How much is my illustrated eBook cover going to cost?

How much is my illustrated ebook going to cost?

How much does an illustration cost?

This will always be one of the first questions anyone looking to hire an illustrator will ask when researching their options.

I have answered this question hundreds of times over the years, and many prospective clients will raise the question in the first few minutes of our conversation.

I get it: even if it is not the only consideration when it comes to an illustration project, price does matter. And price will often dictate who you work with, the style your illustrations will be designed in, how many of them you will commission, and even the type of service you will receive overall.

It's tough to answer this question with one straight answer because when it comes to illustration, there are so many variables to take into account that it's often difficult to know the price until you've figured out exactly what you want, and have had a conversation with the illustrator or illustrators that you are thinking of working with to make sure that you are on the same page.

I strive to educate every prospective client, even if it means that you end up working with somebody else, so I will do my very best to offer some realistic price ranges, based on past projects I have worked on as well as on what’s currently going on in the industry (in 2022).

Please keep in mind that all prices provided here are estimates only. Prices can and often do vary drastically based on your individual needs, the size of your company, the deadline, and many other factors.

How much is my illustrated ebook going to cost?

How much does an eBook cover illustration cost?

On average, most eBook cover illustrations will typically cost £100 to £600 for a simple original design, and £200 to £800 for a complex original design.

As with any project that requires visual assets, many factors can impact the cost of your illustration.

For a quick overview of the main factors, please keep reading.

Many factors can impact the cost of your eBook cover illustration

1) Licence

I have talked about illustration licenses before so I won’t go into too much detail here: in a nutshell, it is custom for illustrators to be compensated based on the usage rights that you - the client - need (unlike graphic designers, who tend to have an hourly or day rate) as it doesn’t make economical sense for you to pay for additional rights that you don’t need or will never use. For more information, you can refer to the Association of Illustrators’ licensing model guide.

So back to what we were discussing, in the case of a licence, you will be looking at factors like

  • Territory: Which territory will the image be used in? e.g. UK / USA / Worldwide

  • Duration: How long it will be used for? e.g. 6 months / 1 year / 3 years / 5 years

  • Anticipated usage: What it will be used for? e.g. in-house training / lead magnet / product

  • Client: Who will be using it? e.g. a big multi-national / small business / an individual

2) Copyright Assignment

If owning the copyright of the illustrations is a non-negotiable condition for you, expect to pay at least an extra 250% of the cost on top of the quoted price for each illustration. It may seem like a lot of money but copyright constitutes the livelihood of an illustrator, who makes their living not from the act of making a piece of work, but from licensing it to clients.

An exception to this would be if you hire an illustrator to work on your branding or corporate identity. In this case, the copyright of the graphic design work would belong to you.

3) Extra revisions or changes not already included in the price

If you ask for more revisions than what was agreed in your contract with the illustrator or if you change the brief mid-project also expect to be charged extra for it.

4) Rush job

If your project is a rush job (i.e. work which is required in an unusually short time frame and may involve working at night, at weekends, or during a bank holiday) it will affect the price you get quoted for.

5) Other needs

Do you need the illustrator to design your eBook cover illustration AND to do something else as well, like creating your eBook template for example?

I hope this has helped you to develop a better feel for how much an eBook cover illustration might cost and to see that the cost of working with an illustrator (not just me!) varies greatly based on many factors.

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