So, you’re working with a press/publisher/third-party to handle technical details: maybe formatting and uploading, or perhaps to help produce an audio book, or anything in between. This is a good opportunity for you (the writer) to learn more about the process of self-publishing!
But it always means that we need clear goals for all three of us from the beginning, so no one is left confused (or even frustrated) half-way through the project.
As I’ve worked with various presses, I’ve noticed that each one has different expectations for what they will handle and what the cover designer will handle. This, of course, leaves an uncomfortable amount of room for unmet expectations and miscommunication. If a press (or publisher or other third-party) has an in-house designer, then the situation can become even more confusing (who is handling what, exactly?).
So, in an effort to keep everyone coordinated, I have create a list of my expectations, as your cover designer. Since print layouts are the most requested, and tend to produce the most miscommunication, they are mentioned in particular below.
- I expect to produce the appropriate and standard file format for your project. For a print layout, this means a print-ready PDF, which is formatted for direct upload to your chosen printer.
- I expect to handle all of the artwork. This includes the spine size and formatting the back cover copy for a print layout.
- I expect to be informed in a timely manner of any needs or expectations of the third-party. This can include logos (including any placement or size requirements), additional text and any information about deadlines, release dates, etc.
- I expect to be in direct contact with the purchaser (typically if you’re reading this article, that means the purchaser is also the author) and for the purchaser to be involved in relaying information, making important decisions about details and staying involved with additional communication as required. Please note: Extended consultations with the third-party will require additional cost at the current hourly rate.
If you have any questions (or your press/publisher/other third-party does), please don’t hesitate to let me know.