FAQ

If you don’t see your question below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

 General Questions:

What services do you offer?
Pre-Made and Custom cover designs along with further promo designs such as audio book covers, social media banners, bookmark designs and Facebook Ads. If you’re looking for something in particular that you can’t find detailed on the site, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Do you print books?
No. We offer a design service only.
How should I credit P&S on the Front Matter/Copyright Page/for a contest?
Please use either “Cover Design by Paper & Sage (www.paperandsage.com)” or simply “Cover Design by Paper & Sage”, if its better to exclude the link. 
Is there a quality difference between PreMade and Custom Covers?
Nope, none at all. The same dimensions are used for a pre-made cover and a 6×9″ custom cover.
How do we get started? And what happens after that?
If you’re looking for a PreMade, please feel free to navigate to the top menu and click the ‘PreMades’ option there. For a Custom Cover, please choose the ‘Custom Cover’ option above. Want an outline of the entire process? Click on through to the How it Works page. It’ll give you a general over-view of the entire design process, with specifics for both PreMades and Custom Covers.

 PreMade Cover Questions:

What if I haven’t decided on my title/pen name? Should I wait to buy the premade I like?
No reason to wait! Just type “TBD” in the form and we’ll set it aside for you. Then, when you have your title, pen name and other relevant details decided, send an email with that info and we’ll start working on the design together within 1-3 business days.
I want a print cover, too, but I don’t have all the information, should I wait and order it later?
As long as you’re ready to chose your trim size, we can work on the print layout together right away.
Since authors often need the ebook cover earlier than the print layout for pre-orders or promos, the process has been tweaked to be as simple as possible and we only require the trim size up front. Then we can update the other details (back cover copy, spine width, etc.) at a later date. Want to know more about that? Visit the print layout page.
If I order a PreMade today, but don't have all the info, how long will you keep it for me?
This depends a bit on the details. Are you still uncertain about the title/author name (i.e. front cover details)? Or are you planning to order an ebook and print layout bundle and curious about those details? If the title (or other front cover details) aren’t ready yet, please feel free to enter TBD in the appropriate blanks on the order form and it’ll be set aside in a folder with your name on it! After that point, you’ll have a year to send us all the details for the design (if it takes longer than a year, there may be an additional charge). On the other hand, if you’re ready with all of the information except final print details, then that’s perfect! We’ll proof the design with the title, trim size and author info you provide. Once it’s approved, we can send the ebook files your way, (and you’ll have them for marketing/promo work early!), and just save the print layout until the final details are ready. (For more about that, please feel free to visit the Print Layout page). As far as timeframe in this scenario, it’s always nice to have a quick “still in-progress” or “almost there” email every 6 months or so, so we know to keep the project active and not archive it.
Can I order a print layout later?
Absolutely. Please feel free to order the ebook only now and get in touch later for the print layout (though the bundle discount will no longer be available).
Please note, to proof the print layout design, you’ll only need to chose the trim size now. So if you plan to release a print version of your book at a later date, consider ordering them together as a bundle to get that discount!
Can I order a banner later?
Sure, that’s no problem. Though a later order will no longer receive the bundle discount, so the banner will be full price.
Am I the only one that will have the premade cover that I purchased? Or do you sell them again?
Premades designed by Paper & Sage are sold exclusively to one customer. We never re-sell a design. However, the designs do rely often on stock photography, so there’s a chance that another author or designer will feature the same image with different effects, fonts, title, etc.
Can I request changes to this premade?
Sure, within reason. For more specifics about that, visit the Optional Revisions for Pre-Mades page.
Can I change the final files myself after you send them? I’m good with Photoshop, too!
No. This is directly in violation of the licensing for the designs at Paper & Sage (see TOS). When we purchase license(s) for stock image(s) that’re included in a PreMade, Paper & Sage is legally the one licensed to manipulate the image(s) — that’s part of how stock licensing works. If you make any changes to the final version of the cover, it is directly violating both Paper & Sage and the stock company’s licensing rules. 
If you need additional changes to an approved design, contact us.
What about just adding a line of text to the final files myself?
The answer is still “No”. (See more in the question above). This isn’t to be mean, or charge you extra money. This is based firmly in our desire to never violate stock license terms. If you need changes, let us know!
I’m interested in a number of your premades for a series. Can we change the artwork so they are branded the same?
This is possible at least 95% of the time (and we rounded down), but we don’t want to promise what can’t be done, so please go ahead and contact us with details, including the IDs of the premades. Please keep in mind that certain revisions require an extra charge, though.
Also, have you checked out the available Series PreMades, too?
I’d like to buy this premade, but this book is part of a series. Can we make a second/third/fourth/etc. cover that will match?
Absolutely! In fact, we love getting to do this. The rest of the series will be created as Custom Covers and we will “extend” the premade cover details (fonts, etc.) into a series-wide design.
I’ve changed my mind, can I swap the premade cover I already purchased for a different one?
No, unfortunately, we can’t offer this option, so please be confident before you buy.
If I buy the ebook cover only, I can convert it for a print layout myself, right?
Well, um… I don’t know, can you? The ebook JPG and the print PDFs are designed together at Paper & Sage, but each meets different requirements (such as the printer’s guides). So, the only guarantee we can sincerely offer is that if you let us design the print layout as well, it will match your ebook cover and you won’t run into any print errors.
I just purchased premade “x”. The image is perfect for my story, but we’ll need to re-crop it, change the font, re-do all the colors and add some additional images to incorporate “y” and “z” elements of my story. Do you need any other information to get started on the art?
Well, actually, you should’ve gotten in touch before purchasing. While we can offer some optional changes (see here for details), those are an avenue for tweaking the cover. Premades are created as a unified design, and purchased as a whole. Taking a premade and completely re-creating the art is a different request entirely and premades can not be “upgraded” to a custom design. If you want this level of customization, you will need to purchase a custom cover.

 PreMade Series Cover Questions:

What if I only have the title for the first book?
No problem. Just type “TBD” for the rest of the series. We’ll work only on book one together now, and set aside the rest for later. Then you can get in touch when you’re ready to work on book two, etc.
I'd like to rearrange the order of the covers in the series, is that possible?
Absolutely no problem! When filling out the Title blanks on the order form, please just number them accordingly. In other words, if you’d like to use the first cover shown in the previews for book three, in the first blank simply enter “3: TITLE”, then in the next blank enter the order number and title and so on.
I'll want print covers, but I don’t have all the information yet, should I wait and order it later?
As long as you’re ready to chose your trim size, we can work on the print layout together right away.
Since authors often need the ebook cover earlier than the print layout for pre-orders or promos, the process has been tweaked to be as simple as possible and we only require the trim size up front. Then we can update the other details (back cover copy, spine width, etc.) at a later date. Want to know more about that? Visit the print layout page.
Can I order print layouts for the series later?
Absolutely. Please feel free to order the ebook only now and get in touch later for the print layouts (though the bundle discount will no longer be available).
Please note, to proof the print layout design, you’ll only need to chose the trim size now. So if you plan to release a print version of your series at a later date, consider ordering those as a bundle to get the discount!
If I order a PreMade Series today, but don't have all the info for every title, how long will you keep it for me?
If the title (or other front cover details) aren’t ready yet, please feel free to enter TBD in the appropriate blanks on the order form and it’ll be set aside in a folder with your name on it! After that point, you’ll have a year to send us all the details for each book in the series. In other words, if a 2 cover series is purchased, the first cover’s information must be submitted within 1 year and the second cover’s information must be submitted within 2 years. If this timeframe is exceeded, additional fees may apply.
Can I order a banner later?
Sure, that’s no problem. Though a later order will no longer receive the bundle discount, so the banner will be full price.
Can I request changes to one of the designs?
Sure, within reason. For more specifics about that, visit the Optional Revisions for Pre-Mades page.
I'll need 5 covers, but the premade series I'm interested in only has 4, how do we handle that?
This is no problem. We can ‘extend’ the current series design with a custom cover order.
The premade series I'm interested in has 4 covers, but I only need 3, how do we handle that?
Please feel free to purchase the set, then let us know which three you’d like to use. The fourth we’ll set aside so if you’d ever like to use it later, it’s ready, and if not, that’s fine, too.

 Custom Cover Questions:

How do I get started on a custom cover design?
Well, you get in touch, of course! Go to this page and click the “Get Started” button for the package you’re interested in. Also on that page is information about pricing as well as deposit invoices and other important details. The other key page to visit for your design is the How it Works page. There you’ll find a general over-view of the entire design process, which is more-or-less a road map for what happens next.
How soon can I schedule a custom design?
Please get in touch at least three to five weeks in advance for a custom cover. We are typically scheduling 3-5 weeks out, but at the busy times of the year, it can be up to 6-7 weeks before there’s an opening on the schedule. We will offer the earliest availability on the schedule, of course. But we can’t guarantee that there will be an opening if you’re on a tight deadline, so we always suggest getting in touch earlier rather than later. That said, if you unexpectedly need artwork fast, we can sometimes offer rush orders for an additional fee.
Can I order a print layout later?
Absolutely. Please feel free to order the ebook only now and get in touch later for the print layout (though the bundle discount will no longer be available).
Please note, to proof the print layout design, you’ll only need to chose the trim size now. So if you plan to release a print version of your book at a later date, consider ordering them together as a bundle to get that discount!
Do you offer designs that don’t use stock photography? What about free-hand or digital illustration? Or custom photography?
Paper & Sage often relies on stock photography or vectors for the starting point of the design. However, we are always happy to discuss an opportunity to work with art provided to the author by a professional custom illustrator or photographer. There’s a brief article about custom photography on the site for reference (here), though many of the same tips and requirements will apply to a custom illustration as well. Of course, please feel free to contact us with any follow-up questions.
I’d like to schedule an Economy Custom Cover design, but where should I buy the stock from?
Please feel free to purchase your image from any stock site. But if you’re looking for a place to start, I typically rely on Depositphotos or Shutterstock, though iStock and Dreamstime are also a very popular suggestions.
For an Economy package, can we use any image I want?
P&S carefully reviews all images before starting the project. We want to be sure it’s a good fit for your book and meets all technical/licensing requirements. Unfortunately, on occasion some images won’t work as a book cover due to licensing, content, quality, or size. So, we always recommend that you have P&S review the stock image options before purchasing! Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Where do I look at stock for a Pro Custom Cover?
Well, first, you don’t have to chose stock if you’re ordering a Pro Custom Cover. But if you’d like to, I maintain a subscription with Depositphotos. If you really want a stock photo from another stock site (iStock, CanStock, Fotolia, etc.), then an additional fee will be added to your invoice to cover the price of the stock.
I've found the perfect image, except x/y/z just needs to be Photoshopped. You can do that for me, right?
The answer actually depends a lot on what “it” is. Do you want to change hair/clothing/eye color? We can probably do that, just send a link to the image so we can review and discuss it.
For more extensive changes, we’ll need to see the image and details on what changes you’d like before giving any kind of guess. Typically extensive changes will require at least one upgrade to a PRO cover, so please expect additional cost as well.
Can I change my title after we've started?
Yes, you can update your title. However, it may add an additional charge. This depends entirely on where we are in the process and how different the new title is. If we’re still at least 5 business days before your scheduled week, email ASAP. On the other hand, if we’re in the middle of the project, or we’ve already finalized the files, then it’s best to start by emailing with the details. At that point, we’ll evaluate the change and send you a quote and time-frame.
Can I change my pen name on a project that we’ve already completed?
Sure. Please go ahead and email the details and we’ll respond with a quote.

 Scheduling Questions for Custom Covers:

How soon can you start my project?
Please get in touch at least three to five weeks before you’d like to start work for a custom cover. (Please note, that’s before you’d like to start, not before your planned release date.) We are typically scheduling 3-5 weeks out, but at the busy times of the year, it can be up to 6-7 weeks before there’s an opening on the schedule.
It’s Monday and I haven't received my proof. Did something go wrong?
Everything’s probably on schedule, but there are a few things that might delay the proof by a few hours. First, we’re located the in Eastern Standard Time zone, so if you’re an international customer, our Monday afternoon may be off by several hours (or even an entire day). Second, proofs are typically sent out in the afternoon, so if it’s still early in the day, please be patient, the design is probably being finalized to send your way right now.
However, if you don’t receive your proof by Monday evening, (after normal 8-5 working hours, EST), please check-in. Occasionally emails do get lost in cyberspace.
We’re working on a custom cover and I plan to be out of town during the week we’ve scheduled. Will this be a problem?
Unfortunately, it may be a problem. Especially if your access to email and/or the internet will be limited. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you are planning to be gone, particularly if your plans change unexpectedly. If you’ll only be gone on the Monday or Friday of that week, we may be able to work around that. However, we always want to be able to do our absolute best on the cover for your book, so it’s better to chose a week during which you will be available, able to focus on the design and respond to emails at least 2 times a day.
Can I get more proofs after the scheduled week?
If your week is almost over, and you don’t think we’ll be finished by Friday, you can request an extension. Whether the 3 business-day extension is granted — and the timeline for that extension — will be decided at our designer’s discretion. You are more likely to get an extension if you’ve been working diligently with us throughout the week (so if it is Wednesday evening and you haven’t responded to your first proof, don’t expect an extension).
Please note that we can not guarantee meeting any particular deadlines or timeframes with an extension. Other scheduled projects for the following week(s) will take priority, (just as your project takes priority during your scheduled week).
Extensions should be seen as a chance to finalize current proofs/mock-ups. A request for brand new mock-ups or complete overhauls of the design will not qualify for an extension.
Do you offer print layouts/paperback designs/full wraps for POD?
Yes. Sure do. For more details, click over to this page.
What size are the print layouts?
We will format your cover to fit any common trim size offered at CreateSpace and LightningSource (IngramSpark). If you’re planning to print with another company, or at a custom trim size, please get in touch so we can let you know if there will be an additional charge.
For more information about trim size, including a few helpful tips, check out this article that discusses trim size in more detail.
Can I order the ebook design now and a print layout later?
Sure, we can do this. But it is more cost-effective to buy them together. To design the print layout, we only need to know the trim size now. The other details can be updated later when you have all of the necessary info. So if you’re going to want to release a print version of your book, consider ordering them together as a bundle.
Learn more about print layouts at this link.
How do I find the final page number for the spine size?
When you upload the formatted Word file (or PDF, etc.) to your chosen printing company, they will confirm the final page count. This is the number that we’ll need for the spine size.
What if my final page count needs to be changed?
First, if the change is by +/- 10 pages, don’t worry. On templates, the spine sizes are set by 10 page increments, so a few pages of difference doesn’t change the artwork.
On the other hand, if the page count is a significant jump, then it depends on where we are in the design process. If the finalized print file hasn’t been delivered, then email the new page count ASAP. However, if you’ve already received the print-ready PDF, a spine size change will require an additional fee.
Do you need the ISBN?
It depends on your chosen printing company.
For CreateSpace: No. CreateSpace will print the barcode on the back of the book for you.
For LightningSource/IngramSpark: Yes. we’ll need your ISBN to download the correct version of the template. There are a few other details that are LI/IS specific, so please take a look at the Print Layouts page to learn more.
I just received the hard copy proof from the printer and there's a problem with the spine alignment. Will you fix it?
We’re always happy to review the print specs. If you’ll go ahead and send the final details in an email (trim size, paper color and page count in particular), we will absolutely triple-check the print-ready file to be sure all the information matches. The next step, though, is that you’ll need to contact the printer personally. If there was a misalignment when it was printed (it happens occasionally, no one’s perfect!), then any changes we make to the file will only complicate the printer’s process to identify the problem and get it sorted out as efficiently as possible!
I got an error when uploading the CS print-PDF you sent me to LS/IS (or another printer). What happened?
Each printer has their own templates and requirements for upload. A print template designed for one printer is NOT a universal file. If you’d like to use more than one printer, please tell us. At that point, we can discuss pricing and adapt your current print layout for upload to the other print company.
Will you read over the back cover text and tell me what you think?
Unfortunately, we don’t offer editing services. And that’s because we want your book to succeed! Believe us, it’s best for your book if you have someone else look at it. We’re happy to share contact details for a few editors recommended by other authors if you want a professional opinion. That said, if there’s a suggested tweak based on design concerns (typically deleting or adding a paragraph break for visual reasons), we’ll let you know.
How should I credit P&S on the Front Matter/Copyright Page/for a contest?
Please use either “Cover Design by Paper & Sage (www.paperandsage.com)” or simply “Cover Design by Paper & Sage”, if its better to exclude the link. 

Other Questions:

Do you read the manuscript before designing the cover?
Nope. We want an overview of your story, because it lets us focus on the key elements when working on the design for the cover.
Does the price include the native files/working files/Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. files?
No. There are several reasons for this, including licensing restrictions on stock, fonts and other resources.
Can I see X/Y/Z change? But I do like it as-is, so we can always change it back later, right?
Well, it seems like a yes or no question, but in practice, it’s not. We can probably change it back later, but on the other hand, the rest of the design may be tweaked to work with each requested change. Which means it’s very rare that a change (even something like a font color) is just a simple mouse-click from one color to another.
I’ve already designed my cover in another program (Powerpoint, Word, etc.) and I just need you to prepare it for upload to Kindle/CreateSpace/another company. How much will that cost?
At minimum it will be the price of an Economy Custom Cover. Powerpoint, Word and similar programs (or online services) do not typically output high enough quality files with the editing capabilities we’ll need. Instead, please send the design (and any stock images) and then we can re-create it, tweaking the artwork so it is ready for upload.