My book is a thriller/romance/nonfiction/YA/Christian/Gay/Lesbian/
Erotica/etc. Are you still interested?

Yes. I can make a cover for any genre, in a variety of styles. You just need to let me know what you're looking for. The only books I won't create covers for are books whose only purpose is to openly mock ANY religion. Anything else is fair game. Adult language and situations don't bother me. I write them, myself.

Can I call you on the phone?

Honestly, I prefer to work through email. Because the written record helps me to remember where we’re at with the project and exactly what I need to do next. It also makes it easier for record keeping.

There’s a 10$ discount if I find my own image, right? So, can we use this image I found on Google?

First, yes, there's a discount because it saves me a lot of time looking for images, mailing them to you, getting your feedback, maybe looking again, etc. But it only applies if we can use the image. If I end up having to go search for something similar, then I didn’t save any time.

As far as “can we use it?” the answer is, maybe, but I highly doubt it. In order to use an image, we have to have permission from the person who created it – aka they grant us a license to use it. Not all licenses are the same, some have limitations, some are open ended, and some are very expensive – and that’s if they’re available at all. Rather than looking on Google, you’d be much better off searching resources that have images we know we can use – aka a LEGALLY useable image. There are several places you can look that fit the bill.

Free places:
Free is always great, but sometimes they’re lower quality, so keep that in mind:
Your own photos or art
Photos or art that friends or family give you permission to use - not all images here are useable! - useable unless they have recognizable people in them - unless they have recognizable people or buildings in them. There's also a small chance the photographer mislicensed them. Though that's their fault, it can create a headache later.

If I find an image on a pay site, do I need to buy it?

You can, if you want to, or you can send me the link and I'll buy it and add the license fee to your final bill. I have accounts at all the above stock sites to purchase credits in bulk, which make them cheaper, so it can usually save you some money. If I buy it for you, and you want a copy of the raw image, let me know and I'll send it when I send the final book cover files.

Why can't we use free images with people or buildings in them?

In order to use images with buildings or people we need property/model releases - and free photos usually don't come with those. If you want people or buildings/houses on your cover, then we need to pay for an image.

How much do stock photos cost?

That depends where we get the image from. Adobe images are always 10$ each. Shutterstock images are always 15$. Dreamstime, 123RF, and iStock vary, but can very often be double digits.

What can we do with the stock photos?

Each site is different, and if you want to read the legal stuff I suggest you visit the site and read it for yourself. Basically, you can use the book cover with the image to print a certain number of books (usually 499,000 copies), and use it on your websites, blogs, etc. with no additional fees. If you sell more than 499,000 PRINT copies of your book, then you will need to purchase the extended license (which is usually around 100$) You don't need me to do this for you (at that point I’m not going to get a better deal than you), though I can if you need me to.

But, I have my own images...

Again, do you have images we can LEGALLY use? Have you GOTTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE PHOTO OR MADE THE ART? We absolutely can NOT just take a photo from a google image search and use it on a cover because that’s illegal. The photographer, or artist, owns that image the same way you own your book, and just as no one can take your book and publish it without your permission, you can't publish someone else's work without their permission. When you send me an image, I’m going to ask for a link to the place it came from – I do this to cover myself and make sure I have proof that the image was listed as useable. If it’s an image that isn’t online – such as an image you took yourself, or that a friend or family member gave you – then you take full responsibility for any legal repercussions - in other words if you didn't get proper permission and the copyright holder wants to sue someone, they can't sue me.

How does the process work?

Send a message to If the subject says BOOK COVER, that would be great!

Don't know what to write? Here's a sample letter:

Hello, I heard about you from ____ . I'm looking for a book cover for my eBook/paperback "Book Title" by "author name" and am interested in (premade/custom cover). I’m publishing through smashwords/amazon/whatever. The book is a (insert genre, such as thriller, romance, etc) that is about (any info you want to share). For the cover I thought (insert your cover idea and/or any links you might have to images etc). Thank you.

Once you send me your idea, I'll send you links to some images (assuming you don’t have your own) and once we have those chosen, I’ll send a sketch/mock cover as soon as possible, for your approval. If you want something changed at this stage, please tell me, because it's easier to change it then. Once we have it the way you want it, I'll make a tentative final version and email you a small copy. If you want changes, I’ll make them and send again, etc. for up to five edits. Once you’re happy with it, I’ll send you the bill. After payment has been made by you, I’ll email you the final version(s). Once I send those final images, the project is closed, and additional edits after that will cost additional money, so PLEASE make sure it’s the way you want before you say it’s done.

If you change your mind afterwards and decide you want a completely different cover – and we’ve already finalized the first one – then it is a BRAND NEW COVER and you’ll be charged for a brand new cover so, again, make sure it’s what you want before you say “it’s perfect!”.

I got a message saying you’re unavailable, now who should I contact?

Honestly, I don’t know anymore. I used to have several colleagues I sent people to, but they’ve either passed away or moved on to other things. If you’re a cover artist and would like me to send overflow traffic to you once in awhile, please get in touch.

What if I have a very specific idea for my cover?

Fantastic! But note that if we are using stock images we may not find EXACTLY what you have in mind. You may need to compromise or hire an artist to paint your image. Covers don't need to be a perfect reproduction of a scene from your book – in fact making a cover like that is usually too crowded and not very eye catching. The cover should convey the tone and the feeling of your book, not be a perfect illustration.

What if I want a certain font on my cover?

That’s great that you know what font you want, but it needs to be one we can LEGALLY use for commercial purposes. If it’s a font that costs money, I’ll ask you to send me the money for it before I purchase it, or you can purchase it yourself and send me the font file. Since you paid for it, it’s YOUR font, not mine, and after I’m done with your cover I will uninstall it from my computer because I can’t use it for anything/anyone else.

Looking for good free fonts? Check out but keep in mind the font needs to say “100% free” for us to use it for free.

When/How do I pay you?

Payment is expected before I mail the files to you. I’ll send you a link to that has a Pay Now button, or I can send an invoice that allows you to use a credit/debit card. I can also accept personal checks, but I won’t send the files until I get the payment.

Who owns this cover?

Once you have the cover it belongs to you. If the photo and/or artwork came from me, you can do whatever you want with it; move it to a different medium, make t-shirts out of it, use it on your business cards, make wallpaper for your website, whatever. You won’t need to pay me any royalty fees! The artist fees are one time only. I do reserve the right to use the cover in my albums, portfolio, website, or for linking purposes, etc.

If the cover features photography or artwork by someone else, then depending on the images license, you may not be able to do some things with it such as create printed materials. If it’s a stock photo I purchased, ask and I’ll send you the link the to the site's licenses (or you can find it yourself). The images are actually licensed to YOU, not to me, so I can’t reuse them, but you may be able to.

How do I credit you?

“Cover by Joleene Naylor” will work just fine. If you’d like the credit line for the stock photos, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

Can I get different sizes of my book cover?

Sure. I'd be happy to send you other sizes or other file extensions (JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.). I know some sites will only accept certain sized images or types, so it's not a problem.

Will you send me the photoshop files?

No - because I don't use photoshop. I know, it's terrible. I'm committing sacrilege, but that's life. I also won’t send the working files because they’re for Paint Shop Pro, which few people own, and frankly it’s a pain to try to send them because they’re a huge file size. If you MUST have those files, then I suggest you hire someone else.

What if I change my mind and don’t want a cover from you, after all?

There are many reasons you might change your mind during the cover process. Maybe you've decided not to publish your book, or maybe you've found someone else's work you like better. I understand, however, if I've already completed a cover for you, or done a large amount of work, it's karmatically "not nice" to just disappear and leave me hanging with nothing. Whether you use the cover or not, I still spent the same amount of time on it. I will still charge you at least a partial fee.

Do I NEED a back cover?

Only if you're publishing a paperback or hardback. If you’re publishing eBook only, then you don’t need one. There's nowhere to put a back cover on eBook sites.

How do I upload my cover to Smashwords/Amazon/etc?

A few years ago, I made some tutorials on how to publish your books through the different sites. Things have changed a bit since then, but the basics are still the same:


Do you also do illustration work?

I can, but at the moment it's probably not realistic for a large project.

I like your site. Did you make it?

Thanks. I did all of the design and graphic work for the website, but my husband coded it.

Can you format an eBook/paperback document that has images?

Yes, I can, and have, but if your document has more than ten images it falls under the Advanced Formatting and will cost more. If I need to manually insert the images, then please send them as numbered attachments and indicate in the body of the book manuscript where the images belong.

Can you format an epub book for me?

Sorry, but epub is out of my wheelhouse. If you’re submitting to Smashwords, Amazon or Barnes & Noble they accept word documents and convert them to epub files themselves. However, if you submit straight to Apple or Kobo you have to have the epub file, which I can't do. I may try to learn one day. Until then, I've heard good things about LibreDigital, though I’ve never used them myself. You can also use Calibre to create the file yourself from a different format. I've done this, and had good results, but can’t guarantee anything.

Do you do editing work?

Nope. If I see a typo while I’m formatting, I’ll fix it, but I’m not hunting for them. If you’re looking for an editor, I highly recommend Sharon, who’s edited several of my books. Check out her website at

If you have any questions not covered here, or are interested in a cover then please message me at . Hope to hear from you soon!
© Joleene Naylor 2009 - 2024