Last day I saw a post in one of the groups I was in. An author wanted to know whether Designers appreciated if somebody pointed out something funky about the cover. Her question was mainly regarding covers posted publicly in FB. In which case, never point it out publicly, always PM and only if it’s something like a spelling mistake or something like a contemporary romance model having three hands instead of two. Otherwise it’s better not to. Everybody has different aesthetics and what we may not like would be what something somebody else loves.
The question got me thinking about how to do this when you are working with your cover designer.
First things first, if you don’t like something about the cover you should definitely share your concerns with the designer.
1. If it’s about an overall aesthetic then sometimes the designer is right because they know the market is better and sometimes the author is right because they know the vibe of their story better but it’s always better to have an open discussion regarding who your target audience is. Often times the designer knows better due to their experience.
2. If it’s about glaring mistakes like missing fingers or spelling mistakes just point it out by saying “ hey, the fingers are missing and ‘this word’ and ‘this word’ is spelt wrong. Could you fix that. Thank you.” Just get right to the point. Your designers are also human. So, it’s pretty normal to miss small stuff when they have been staring at the same cover for hours. Much like missing misspelt words or using wrong grammar when self-editing. Don’t be condescending or fling insults. I have never experienced this but I have seen other designers experience this. Designing a cover is a collaborative process based on mutual respect. And having a designer who likes you will make sure that they will go the extra length for you.
3. If it’s about things like overall colour palettes or composition be like “hey, I like the colours but I am not a huge fan of it. Could you send me a few other options” and depending on whether you know exactly what you want, you can send examples of what you want or ask the designer for their opinion on what to change.
In essence, be frank but polite and remember that it’s a collaborative endeavor.
Bonus point: If you like something about your cover, definitely let your designer know. I get emails from my clients saying they loved the typography or they love the colours or even the overall cover and it totally makes my day. And it often encourages me to do extra work for the author or help them with marketing or even hyping them up on FB. Please note that you shouldn’t expect your designer to do something extra for you because you gave a compliment. It’s just a nice thing to do and will help you in having a good relationship with your designer.