer who is 7-8/10 but who has good time management, is professional and knows the market.

    Online Corvid

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #9 on: August 11, 2020, 05:40:09 pm »
    I feel like there's a big flaw in this poll. You can't determine if someone is earning more because they are using a more well known designer or if they are using the well known designer because they are earning more.

    Even if I was earning $84K+ a month, I probably wouldn't go with a big name designer because a lot of them are booked out over a year ahead. That would take way too much planning for me. I don't necessarily think the cover designer's fame correlates to the best possible cover for ME. There are some designers that charge top dollar and do fabulous work but the reason they charge so much is because they do things like custom illustration which wouldn't work for the genres I write in.

    Even though I answered the poll, I tend to be all over the place with cover designers. If I find a $50 premade that works for me then I'll go for that. If I want covers for an entire series done at once, I'll use a designer that I know is reliable. I'd bypass a designer that i think is 10/10 for design skills (if you could possibly measure that objectively) for a designer who is 7-8/10 but who has good time management, is professional and knows the market.

    As with any poll, it's difficult if not impossible to provide enough permutations and choices to where you're nailing down every situation for every author. It's more about who or what designers authors tend to go with most of the time. A rough approximation is the best any poll can hope for. It's meant to provide a sketch or a general outlook, rather than a specific, well-defined photograph of industry norms.


    Offline Undercover Writer

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #10 on: August 11, 2020, 06:30:48 pm »
    I'm lucky, I guess...my art teacher/artist wife designs my covers, and doesn't charge me a thing.

    Well, I have to empty/load the dishwasher occasionally...but I do that anyway!  :P

    Online Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #11 on: August 11, 2020, 06:33:24 pm »
    I wonder if our income determines our cover designer (as much or more) than the other way around?

    Author of Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Suspense and Historical Non-Fiction.
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    Online Kenneth Rosenberg

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #12 on: August 11, 2020, 09:25:49 pm »
    Multiply each by 12 (as in, 12 months), and it becomes less random. Roughly $50k per year/$100k/$250k/$1M.

    The $50k per year is set as the minimum, because in many (no, not all) cases that's considered one bar to clear that means you can do this business full-time. Obviously, yes, this will depend on a number of factors including where you live, how you manage your finances, etc. But, $50k per year seems a good starting point. The other annual incomes are useful benchmarks as well.

    However, for the poll, I broke it down monthly for the added detail it provides, rather than the pat answer of the larger sum (the annual amount) that authors will tell you, and usually tend to be less accurate than if someone tells you what they bring in each month.

    I did actually figure this one out (x12), and assumed you meant net, though I'm supposing some people might have answered gross, which can be a big difference.

    Kenneth Rosenberg | author website | blog | facebook | twitter

    Online wearywanderer64

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #13 on: August 12, 2020, 12:13:09 am »
    Interestingly, the vast majority design their own covers and are under the lowest figure. I like designing my own covers for fun. Otherwise, I'll go for a premade for under fifty dollars. Some are fantastic. I've seen some that are far more expensive and are meh! Fantasy and Science fiction covers seem to need the most skill sets.


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    Online Corvid

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #14 on: August 12, 2020, 12:33:06 am »
    I did actually figure this one out (x12), and assumed you meant net, though I'm supposing some people might have answered gross, which can be a big difference.

    True, but hopefully some will find the answers useful.

    Interestingly, the vast majority design their own covers and are under the lowest figure. I like designing my own covers for fun. Otherwise, I'll go for a premade for under fifty dollars. Some are fantastic. I've seen some that are far more expensive and are meh! Fantasy and Science fiction covers seem to need the most skill sets.

    Yes, I found that interesting as well. And, I agree, SFF typically requires the highest degree of skill, design-wise. Might be best to hire it out if writing in those genres/subgenres.


    Online Kenneth Rosenberg

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    Re: POLL: Your covers vs. Your income
    « Reply #15 on: August 12, 2020, 08:21:44 am »
    True, but hopefully some will find the answers useful.

    Yes, interesting to see, for sure.

    Kenneth Rosenberg | author website | blog | facebook | twitter

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