Your cover is vitally important

If you’ve written a thriller and your cover looks like an academic textbook, your target readers won’t be drawn to it. And vice versa.

For every book you write we ask you to look on Adobe Stock and choose some images that could work well as the basis of your cover. This is only for live action covers, compared to our illustrated covers.

After that, it’s over to our Designer, who will take your images into account, and our Publicists who will offer reflection and suggestions on your image choices and the cover draft where appropriate.

The final decision is with us, though in most in most cases the author’s choice is upheld and our authors tend to be delighted with their covers.

How to choose a picture for your cover

Suggest images from Adobe Stock.

To choose an image:

What if I have a cover image for the Designer that is not in Adobe Stock?

If you do want the Designer to consider another image you can send it to your editor.

Your image needs to be:

My book is part of a series. What should I do to make sure the covers match?

If your book is part of a series, please choose an image that fits in with the other titles. Our Designer will match the font and overall look.

I want to add endorsements on the cover, and the name of the writer of the Introduction/Preface. What should I do?

As a rule, we say don’t bother to do this unless the person is well-known in their field and likely to generate extra interest.

If you believe this is the case:

Providing the name is “big” enough the designer will include the text on the cover.

Do not ask us to add information to the cover that you do not already have!

If you want a snippet from an endorsement on the cover it must be received and added to your book’s page. Don’t ask us to add an endorsement that you are waiting for, or that might happen.

Likewise, if you are waiting for a foreword from an influential name but haven’t received it yet, don’t ask us to add it until it is actually delivered.

Cover schedule

The Designer is notified to start work on the front cover when the copyedited manuscript is approved and the full cover is produced when the text proofs are finished.

We leave it till then so the Designer has the spine width, and to maximise time for you to finish sourcing endorsements.

We do not get into correspondence on the cover

It is too subjective an area, and corrections/amendments can be endless.

We do not get into correspondence on the back-cover copy

We produce the back-cover copy. Your publicist or editor will work with the Description and Endorsements that are available on the Book Details page, as well as your Profile for a short author biography. They will use their best judgement. Authors invariably want more copy. Sales people are always asking us to have less. The purpose of the back-cover copy is to catch attention and direct the reader into the book, not to explain it. 150 words is generally around the maximum, including endorsements.

Take note of the order of your endorsements on the database!

We edit your endorsements to fit them, into the back-cover copy and we add them in the order you have entered them on the database (i.e. from the first endorsement or the first and second if we use two), depending on the amount of copy/space/quality of endorsements etc.

Some publishers put endorsements in capitals, some in italics with quotation marks, others in italic with no quotation marks, or they ring the changes – we mostly use straight text with quotation marks for the back cover, but this can vary depending on what looks best with the overall design.

The price on your cover

We only show your UK price. The distributors do not want us to show other currencies. We cannot change the price on the cover after the publication date has been set and the information sent out to the trade.

Your ISBN number

The International Standard Book Number given to your book makes it available from any database anywhere in the world.

Ordering, everywhere in the world, is done by the ISBN rather than author/title.

We give your book an ISBN number when we enter it onto the website.

When ordering a book it’s always better to quote your ISBN (you need to quote all the 13 digits) rather than the title. Distributors stock hundreds of thousands of titles, and many of them are similar.

During 2006/2007 ISBNs switched from 10 digits to 13 digits. The 10-digit numbers are still in use on older titles.

We keep a reference of your ISBN in the Metadata section of on the Book Details page

This helps us keep track of sales, especially if we are publishing a new edition of your title (which happens if there are substantial changes, amounting to rewriting the book rather than a few corrections). If that happens, we need a new ISBN for it, and we can record both ISBNs in the same place so that sales can recorded on the same page too.

Why is my photo not on the back cover?

We do not usually have a photo on the back cover, they are mostly used for self-help and business books in North America.

I want to design the cover myself or use my own designer. What should I do?

We do not allow this.

In our experience, we end up with an amateurish cover more often than not, and the extra work involved isn’t worth the cost.

The cover is much more than the image. The finished file has to incorporate:

In addition we need to:

Potential problems here are endless, and we cannot produce different designs for different markets. We prefer to work with the designers we know, who are familiar with our work and our systems. It is rare otherwise for it to run smoothly, and the eventual result is not normally as good.

This is why we propose our middle way. You give us images to work with and start the process and the lettering and overall design stay with us.

Can I use my cover for my own marketing?

Of course! There is no need to acknowledge copyright of Adobe Stock pictures on publicity material.

How do I download my cover?

You will be able to download your cover as well as mockups from the Books Detail page.

The finish on your cover

At the cover design stage we make the decision whether to go with a gloss or matt cover.

Our default cover finish is matt, and the majority of our books have a matt cover.

We might decide on a gloss cover if:

Covers with special finishes, embossing, cut-outs, etc. are only practical if you are already selling in the tens/hundreds of thousands. It means much longer print runs, at different printers in North America and the UK.