Independent Authors

I've worked with lots of big publishers, but I love working with independent authors too. I believe that professional design can help you and your book go further, and I'd like to be a part of your journey!

Every book, cover and interior I produce is custom designed, tailored to you. I believe that eye-catching, well-crafted design increases the value of your book to readers and booksellers. I will never supply pre-made covers. Your book matters to me, so my design will reflect that.

Your book design will receive as much careful attention as it needs to become the best it can be. I’ll make sure you’re completely happy with your book before it goes to press.

I will design your package around you, your objectives and your budget. Every time you work with me, we'll build a package dedicated to what you need at the time.

Lawston Design’s Service Agreement for Independent Authors can be viewed here.

Please note, I cannot take new independent author clients at this time. Please contact me for more information.  


for Independent Authors


Design services include:

• author branding

• design for fiction, young fiction and YA fiction (including interiors of illustrated and non-illustrated)

• design for non-fiction and academic (including interiors of illustrated and non-illustrated)

• design for picture books, activity, licensing, novelty and gift books

• commissioning and briefing illustrators, photographers and paper engineers

• map, realia and technical Illustration

• design of marketing materials

• author websites


for Independent Authors

Who will own the copyright?

Here's the boring legal stuff (sorry!)

All designs, including visuals, are © and the exclusive property of Rachel Lawston, trading as Lawston Design. I will include a notice on your back cover and/or copyright page that reads: Design © Rachel Lawston, Lawston Design. Please credit me where possible.

My designs are only licensed to you and cannot be re-sold, loaned to a third party, or distributed in any way other than the purposes they were designed for. Imagery used in my designs may have been purchased specifically for use in the project. Any additional use of images will require you buying the image licenses.

If you secure a publishing contract and your Publisher wishes to use the design, please ensure they credit me on the cover and copyright page and that I am notified in writing. Any artwork created by an illustrator or images purchased for the design will need to be relicensed by the publisher.

Can I make my own marketing materials and web banners using the cover design?

If you wish to make your own materials using my design you must buy the image licenses first. Please see Fonts and stock images for more information.

Can I amend the cover design?

No, I hold the copyright to the design. Any changes must be made by me.

Can I create a paperback or Audio book cover using your ebook design?

No, I hold the copyright to the design. All cover formats using my design must be created by me.

Fonts and stock library images

Please be aware that when I design anything for you, any images I have purchased from stock libraries are licensed only to me and not to you.

This means that as my client you are only covered for the design that I have created for you. If you wish to create anything using elements extracted from the design I have created, reuse the design in another format, or to make amends to the design, you must purchase the stock imagery licenses. 

Unless you or I purchase an extended license, you may not reproduce the content more than 500,000 times in physical print form.

Unfortunately, I cannot supply the fonts I use if they are commercially licensed. I am happy to pass on information about where to buy the fonts used in your book if requested.

Do you design author websites?

Yes, I design and build websites for authors using Squarespace.

I need my cover designed ASAP, is that possible?

It may be possible, but it would depend on the time of the year. I work with publishers all over the world, so at certain times of the year I am extremely busy. I will always try to help where I can though!

How do I pay?

I do not charge deposits, and projects can be cancelled at anytime, but a fee will be charged if a significant amount of work has been done. At the end of a project, an invoice will be sent. All payments and expenses are due within 28 days of the date of invoice, the 'Due Date'. I usually take payment via bank transfer.