Cover artist guide

Dear designers, before you submit your pre-made book covers to The Book Cover Designer, please take the time to carefully read this guide.

1. We pay designers a 70% commission only through PayPal.

If you don’t have an active PayPal account, our system will not be able to pay you the 70% commission of the price you have listed, and as such, you won’t be able to sell your covers through TBCD.

You need to set up your PayPal e-mail address before you submit covers. You can do that by following the Vendor Dashboard link on the website’s footer and then clicking on Store Settings.

Payments are automatically sent each Sunday. This means that if your cover sold on Monday, you will receive your 70% commission on Sunday or Monday, depending on time zone differences. TBCD’s 30% commission will be automatically deducted from the price you listed for your cover.

2. You must immediately contact the customer after a purchase.

When you sell a cover, you will receive an automated e-mail with the customer’s e-mail address, (along with notes on the author name, book title, etc. if the customer included any). It is your responsibility to immediately contact the customer after the purchase. It is also your responsibility to notify them if you have to delay the completion of the cover for some reason. You must send the customer the completed file(s) of the cover(s) via e-mail, Dropbox, Google Drive or some other platform.

In rare cases the automated e-mail may land in your Spam or Promotions folder.

Failure to contact the author or publisher in less than 72 hours and failure to complete their cover on time results in dissatisfied customers, loss of income for you and for us due to refunds and the additional fees they require, and tarnished reputation for you as a designer and for the other designers on TBCD.

3. You must read, comprehend and abide the Vendor Terms.

The Vendor Terms are accessible through the website’s footer. They are your contract with TBCD. Failure to comply with them will terminate your chances to sell your book covers through us.

4. You must use our submission guide.

A step-by-step tutorial with screenshots is available for your convenience. You must carefully read the guide even if you’re familiar with the WordPress system. Failure to submit your covers properly will result in them not getting approved.

5. How many covers can I submit?

New designers are required to submit 3-6 book covers for better evaluation of their style. If your initial submissions are approved, you can then submit a maximum of 6 covers every 24 hours.

6. How does the review process work?

We usually publish new covers every 5 days. This means that your newly submitted book covers will usually get reviewed within 5 days. You will not get notified for approved or rejected covers. If they’re approved, they will appear in your personal store and in TBCD’s mass catalog. If they’re not approved, they will have a Pending status.

7. Why are your pending covers not getting approved?

If your covers have a Pending status for 5+ days, this means they have not been approved. In some rare cases it’s possible that your covers were “locked” during the approval batch because you were still editing them or hadn’t closed the tabs in your browser. In this case they will be published on the next approval batch.

Other than that, your unapproved covers are left with a Pending status for the following reasons:

– Breach of the Vendor Terms
Your covers use images of low quality stock elements or images with the stock provider’s watermark, which suggests you haven’t obtained the commercial licenses. Your covers fall into the category of stock elements with minor alterations (change of background, merging two photos together, some filters, textures and nice typography are all considered minor alterations). Other breaches of the Vendor Terms will also result in unapproved covers or covers being taken down from the catalog.

– Missing submission fields
Your submissions lack a price, a preview image, a name or some other submission field from the ones that are listed in the cover artist step-by-step tutorial.

– Usage of AI (Artificial Intelligence) art
Your submissions cannot feature any elements generated by an AI art platform (Midjourney, DALL-E, etc.), regardless of how small that element is. The same goes for covers entirely generated on an AI platform.

– Low level of Photoshopping skills
Your covers show a low level of Photoshopping skills by portraying poor cutouts, lack of proper blending and other common beginner mistakes. Authors and publishers are looking for a professional book cover. If you wish to sell your covers through us, but your current level is low, you need to take the time to improve your skills before you try to sell your services on TBCD.

– Breach of any point in these guidelines
Please take the time to read each point carefully.

8. Can you use your own photography and resources?

Yes, you can. However, you must state that you’ve used your personal photography and resources in your covers’ description.

9. Can you charge the customer an additional fee for additional services?

Some designers charge an additional fee for paperback design, banners and other services. Such additional fees must be stated clearly in your covers’ descriptions. All additional fees are handled directly between you and the customer through a direct PayPal payment or some other method, depending on what works best for you and the customer. The only fees TBCD handles are the prices listed in bold USD under the covers’ titles.

10. Can you sell your covers on multiple platforms?

You can sell your covers on TBCD and your personal website. If a cover is purchased on one of the platforms, you must immediately remove it from the other. This is to prevent two authors buying the same cover and us or you having to refund one. It is also a poor customer experience (telling a customer they can’t have a cover they thought they bought because you already sold it to someone else).

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