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Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Rewind: Ask AJ Issue 3

Today on All Authors Friday Rewind we bring you a reminder of Ask AJ from "All Authors Magazine Issue 3: Winds of Change" published March of 2014.


My cover designer did a fantastic job on the cover of my book. I want to give him the recognition he deserves, but I don't see a title for "book cover designer", only "illustrator". If I list him as an illustrator, I fear the reader may think my book is full of illustrations, but if I don't have him as part of my listing, I think he will feel slighted. Should I proceed with listing him as an illustrator, and if I don't, how can I give him proper recognition?

AJ Replies:

I particularly like this issue’s question. I am a big fan of book covers, cover art, and everything that goes into them–from the idea, the concept, and the final product. The old saying, one that everyone knows, is ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Unfortunately, that does happen, and your cover will be the first thing a potential reader/buyer will see. 

There are so many layers (no pun intended…well maybe) that go into a book cover, and leaving even one out can change the entire look and feel of the cover art. And unless you draw it from scratch and design it from that point on, you will probably need the help of others to create the vision you have for your cover. There is nothing wrong with that.


Depending on how you get your cover done, if you collaborate, you should (in my opinion) give credit to anyone involved, especially an illustrator or cover designer. If you pay someone to do your cover from start to finish, the designer or cover artist will usually work out details on them receiving acknowledgment of their work in the negotiation of the fee they will charge. Some cover designers will take payment for their work and mention anything about receiving credit. But, those may be few and far between.


Most of us give credit where credit is due, so it’s not out of the way for us to give props to someone who does us a service - one that we consider a job well done. One that will help us promote our products. With all that out of the way, I’ll get back to the actual question above, which is really a two-part question. 
  1. The question posed is about giving credit to the cover designer. 
  2. The technical part of the question is whether the designer is listed as an illustrator or not.

I feel that you should give credit to the cover artist for the work they have done. The terms illustrator and cover designer can be the same thing, depending on what they choose to go by. Technically an illustrator can be a person who draws art for books, magazines etc. - more of an artist. 

I would credit them under the title they have chosen for the work that they do. If that is their professional title then there should not be a problem.

The question of naming them as an illustrator possibly confusing the potential reader/buyer can easily be handled in the blurb or description of the book. I think it can be made clear enough that there should not be any confusion as to what your book is about and or what it displays inside the cover. 

If there is no objection by the cover artist, and to avoid any problems then give credit by saying: Cover art and design done by…

So, in short, establish what the designer’s true title is and what they will expect as far as crediting their work–be it cover artist, cover designer, or illustrator. 

Don’t sweat it, and if all else fails . . . just ask!

Do YOU have a question you'd like to ask AJ? Send it to and wait to see if it is featured in our next issue.