I design book covers. I was just
starting out when a client contacted me to do a bundle of five covers. Needless
to say, I jumped on it.
Well, I shouldn’t have. The first red
flag came when they negotiated my fare down to only 10% of what I would have
originally charged. I should have declined them then and there, but I was new
at this and needed the money.
Red flag number two?
Me: So what are the titles of the
Client: I haven’t picked yet. But start
putting something together in the mean time.
Read flag number three:
Me: What are the plots?
The client listed five generic plots that
sounded recaps of recent rom-coms.
These covers were for romance novels.
The client had a few ideas for the layout they wanted – bulky, messy ideas, and
I couldn’t talk them out of it. The big idea was that even though these were romance
novels, they shouldn’t feature people. Just… “schemes.”
No, I don’t know what that means
Me: (after seven revisions) How does this cover look to you?
Client: The plot of my book is about schemes.
You need to put more schemes in the cover.
Me: But no people?
Client: No people. Absolutely not.
Me: What kind of schemes are in the book?
Me: …Perfume is a scheme?
Client: Of course!
I put a perfume bottle on the cover.
Client: What are you doing? I said more
schemes! How dim are you?
Finally, I broke off the relationship.
I told them that clearly I wasn’t doing the job they wanted, and I wasn’t
interested in continuing to do the work.
Two months later:
Client: So what – you’re not going to
do this design for me anymore?
If that’s their idea of “trying to get
someone back,” I doubt their romance novels are going to be any good.