Pre-made Book Covers: When is It OK to Use Them?

book-coversProfessionally designed book covers are absolutely, positively THE best method for you to get cover for your new book (or to repackage an existing book).

Professionally designed book covers can also be very expensive.

If you can’t afford to get even a low end professionally designed cover, are you stuck making your own cover?

Happily, the answer is no.

The next best thing may by a premade book cover.

What Is A Premade Book Cover?

In short, it’s a cover that’s made in advance, but contains your title, your name, and your tagline or subtitle.

This is how that works.

A graphic design company has a lot of artists on staff. They create graphic art for hire. Let’s say part of their business is designing book covers.

So far, so good.

Most of the work is for hire, which means someone—an author, a publisher, etc.—pays them money to design a cover for a specific book.

But artists are creative and they like to make things on their own. So these graphic artists make book covers for books that don’t yet exist. They put all the same skill and expertise into the process, but they’re not getting paid for that job. Not yet.

The company sets up a website and offers these designs to authors—usually indie authors—for a fee. The details of the book—title, author name—can be changed. Sometimes, minor changes can be made to the design, too.

The company makes a sale “off the rack,” so to speak.

The author gets a professionally designed book cover for a fraction of the cost of having an artist design a cover specifically for their book.

Win-win!

Advantages

There are two very important advantages to going with a pre-made book cover. For most of us, the most important one is the cost. You can buy a beautifully designed cover for $99 or less.

Most companies also offer dozens of genre-specific designs. You could literally spend hours browsing the selections from the three or four largest pre-made cover design companies.

Another benefit is that turn around is very quick. Rather than waiting two to six weeks for a custom-designed cover, you can usually have your design in 24 to 30 hours.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to buying a pre-made book cover is that you may find your design on someone else’s book. If that’s a problem, you’ll want to check with the companies you research to make sure they don’t sell their designs over and over. If they do, you can look somewhere else.

Or bite the bullet and hope no one else chooses the same design you chose.

One PreMade Cover Designer

With over 25 years of design experience, the team at The Cover Collection know how to get your book noticed. We design book covers for those writing their first novel through to bestselling authors who regularly hit the top spot on Amazon’s bestseller lists.

The Cover Collection was my introduction to pre-made book covers. They offer cover designs in six fiction categories and in portfolio nonfiction.

All of the pre-made images are available for purchase as is, with, of course, the changes to the title, author name, and other copy. In some cases, they can also make basic design changes such as changing the color or removing one of the design elements. Be advised that any such changes result in an additional fee.

One unique benefit to The Cover Collection is that if you do decide to purchase one of their covers, they permanently remove that design from the collection. What does that mean? No one else will be able to buy it.

If you like their work but want a custom cover design, they can do that, too. Obviously the price will be higher, but you’ll already have seen the type of work they’re capable of and can enter that process with confidence.

Yes, But What Does it Cost?

The Cover Collection is based in the United Kingdom, so the prices on their website are in pounds. I wrote to USD conversions and received the following information.

  • Basic pre-made cover – up to 8 initial drafts/font options plus revisions – $78.66
  • Pre-made ebook cover + Createspace print cover $157.32
  • Changes to basic cover such as colour change, removal of elements etc. – from an additional $15.77 (depending on design time involved)
  • Custom ebook cover design starting from $189.26 – Up to 5 initial concepts and unlimited revisions
  • Custom ebook and print option $314.64
Not bad, right?

One caveat: These prices may have changed, depending on when you read this post. My suggestion is to use these figures for reference only and contact the company you’re interested in directly to get real-time quotes.

A professional book cover designed specifically for your book should still be your first choice. Nothing can take the place of a design that you and a talented artist work out together. These days, those prices aren’t unreasonable and turn around is usually pretty good.

But if you’re ready to publish now and you don’t have the money for that kind of cover, take a look at a pre-made cover. Exercise a little caution, ask a few questions, and browse the options.

You may be surprised at what you find.

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