ORIGINAL BOOK COVER DESIGN – How Much Should You Pay? By Angela Hoy

ORIGINAL BOOK COVER DESIGN – How Much Should You Pay? By Angela Hoy

There are three types of book cover design services in the self-publishing industry:

1. Original cover design
This is a one-of-a-kind cover.

2. Template cover design
A template means other authors likely have the same background and/or cover design as your book, but with different text.

3. Original Template (ahem…)
This is called by a variety of names but it means the publisher is offering the same design and background photos to other authors and their authors must choose from a list. One publisher offers “1,000 background photos.” Inevitably, some authors are going to choose the same background photo. Some claim they offer original cover design but authors must choose a specific background and a specific cover layout. In my opinion, all of these are template covers with inflated prices.

At, we offer:

Original Paperback Cover Design: $250
Original Hardcover Cover Design: $350
(Hardcovers have flaps where more content can be included.)

Original Ebook Cover Design: $150
(IMPORTANT: Ebook cover design is NOT needed if the author is purchasing print book cover design because we simply use the front of that graphic for the ebook cover. If your publisher is charging you separately for print and ebook covers, you should definitely start asking questions!)

And, for those on a budget:

Template Paperback Cover Design: $150
Template Hardcover Cover Design: $250

We have actually been criticized for our low cover design prices. Some have said there’s no way we can offer quality book cover design at that cost. Well, yes, we can, and we’ve been doing so for over a decade now. We break even on setup/design fees, and earn our profits on book sales so we have no reason to gouge authors on cover design like many of our competitors do. Our designer is AMAZING and we receive praises from authors about his talents all the time. You can see samples of his work on the graphic at the top of this page:

See more samples here (click on each cover at the link below to see the entire cover – front, back and spine):

Those prices are for authors only. Authors who approach him directly must pay $1,000 or more depending on their needs. He gives us a deal because we send him so much business.

Authors who want to order cover-design-only from us (not a publishing package) can do so but the prices are double. If you’re interested in that service, please contact me HERE. You will own all rights to your cover.

Many of our competitors charge far more for covers that pale in comparison. Worse, they claim all rights to cover designs that authors paid them to create. So, if the author wants to use their cover at another company later, they must pay hundreds to thousands more for the privilege, or they are simply told they can’t use it at all. If they do, they risk a copyright infringement and/or breach of contract lawsuit.

Many of our competitors claim all rights to covers the authors have paid them to create even when authors have submitted their own background artwork for the cover! Why? We call it a forced marriage. If they claim all rights to their authors’ files, it makes it very difficult, and expensive, for their authors to leave someday, even if that author is very unhappy with that publisher, and even if that publisher is not paying the author their royalties. authors own all rights to their covers and interiors (the production files) from the get-go. Authors who don’t use BookLocker for publishing, but who need cover design, also own all rights to their covers.

So, before you order cover design from another POD publisher, check the price and the fine print. If they are claiming all rights to your production files (almost all POD publishers do but does NOT), run as fast as you can away from them. If you do order cover design from BookLocker or another service, and use it at a different publisher, you should get a hefty discount from that publisher since you won’t be using them to design your cover. And, of course, you will then keep all rights to your files.

At, our motto regarding services is: “If you paid for it, you should own it!”

Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors. - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE