Cover Design


At Shadow Ink Press, we believe that a novel’s cover design should not only reflect the author’s artistic voice, but also keenly display the concept that the author may be trying to convey; cover art should transmit that message concisely and target the audience in which the author feels are their market.


A novel’s cover is the first stage of commitment from an avid reader. Everyone shops with their eyes first, thus to achieve a demographically targeted and marketable concept is our first priority in helping the author achieve their ultimate goal—book sales. Should the cover design be executed poorly or not cleverly crafted for target audiences, then what may have been an encouraging and exciting internal text can be weighed and judged as a monotonous read before even cracking the spine.


At Shadow Ink Press we take every client’s needs into consideration and spend vast amounts of time designing a concept that is saleable—and of course—entirely of the author’s creative interpretation.

The steps for cover design are as follows:


  1. A 50% deposit is paid directly to Shadow Ink Press before any commencement of work as well as a ‘Standard Agreement’ which outlines what will and won’t be provided along with guidelines for the author to follow. Once the deposit has been received and the agreement signed, the cover designer will be in direct contact with the author either by phone or e-mail depending on geography. During this initial meet and greet, the cover designer will ascertain the author’s preferences for the process; the timeline in which they are expecting the completion of work and any other questions either party feels needs to be tackled before beginning.


  1. As we like to keep the author actively involved in the process, the cover designer will outline official sites that we use to purchase royalty-free images and give the opportunity to peruse the vast database of photographs, drawings, cartoons, backgrounds etc in which the author may wish to incorporate within their cover.


  1. The author may present Shadow Ink Press with as many options as they feel could work for their overall design. The cover designer will attempt to interpret these options and discuss them by e-mail with the client before settling on the preferred option. At this stage, if the author is considering paperback publication, they should also submit a copy of their synopsis and other author reviews to be displayed o the back of the book cover.


  1. With all of the information now in hand, the cover designer shall then create two sets of PDF proofs for the author’s inspection. The author must consider these very carefully, taking the time to think through any adjustments or changes that may be required. The cover designer will offer three rounds of corrections on these proofs just to ensure that the author is happy with the overall finished product.


  1. Shadow Ink Press will then send the balance invoice (due within seven business days) as well as a ‘Completion of Work Waiver’ that will need to be signed and returned with payment. Once we have received a copy of the signed waiver, we will release the PDF images directly to the client for their own personal application.


Please consider that if you do complete the cover design process with Shadow Ink Press, we’d also be more than happy to assist you with your full publication requirements. We also make it our mission to ensure our clients are attended to at every step of the way, so if at any time you need further clarification regarding any stage of any product process with this company, our friendly staff will always be happy to assist.


We also understand that time constraints are of constant concern for any busy author, thus we make your cover design our priority and will discuss possible time frames required in order to complete a finished document within a timely fashion. However, there are the occasional extenuating circumstances which will naturally be disclosed to the author either before the process begins or as soon as possible so as not to cause unnecessary delay.



cover design