Frequently asked questions

If you’re considering spending money on one of my covers, you’re probably a little curious about who I am. I’ve been an artist for my whole life and a professional graphic designer for at least half of it. I have a degree in Art History and Museum Studies and studied Museum Education in graduate school. I also spent a decade working in museums before moving on to graphic design roles. 

More recently, I have worked for major corporations (I am working for one now, in fact) as an instructional learning experience designer, which means I have a keen eye for how to draw someones attention and keep it there. 

Because of my background, I have an understanding of essential art fundamentals, such as composition, lighting, color theory, and familiarity with the human anatomy. To top it off, as a twenty year design veteran, I have the know-how to use graphic design tools properly, and apply those skills to all of my covers.

My covers are always created with the utmost attention and care to every detail. You will have natural colors, beautiful craftsmanship, proper lighting and shadows, appropriate human proportions, depth, and pristine work right down to the last pixel. 

You will not experience extra or missing limbs, jagged edges, ghost images, washed out or neon colors, or sloppy editing. Moreover, I always take the extra time to add all the details that make your cover look like the models were naturally in their new setting by adding touches like shadows at the right angle and sunshine when needed.

A lot of other designers work across multiple genres. I stay firmly planted in the romance genre, so my skills are specially honed to match the needs of romance authors. 

Additionally, I’m an avid historical romance novel reader and actively admin several historical romance facebook groups. I’m also an aspiring HR author! Because of this, I am intimately familiar with the genre. I know how the books read, what they feel like, how readers respond to them, and I can bring your characters to life!

No matter whether you buy a premade over or purchase a custom cover, your cover will feel beautiful, rich and luxurious. And most importantly, it will stand out from the pack!

You get a one of a kind, professional quality cover, designed personally by me. Once you buy a cover it comes off my shelf, permanently. All my images are properly licensed and I never use free or questionable stock images. Beyond that, you get my full attention to detail when designing your cover or any of my premade covers. I’ll edit right down to the pixel to make your covers absolutely perfect!

Additionally, all my clients get exclusive cover reveals inside the The Ton & The Tartans or Upturned Petticoats & Undone Cravats groups on facebook! Great exposure to thousands of die hard romance readers!

I source my images and assets from six popular websites:

When you buy a cover from me, I will include licensing details for every image used. It is your responsibility to ensure you use the cover under the guidelines of those licenses.

You can choose any model stock photo up to $12 in value. You’ll be charged the difference for any image above $12. There is no charge or limitation for background images. 

Premade covers are non-refundable. However, if you are unhappy with your premade cover, please tell me so we can find a suitable solution.  

Payments for premade covers must be made within 24 hours of requesting the cover. Failure to pay will result in the premade cover being placed back up for sale. 

Custom Covers require a $50 deposit to hold a place in my schedule. 

  • The $50 deposit is fully refundable until 3 months before the first date in your booking window, at which time it becomes non-refundable. 
  • If you are booking a window that is within 3 months, a deposit of $50 is due at the time of the request and is non-refundable. 
  • Deposits are handled on a per cover basis.
  • Deposits book you for a specific time frame in my schedule. This is your booking window. The booking window is the time frame during which I do the bulk of work on your cover (usually a one week period of time per cover), but the process typically begins much earlier. Before your booking window arrives, we will plan your covers, including going over your preferences, chosing stock photos, clarifying your look and feel, and in some cases, mockups will be created beforehand.

     

Custom Cover Cancellation Policy

Your deposit is fully refundable if: 

  • Cancellation is requested no later than 3 months before your scheduled booking window,
  • Stock photos have not been purchased*, and
  • Design work** has not begun on any of your covers.

*If stock photos have been purchased the cost of stock photos will be subtracted from the returnable portion of your deposit.

Deposits are not refundable if:

  • Cancellation is requested within 3 months of the first date in your booking window, or
  • Design work** has begun on any your covers, regardless of when cancelation is requested. 

**Design work includes creation of color palets, mockups, actual production of your cover even if it falls outside of your booking window, creation of teasers, banners, advertisments, etc. Design work does not include searching for stock photos, email conversations for planning, etc. Design work will not begin early without agreement between both designer and client. 

Please note that stock photo licenses are non-transferrable. If stock photos have been purchased, the cost of the stock images will be subtracted from your deposit and you will not receive the stock photo for your personal use. This is a limitation of the license agreement and not a personal decision on my part. 

Custom Cover Return Policy

Completed custom covers cannot be returned due to the heavily customized nature of the work. However, every custom package includes opportunities to revise the cover to suit your needs.

In some cases, if you are truly unhappy with your cover, we can choose to try to sell it as a premade. If  am able to do that, you will be refunded. This is extremely rare, but I mention it because my aim is to make my clients as satisfied with the outcome as possible. I’m always willing to work with you to resolve a situation. 

I will create a mockup for your approval before I begin the larger editing process of your cover. The mockup will give you a good idea of what the final result will be.

This may include:

  • Positioning of your chosen cover model(s).
  • Positioning of any other images you requested to have on the cover (such as horse and buggy, buildings, objects, ets.
  • Positioning of background.
  • Hair and clothing swaps.
  • Recoloring.

Mockups are drafts and you should not expect to see perfect editing. There may be instances of bleeding colors, lack of depth, lack of polish/finalized look. This will be your opportunity to request changes.

Once you approve the mockup, you are approving the final editing process and committing to paying for the cover in full upon completion. 

At this point, I will begin the work of making your cover perfect. I will finalize isolations and re-colors, add lighting, depth, and shadows, as well as perform additional color adjustments. The last step is to add text. Upon completion, you will receive a low resolution, watermarked version of your cover and an opportunity to make last minute, small adjustments or provide full approval. 

I will then send you an invoice to pay the balance of your cover. Once paid, I will export your files, add them to your Dropbox folder, and make them available for download. 

While I do not require the full balance to be paid until you see the final image and approve it, when you put down a deposit to hold a window in my schedule for your cover, it is an agreement in good faith that you intend to pay for the cover in full upon approval of the initial mockup. 

Mockups will not be created without a deposit.

When print covers are not setup at the time that the cover is designed, you still must pay the full balance to receive any of your finalized files, including the completed eBook cover. 

Final payment is due upon the completion of the artwork portion of your cover, before title and print cover setups are complete. 

Rarely. In most cases everything you need is included in your package. A handful of exceptions are outlined below.

  • All packages include licensing of one model image for your cover. If you need to add additional licenses, you’ll be charged for the cost of the license. Background stock photos are always free when chosen from my sources, unless you have a specific request that require special or expensive licensing.

     

  • Add-ons that were not included in the package you purchased may require an upgrade to the next level package.

     

  • Each package includes a specific number of revision rounds. Requests for excessive revisions may incur a $25 fee per request. This is a rare occurance but typically it happens when approvals have been made and finalized before the additional changes have been requested. Please review The Swoonies Custom Cover Guide for tips on how to avoid this.

     

  • If you booked a package with a print cover, the print setup is included. It’s important that you provide the correct information to ensure that your cover is set up properly. Errors related to template size or page number always require a second print setup. If this happens as a result of incorrect information provided to me during the setup process, a second print set up fee of $25-$50 will be charged. You can avoid this by only requesting a print cover setup when you have the page number for the final formatted manuscript that you plan to send to the printer.

     

  • If you purcahsed a Contemporary or Standard HR package and need a print setup for a second printer (for example, you want to publish with both Ingram Spark and Amazon who require different template setups) there will be a fee of $25 for the additional setup.

     

  • You will not be charged extra fees for typography revisions (unless excessive) or proof corrections.

     

  • If you require a special font, you’ll be charged for the cost of the license if I don’t already own it. Please note that it’s important to follow all licensing agreements. Most font licenses cannot be transferred so even if you have the font, that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be legal for me to use it.

     

That covers most of the scenarios. Extra fees will always be discussed in advance, so please don’t worry about these landing on an invoice to you unexpectedly.

I accept payment plans under the right circumstances. 

I’ve answered this question differently at different times, but the truth is, I want to offer payment plans to those who need them. Unfortunately, every time I’ve done so, the person has either dodged making payments and I needed to chase them down, or they came back and needed a refund. 

My premade covers sell best when first revealed. If a payment plan falls through, I lose a large percentage of my profits. Because of this, I am happy to make a payment plan arrangement only under the following circumstances: 

  • You must be able to make an initial, non-refundable, payment covering 30% of the cost of the cover. 
  • You must commit to making montly payments on a specific date.
  • The cover must be fully paid off within 6 months from your first payment. 
  • If you need to miss a payment, you must notify me before the day your payment is due. 
  • In the event of a missed payment without notifying me, any amounts paid over the 30% deposit will be immediately refunded and the cover will be placed back up for sale.
  • You will not be able to purchase the cover again unless you are able to immediately pay in full. 
  • If a client fails to fulfill a payment plan agreement without effectively communicating the issue to me, that client will no longer be able to request payment plans or book custom covers. 
  • Essentially, what I ask for is clear communication. Things happen. If you need to make adjustments to our agreement, I’m ok with that as long as you communicate in a timely manner. 
 
Since custom covers do not require payment until long after the initial deposit is paid, there is no need for payment plans for a custom cover booking. 

Please click here to send me a message using the contact form. 

No. Covers are created with images licensed from major stock companies and you are subject to the terms of that license. To best understand this, I suggest researching license agreements because I am not a lawyer and am not liable for your misuse of these agreements.

Additionally, all derivative artwork (your final cover image), continues to be owned by The Swoonies Book Covers and Holly Perret. When you buy a cover from me you are buying an exclusive license to use the image. But I maintain the right to display the cover on my website and use it as an example of my work, among other things. But rest assured, all covers are sold only one time, giving you exclusive rights to use the cover for your book and any promotional materials related to your books.

Please see the license page for details about my license agreement. 

I wish I could say that I haven’t had my covers stolen. But the sad truth is that, I have. Many designers add watermarks, but it is easy enough to remove them so I don’t see the purpose. 

Should someone use a Swoonies cover on their book that they have not paid for, without my express permission, they will be required to immediately pay for the cover in full, plus a $25 rental charge for every day they used the cover illegally.

I will take legal action against designers who pass one of my covers off as their own.. 

All the covers on this site are the copyright of The Swoonies Romance Art, Holly Perret.

Please see the terms page for The Swoonies Terms & Conditions.