Design Terms + Conditions

This page sets out the terms and conditions clients must agree to when working with Michael McInnis. They are designed to make the process of working together fair and reasonable for both designer and client.

Publishing Rights

The client confirms that they have the legal rights and permissions to reproduce and publish all materials that will be included in the work. This includes any text, logos, images, and any other elements they supply or purchase for use in the project. The client is solely responsible for the materials and validity of copyright and ownership claimed by the client. The client agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Michael McInnis from all libel, copyright, and permissions infringement action resulting from materials the client provides. The book must not be a public domain work, unless the client is the original author.


All the information that clients share with us is considered confidential, and will only be used by Michael McInnis to provide a quote for our services, or to complete a book cover design project. We will not share this information with any third party, unless requested to do so by our client. We do not liaise with third parties (such as printers, publishers or editors) on behalf of our clients, and request that clients do not pass on our details or email addresses on to any third parties.

Custom Design Services

Ebook and Print book design service fee includes the following:

  • Ebook resolution jpg file formatted appropriately for ebook
  • Cover image suitable, in hi rez for print and low rez for for use on website or social media, or as marketing materials.
  • Purchase of stock imagery for use on the cover from stock companies Michael McInnis currently contracts with (specific image requests, or images from other companies may incur additional fee, at cost)
  • Digital delivery of all finished cover image files
  • Cover design service may include stock imagery manipulation, custom title design, or other decoration, but does not include original artwork, illustration, copywriting, editing or other services not described above.
  • Full cover layout of paperback format (front/spine/back covers) to client’s printer’s specifications. Client must supply finished layout page count, printer’s template or specs, or link to printer’s website for obtaining template/specs or contact information for printer.
  • High-resolution press ready PDFs to printer’s specs are supplied for client to send to the printer.
  • ISBN barcode applied to back cover from your supplied ISBN #. (Note: some online printers prefer to use their own barcode).
  • Jacket for (hardcover books only) – created to printer’s specifications includes layout of flaps, and spine type design for hard case wrap. (Custom case wrap designs will incur additional design fee.)

Text layout
Interior page design and production – pages designed and typeset to match chosen template, or, for fully custom specialty books:

  • A chapter sample layout is provided to show how different content items are handled.
  • Text page design includes title page design to match cover title design
  • Front matter composition that matches Chicago Manual of Style recommendations (this varies by book type and publisher’s request).
  • Table of Contents – if desired, custom designed for your content type
  • Chapter opener page design
  • Running headers
  • Heads, subheads, text, bulleted lists etc.
  • A press-ready PDF to printer’s specs is supplied for upload to printer
  • Additional changes after the stated rounds of revisions will incur additional charges. Changes after the PDF are submitted to the printer incur charges from Michael McInnis AND the printer.
  • Designer introduced errors will be corrected at no charge prior to files being submitted to printer or online ebook seller. 

Client Responsibilities

Client is solely responsible for proofing all designs/layouts/text provided by Michael McInnis and assuring that all design elements, text, photos, etc. are present, accurate, and correct, including: spelling, grammar, ISBN, price, necessary markings, logos, branding compliance, etc.

Client acknowledges that they will receive digital proofs (PDFs) to approve. It is strongly suggested that clients obtain printed proofs from the printer for approval prior to approving book for sale or ordering bulk copies. If client declines printed proofs they affirm that they will personally approve the printer’s digital proofs. If Michael McInnis is asked to approve proofs without author review, client accepts responsibility for any errors.

Ownership Rights

Upon receipt of full payment, Michael McInnis confers to the client exclusive rights to use the final cover design artwork/page layout in PDF, JPG or other publishing ready format for their book publishing or promotional materials.

Rights of First Refusal

The client understands that they may not alter the cover design in any way, except to change the size for printing or display. They may request the design be altered by Michael McInnis, who has the right to do, or refuse the work. If Michael McInnis declines, the client may have the design altered by another service provider. The client understands that such alterations will incur additional costs.

The client agrees to abide by the terms of any license agreement for any images purchased by Michael McInnis (or themselves) for the work through a third-party image provider. The rights purchased for the book cover (or interior spot images) includes the rights to print runs (or downloads) of up to 500,000 units. For books of over 500,000 units, additional licensing fees may apply. Images used for the cover (or spot) are royalty free, creative commons licensed, or in the public domain; however the creator or seller/publisher of the image holds copyright to the image. The client may not use the image for any purpose other than for the book cover design.

The working files for your cover/book are archived. Should Michael McInnis decline the opportunity to make further revisions, you may request the working files to be conveyed to you. (Time limit—some files may not be retained over 5 years.)

Michael McInnis retains the right to use the client’s final book cover design, author name, book title, and selected interior spreads (designed by Michael McInnis) in her portfolio, on her website and in promotional pieces to market and promote her services.

Michael McInnis retains copyright and ownership of all design elements and unused draft designs.

For any client-supplied materials subject to intellectual property rights by a third party the client will secure the appropriate rights to use the materials before asking the designer to incorporate the materials into the work. Should any intellectual property rights dispute occur involving said materials, the client assumes full legal and financial responsibility.


Michael McInnis requires custom cover/book design to be credited either on the back cover and/or on the copyright page as follows:

Cover design by Michael McInnis (or: Cover and book design by Michael McInnis)
Some photos may also require a credit line on the copyright page (or in the book for spot images). Client will be given the proper wording if that is the case.

In ebooks it is appreciated, but not required to live link to:


Michael McInnis will not be liable for incidental, indirect, consequential, special, punitive, or exemplary damages of any kind, including loss of revenues or profits, loss of business or reputation, or loss of data, in any way related to her services. Michael McInnis is not responsible for any claim, loss, or injury based on errors or any other inaccuracies appearing on her site or in her clients’ written documents, including without limitation as a result of any breach of the terms and conditions of this agreement.


The client agrees to pay the initial deposit of 50% of the estimated total for custom design work before the work begins. The remaining balance plus any agreed to extra charges is due upon approval of the final cover/book proof files. Michael McInnis will not release files until final payment is received. The final payment is considered to be final approval and considered to be the contract fulfilled, and thus terminated. Any other additional services requested will then enter into a new contract and require additional fees. Michael McInnis retains the right to discontinue, withhold, or suspend services for any account should payment not be made in the order specified in the agreement, or should payment not be cleared by the bank.


The client or Michael McInnis may cancel this agreement at anytime by providing written notice to the other party. If either party cancels the agreement after work has commenced, neither party is under further obligation and the contract is considered terminated.

“Kill fee.” If the client should stop the work once design has begun the client agrees to pay up to 50% of the total estimated cost or the designer’s hourly rate plus expenses to the point when work was ceased. This is to cover costs and lost billable time. The client will have no rights to any mockups, comps or design elements created for the cancelled project, and agrees to destroy them.

Modification of agreement

Modification of any provision of this agreement is not valid or enforceable unless confirmed in writing and signed by all parties in hardcopy or e-signature. 


The finding of any provision in this agreement to be invalid or unenforceable does not render the remaining provisions invalid or unenforceable.

Complete agreement

This agreement is the entire agreement of all parties. No additional promises or conditions, written, or oral, apply to this agreement that are not included herein.