On Covers!


So after my last self-publishing post, I wanted to go into a little deeper review of some of the services I’ve used before. Specifically covers and editors since they’re so important, and I’ve used a couple different businesses. Please keep in mind this is just my personal opinion and experience. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

Custom Cover artists I’ve used

When I started looking for a cover for Odriel’s Heirs, I really had no idea what I was doing (as usual.) But I knew I wanted a cover that would also double as character art, so another author recommended Dominique Wesson. Her character art is absolutely stunning, but she is SUPER busy, so her commissions can take 6 months or more. As of 2020, a cover with 2 characters runs $200 and 1 character is $150. Although I really love the Odriel’s series covers, the NetGalley cover ratings have been relatively low: 25/35 for book one and 16/27 for book two.

For The Gatekeeper of Pericael, I really wanted to get away from the character art concept, but I still really liked the idea of custom art. So a critique partner helped me come up with an idea, and I found Illusstation on Fiverr to bring it to life. The full wrap around cover cost $200, and it only took a month! Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a custom art cover. NetGalley cover rating: 26/29

For my third book, I wanted to to do more of a graphic design style. I found Cal5086 on Fiverr and a cover cost me $170. Although I had to come up with the concept myself, turnaround was super quick, and although I haven’t revealed it yet, I really liked how it turned out.

For the Burning Shadows novella, I decided to try out 100covers, and they’ve been my favorite so far. I really like that they take a little survey of your tastes and what you’re looking for, and then use their knowledge of the design market to come up with a concept. (Which is awesome for my artistically challenged self) They assign you a project manager to work with, you can request changes, and they get back to you within the month. An ebook cover runs $100, and if I were to get a paperback it would be $200. I will definitely be using them again in the future.

other options

However! In the past year, I’ve also creeped around the internet for other affordable quality premade options, and compiled a list of other great cover artists/sites to maybe try one day. Just as a personal preference, I don’t consider artists that aren’t upfront about the cost, and while I’d consider something *amazing* for around $350, my usual budget is around $200ish for combined paperback and ebook formats.

Celin Graphics has GORGEOUS custom covers, but they’re booked through 2021, and run a little pricier at $350 for ebook+print. I might take this plunge one day, because they’re seriously beautiful, but it’ll definitely take more of a commitment. I’m also following them on Facebook for pre-mades, but I think opportunities are kind of rare, and I’m not sure how much they are.

Maria Spada @Mspremades: gorgeous premades that run $200 for ebook+print. Follow her on Instagram for a chance to claim them!

RFK Cover Design: $50-$75 for ebook+paperback premade – $25 for ebook only. Follow her on Facebook for a chance to claim them, but be aware they go SUPER fast!

Ebook Launch: $149 for ebook+paperback premade – $99 for ebook only.

The Cover Collection: $167 for ebook+paperback premade – $89 for ebook only.

Book Cover Zone: $89 for ebook+simplistic paperback premade – wide selection.

P&S Book Cover Designs: $120 for ebook+paperback premades – $70 for ebook only.

AMDesign Studios: All-in-one premade packages ranging from $79-$129. $29-$99 for ebook only. I subscribed to their email newsletter for first look.

Bailey Designs Books: $150 for ebook+paperback premade. $99 for ebook only.

Cauldron Press: $150-$250 for ebook+paperback premade. $100-$200 for ebook only. Follow the facebook page for the first look. Also, their custom chapter headers and title page art look pretty cool too.


Those are my favorites to creep on so far, but if you have any recommendations, I’d love to check them out! If I find any other options I like, I’ll be sure to add them. Hopefully this was helpful, and thanks for reading!

On Editors!


So after my last self-publishing post, I wanted to go into a little deeper review of some of the services I’ve used before. Specifically covers and editors since they’re so important, and I’ve used a couple different businesses. Please keep in mind this is just my personal opinion and experience. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

When I started looking for an editor, as usual, I had no idea what I was doing, and I quickly found that editors can often run into the $1000s of dollars. I love writing, but as of this post, it’s definitely more like an expensive hobby for me than anything else, so that was way out of my price range. There are some fabulous indie authors who don’t use editors, but I have neither the confidence nor the experience for that, so I definitely still need some help.

Then I stumbled across Beta Frank Editing on Twitter. Huzzah!

For $500 I got a developmental edit and a line edit on my 75k word manuscript, a query edit, and a synopsis edit. There was a time when she wasn’t offering line edits, but at the time of this writing it looks like she is offering them again. Her prices have risen in the past 3 years, so that same combo would run about $745 now. Turn around time was 1-2 months and the developmental analysis was spot on! I ended up cutting out like 4000 words and revamping the first third of my book (which naturally made the line edits less helpful, but still really useful to learn from.) However I would like to mention that it’s called Beta *Frank* for a reason. She does not hold back on the honesty, so be prepared!

When I was looking for an editor for my second and third books, Beta Frank wasn’t offering line edits so I reached out to Charlie Knight.

Charlie has a super sharp eye and is very encouraging in their feedback. They have a lighter editorial hand than Beta Frank, and they did two passes for me (which took about two months.) The multiple passes are great because in theory, it allows you to fix your developmental problems before digging into line edits and essentially wasting your line edits. A 75K word line and developmental edit will run you $225, which is AWESOME. The only real problem is that Charlie is often booked out 4-6+ months ahead, so advanced planning is required.

Then I found MK Editing while I was out searching for professional Beta Readers. I love their beta reading service so I decided to go for the full edit. They were able to get me in within the month, and I was definitely impressed with the thorough level of detail. I got two passes with both constructive and encouraging feedback, and I really liked that MK Editing takes the time to explain why they recommend the changes they do. A line & developmental edit ran me $450 for a 78K word manuscript, but since then, their rates have risen to $550 for 75K-90K words.

Too long; didn’t read version:

  • Beta Frank: $0.009/word. Great honest developmental analysis. 1-2 month turn around.
  • Charlie Knight: $0.003/word. Encouraging & sharp. 2 month turn around with multiple passes. Need to schedule in advance 4-6 months in advance.
  • MK Editing: $550 for 75-90K words. Thorough & constructive. 2 month turn around with multiple passes.

So hopefully, that’s at least a little helpful. I’m honestly not sure who I’ll choose as my next editor. I’ve learned a LOT from all of my editors so far, which is actually part of the reason why I’m always open to trying someone new! (As long as they’re within my $550 editing budget. 😅) So if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear about your editing experiences as well!

Thanks for reading!