Episode # 08 – How to Get a Great Book Cover with Adrijus Guscia

In Book Covers, Marketing by Simon Whistler7 Comments

Adrijus Guscia cover

In this weeks episode I talk to Adrijus Guscia, a book cover designer. We talk in depth about hiring a designer, how much you should be paying them, as well as the process that you can expect to go through when having a book cover created.

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Adrijus’ Website


Scrivener – we’re currently giving away 5 copies of this writing program to those who sign up to our newsletter.

Rocking Book Covers – Adrijus’ site, including some premades for sale.

Lousy Book Covers – Don’t get a cover like these!

Damonza – Another well known book cover designer.

Various other mentions below, all have links.

Show notes:


– Google searches can reveal many talented designers.

– Forums (not much of a surprise to see KBoards mentioned again!)



Pricing can vary substantially, from under $100, to several thousand. If you can find a pre-made cover you like this can be a good way to get a quality design without the expense seen with a fully custom job.

The ProcessThis is Adrijus’ process, the process might vary with other designers a little.

1. Find and hire a designer

2. They’ll send you some questions about the book.

3. Concepts (2 or 3) are sent – these should have different visuals.

4. You choose what you like, don’t like (or whether the designer nailed it).

5. From there you can highlight what you like and don’t like and further revisions on that concept will be made.

6. Revisions until finished. If paperback, spine and back created.

7. Delivered in whatever format you want. Your designer will know what format you need for where you are publishing your book.

Questionnaire for Author about book:

1. Title and author name
2. Blurb
3. Do you have a synopsis or outline? I prefer to read 5-15 page outline of a book but if it doesn’t exist no worries.
4. What size will it be (if for print)?
5. What mood do you want to convey?
6. Send me some of your favorite covers in your and different genres. What stands out for you/what you liked most?
7. Is it a book from series? If so are there any symbols, things, that could be used as a signature element for it?
8. How much risk do you like to take with the covers? Risky means you don’t mind going against the grain of what current covers look like. And more conservative means we go for the ‘normal’ trends
9. What is the target audience? What books/TV shows they read/watch?
10. Any particular requests/ideas for cover?


“Unless you are a graphic designer you should pay for cover design”


Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 08 – How to Get a Great Book Cover with Adrijus Guscia
  • I also wanted to mention that Fiverr (http://www.fiverr.com) is also a great place to find some awesome, affordable cover designers. And there are also some great designers who frequent Kboards, too!

    • Thanks RM, Fiverr is a great site, so much for just $5! If you want to recommend some designers, drop me an email and I’ll add them to our (work in progress) resources page!

  • Keith Rose

    Happy to find your your site and podcast and look forward to listening.
    I am planning a podcast in the near future, myself as well as some self-publishing projects. So I wish YOU the best and hope to learn from your experiences.

    Aloha & Mahalo,

    • Excellent Keith, podcasting is a lot of fun (as is self-publishing 😉 ).

  • Dan Absalonson

    Great episode. I’m a self pub author and a book cover artist but I always love hearing what the process is like for other authors and cover artists. I’m glad I found your podcast. I’m excited to hear more episodes. I checked out Adrijus’ Website and he’s makes great covers!

    • SimonRSP

      Thanks for listening Dan, good to hear about someone listening to the archives. Feel free to post a link to your cover design site (nothing wrong with a bit of self-promotion 😉 ). I hope you continue to enjoy the podcast.

      • Thanks Simon. I will continue to enjoy the podcast! I’m liking what I’m hearing. You can find some covers I’ve done on this page of my website: http://www.dandantheartman.com/p/hire-me.html Thanks for sharing such great knowledge on your show! I look forward to listening to more episodes. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more comments from me as I work my way through the archives 🙂