Premade illustration: a professional illustrated cover for an affordable price


Illustrated book cover design is a dream of many self-published authors, especially sci-fi and fantasy writers. Such covers have character, undeniable appeal, and uniqueness granted by the artist’s style. 

Unfortunately, they’re rather pricey. So, many indie writers have to stick to more affordable custom cover designs.

Fortunately, there’s a budget-friendly solution as affordable professional illustrated book cover designs exist. 

Where to find affordable illustrated book cover design? 

Do you know what’s in common between:

The dust jacket of this special edition of Dune with art by Matt Griffin;

This cover for the modern classic The Mistborn Trilogy drawn by Sam Webber

This classic cover of The Two Towers by Barbara Remmington 

And this premade fantasy book cover by yours truly

The answer is they all are illustrated either by hand on paper or by hand on a tablet.

And their biggest difference is the price. The first three may have cost several hundred or thousands of dollars. While the last cost the writer $220. 

Why is the last hand-drawn book cover so cheap? 

Well, the Scarlet Sunrise illustrated cover is premade, which means the artist created it without the order from a client. 

As follows, the artist spent less time on the cover as they didn’t have to dive deeper into the author’s story, communicate vision and ideas, validate concepts, and do revisions. The book designer simply had an idea, sat down, and made it a reality. Only the vision and the raw passion of the illustrator fueled this cover. 

Besides, the premade illustrated book covers may take some time before they find a market fit, so the price goes even lower to speed up the process. 

But, the lower price of the premade hand-drawn cover doesn’t affect its quality. To understand what we mean take a look at how we approach our illustrated art. 

Our approach to affordable premade illustrated book cover design 

Three goals drive our company: 

  • We want self-published authors to NOT spend thousands of dollars to have a fair shot at an indie career. 
  • We realize the importance of a professional cover design for the book’s success. 
  • The love of creating art. 

For these purposes, we do our best to have a great time while creating premade covers that

  • suit the genre,
  • help the book stand out, i.e. making catchy covers, 
  • look professional.

Which are three prerequisites for effective book cover design.

Choosing Genres for Affordable Illustrated Book Cover Design 

You can roughly divide a modern book cover design into two groups

  • Photobash covers, which are made from bits of other photos and 3D models 
  • Hand-drawn/illustrated ones, which are painted by hand on a tablet or paper. 

Though each has its merits and works better with different genres, the first is the more prevalent one. Photo-based book covers are generally cheaper, and more designers work with this style. 

On the other hand, illustrated book cover designs are rarer overall because they take more time to create and fewer cover designers provide such a service. Still, hand-drawn covers have long been the face of fantasy and sci-fi genres as well as children’s literature. 

The audience is used to and adores the unique, imaginative, and detailed stories hand-drawn covers tell. And the authors are often inspired by the classic SF&F artwork of the greats they used to read growing up.  

As a result, whether it’s the freshest fantasy hit or an established masterpiece, you’re likely to see an illustrated cover on top of it. 

So, the majority of our affordable premade illustrated covers suit mostly SF, fantasy, and, on rare occasions, children’s literature. 

The genres are figured out then. What about making them catchy? 

Making Affordable Illustrated Book Cover Design Catchy

Though our book artists are free to experiment, juggle ideas, and try new things, they adhere to the rules of the catchy, professional design. 

For example, to ensure our affordable hand-drawn book covers stand up, our designers include: 

  • Nice, sharp contrasts by means of color, composition, shapes, and framing;
  • Clear focal points so the reader’s eye doesn’t wander around in confusion;
  • Clear typography with legible text that doesn’t overwhelm the art;

No matter what you depict on the cover, if you adhere to these rules, the final result will be effective.  

For example, the first cover:

  • Combines green and bright yellow to create a harmonious contrast; 
  • The composition and perspective of the art lead the eye to the tip of the arrow that is the brightest point of the cover — a clear and magnetic focal point; 
  • The title reflects the cover with the colors and amplifies its effect with elaborate, gorgeous typography.

As for the second cover: 

  • Though the colors are dark and similar, for a moody atmosphere, the silhouette is contrasted against the background by the difference in brightness;  
  • The focal point is where the character looks — the dragon, which is also the brightest part of the art;  
  • Typography is sharp and metallic, which adds a dimension to the cover’s style. 

Besides that, we encourage our artists to try different drawing styles and feel free to be themselves, which often leads to uniquely fresh covers that stand out in the crowd.

This is how we approach our premade illustrated covers to ensure they meet the demands of the author and the market. 

Summing Up Affordable Illustrated Book Covers 

Unfortunately, custom illustrated covers can cost you an arm and a leg. Fortunately, there’s a solution in the face of premade hand-drawn covers. Though affordable, these covers are up to par with the custom designs. Made by experienced artists, premade illustrations are a great solution for indie authors who want to optimize their budgets.

So, feel free t0 visit our shop, and maybe, you’ll find the cover that will fit your book like a glove. 


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