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Cover Cost Breakdown

There are a lot of different ways that you can go about getting a cover for your book. Stock photos are a popular option, and I did use one for my most recent book, All Our Broken Pieces. However, I chose to do custom photos for my other books mostly because I was never satisfied with stock photos for my Dalthia series, and because I have family and friends who are photographers who were willing to help me out. I also have a husband who has a degree in multi-media design. If you have those kinds of connections—utilize them (I say UTILIZE and not TAKE ADVANTAGE OF. There’s a big difference). But even though I haven’t always had to pay for photographers, I’ve still had to pay for locations, models, costumes, and sometimes props.

I think the way I’ve gone about covers is fairly abnormal in the indie community. The things I’ve chosen to spend money on have varied from book to book. So in case you’re curious, here’s a breakdown of what I did for each book.

*I have omitted the cost of cover design because my cost is always $0. Perks of having a husband who can do it for me.*

When I started this whole thing, I decided that I was willing to spend up to $500 to get a cover done start to finish. Sometimes I got no where close to that amount. Other times it was close. Some family members I paid, some I didn’t, depending on how much of an inconvenience it was, if they wanted the extra experience, or if they were just being super nice to me.

Just Ella

Original Cover:

  • $400 for a Custom painting.






New Cover:

  • $60 for fabrics to adjust dress.
  • $50 for permission to shoot at Wadley Farms.
  • $0 for photographer (Family discount).
  • $0 for model. She received copies and rights to photos.





Missing Lily:

  • $70 for costume.
  • $25 for props.
  • $0 for photographer (family discount).
  • $0 for model.
  • $0 for location. We shot in my brother-in-law’s studio.






Saving Marilee:

  • $70 for costume.
  • $250 for permission to shoot at La Caille.
  • $250 for photographer.
  • $0 for model. Model received copies and rights to photos.





Painting Rain:

  • $40 for costume.
  • $0 for photographer.
  • $0 for location.
  • $0 for model. She’s my niece. 🙂






Keeping Kinley:

  • $400 to fly my sister here so she could photograph for me. (With the added benefit of a sisterly visit.)
  • $0 for permission to shoot in orchard.
  • $80 for model.
  • $60 for costume.






If I Could Stay:

  • $30 for model.
  • $0 to shoot in state park.
  • $50 for photographer.
  • $15 for scarf.






All Our Broken Pieces:

  • $70 for stock photo.