Graphic Design

How do you come up with your prices?
A: I base them off of the average hourly rate for freelance graphic designers in the US. That factors in everything from years of experience to the ridiculous amount certain graphics programs cost. So, unless otherwise noted, the price you see is:

The minimum amount of time it would take me to complete a simplistic version of your project x $30/hr.

Also, I am willing to bundle. 🙂

I’ve sent you an email/order! Now what?
A: Sweet! *High five* If your project fits my schedule and skill set, I will likely accept it. At that point, we’ll discuss expectations and create a timeline that works for both of us. Afterward, I’ll send you a (plain English) design contract for review. We’ll both sign it, bask in the glory of our newfound friendship, and then I’ll get to work.

How can I pay you?
A: I’ll invoice you via PayPal.

Do you take your own photos or use stock photography?
A: I use stock photography for most projects—it keeps costs down for both of us—but I do have a lot of nature photography available as stock.

Side note: Since I’m an affiliate of DepositPhotos, I sometimes like to start there!

Do you have any printer recommendations?
A: Personally, I use VistaPrint and Moo for my printing needs.

You can get 10% off your first Moo order here.

Do you design blogs or websites?
A: Rarely. Those projects can get pretty time-consuming. I take them on a case-by-case basis.

What programs do you use?
A: I use Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe CS2 (Illustrator, Acrobat, etc.), Microsoft Publisher, CyberLink PowerDirector, Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, GoAnimate, Poser 10, and Soundforge Audio Studio—not to mention a subscription to a massive collection of PS actions for 3D renders.

Why did you name your company “Forward Authority”?
A: Three reasons! Are you ready?
Forward: I’m all about looking ahead to make sure your projects are fresh and relevant.
Authority: I’m an author. Many of you are authors. It’s right there in the word! Plus, it shows a certain level of expertise. 😉
Design: When you tack this on, it creates the acronym FAD. Fitting, right?

How will you come up with my design?
A: That depends. If you have something in mind already, we’ll talk about that first. Feasibility, marketability, etc. You may already have images, colors, and fonts in mind.

If you don’t have anything in mind, especially for a book cover, that’s okay. I’ll send you a questionnaire with the option to send an excerpt from your book—most likely, where the character is described—so I can get a feel for it. Or, if you’d prefer something less formal, you could just describe what you’re going for. Example:

You: “Think Madmen meets The Jetsons.”
Me: “All right.”

You: “But, with lipstick smearing out the title.”
Me: “Interesting.”

You: “And an elephant! Could we have an elephant?”
Me: “Uh…”

Note: I don’t recommend said scenario.

Could you make me something just like Book Title?
A: I could, but I’d rather not. It’s a design integrity thing. We don’t want overly similar covers floating around the Interwebz, confusing people. Your image should be distinct and memorable. :)’

How do premade book covers work?
A: I have a whole page devoted to that. Check it out here.

What’s the secret of life?
A: I can’t tell you. It’s a secret.

Marketing Consultation

What all does a marketing consultation entail?
A: This varies, depending on client needs. I’ve helped authors plan their releases, recover from publisher fall-outs, rebrand themselves as pseudonyms, etc. Openings are limited and book up very quickly.

Digital Downloads

How do I purchase your printables?
A: Check out my Etsy shop!

What about shipping?
A: All of my items are available exclusively as digital downloads—meaning, you will receive all file(s) necessary, but you’re free to print them however you like. You may choose to print at home or—depending on their sizing restrictions—work with a commercial printer like Staples or VistaPrint.

How can I get a discount / promo / coupon code?
A: Subscribe to my rewards newsletter and follow me via social media!

Can I order ________ in a different size?
A: In many cases, you should be able to resize things to your liking. For example, if you order US letter-sized (8.5 x 11”) planner pages, you can easily adjust your settings to make the layout work in, say, half-letter (5.5” x 8.5”). All you would have to do is:

Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.
Click “Print”
Click “Page Setup” in the bottom-left corner.
Adjust the “Paper Size” via the drop-down menu. In this case, we would click “Half-Letter”.
After clicking “OK,” we return back to the “Page Setup” window. Now, we click “Fit” under “Page Sizing & Handling”.
Click “Print”.

Mind you, you will have to trim some excess using this method, and there will be a little extra white space. You can decorate the area, use it for journaling, etc.

Alternatively, you could always open (and manipulate) the PDF in a program like Adobe InDesign. Maybe you could fit two to a page, that way.

If neither of these suit you, and you really want a special size, you can purchase a customization for a small fee. In that case, I’m the one who gets to sweat the new dimensions. 😉

Do you take requests?
A: I’m always happy to take suggestions for future collections! Feel free to contact me via form, email, or social media.

What about custom orders?
A: That type of work falls under the graphic design aspect of Forward Authority, as opposed to an instant digital download. Feel free to submit your inquiry via my contact page!

What format are your digital downloads in?
A: Unless otherwise noted, your digital download will be a PDF. You can use any reader you like to open/print the PDF, but I recommend Adobe Reader. It’s from a reputable company and, most importantly, it’s free!
Larger files/bundles will likely be zipped into a folder. If you don’t have a preferred program to open a ZIP folder, don’t worry. There are dozens of great programs out there. I use WinRar.

Can I edit the PDF before I print it?
A: Unless otherwise noted, the PDF files are not editable.

Will my printout look exactly like your design?
A: It should look very close. I say this, because a thousand factors can contribute to a discrepancy, i.e. low ink/toner, clogged printer nozzles, monitor settings, etc.

How long does it take to receive my files?
A: Once your payment clears, the download window will pop up instantly!

Do you offer refunds?
A: Due to the nature of digital downloads, all sales are final once the files have been downloaded. If you have a problem getting the file downloaded or open, we can figure that out together.