The Telemachus Press Blog


We get asked a lot of questions by prospective authors. A lot of questions! The questions run the gamut from process to pricing, from fonts to formatting, from Kindles to kerning. They’re all good questions asked by intelligent and curious people – many of them our future friends. We never mind spending whatever time is necessary to fully answer each and every inquiry, each and every question. Just so you know, never hesitate to call or email!

There is one question that not only comes up frequently, it is sometimes even posed in the email introducing the author to us – our very first exchange! The question is: “I already have a cover created. How much will this reduce the fee that you charge?” Well, this is just about the only question we get asked where the answer is maybe not what the author wanted to hear. The answer is, unfortunately, it will not reduce our fee.

How can this be? After all, part of the Telemachus Press fee is the creation of a cover for the eBook or Print-on-Demand book or both. If you show up with a manuscript and a fully developed cover, doesn’t that drastically reduce the workload? Actually, no. Amazingly, no. In fact, it adds to our workload. We have tracked many development efforts and have the actual data to back this up.

As much as we are pleased to work with your cover artist and receive what they have created on your behalf, it does not reduce our labor in any way and here’s why.

In our normal process, we work with the author in a back-and-forth process to create a cover using commercially available imagery that the author then licenses. By the way, the license fees are very inexpensive and provide the author with the ability to legally use, after selecting from an amazingly large pool, professionally taken photographs, drawings, line art, cartoons, etc. for their book covers. The process is a lot of fun and we like having our authors involved.

As I mentioned above, when the author brings us a cover, or has a pro build one and then deliver it to us, our workload goes up. The cover is invariably gorgeous and the artist worked hard on behalf of the author. The problem is that the interaction back and forth with the artists always takes more time than we would have spent building the cover ourselves. The files we get will need to be sent back for resizing. We won’t get all of the layers (or they won’t be “flattened”) of the Photoshop rendering. The bleed lines won’t be right. The spine will be incorrectly sized. And on and on and on. This happens even when we provide a tech spec up front. All of this eventually gets fixed and we learn how to individually communicate with each artist. And, all of the author-supplied artists have worked hard with us to get to the finish line – good people all! But as for reducing our workload – not a prayer. Not even a chance of a prayer!

So, we hope that after reading this you understand it when we cannot offer a discount if you bring your own cover design, no matter who built it or how complete it is.

Posted in: Self-Publishing