I read an interesting article today, an interview with Stephen King's cover designer, Jeff Huang. He gives all cover designers a target to shoot for when judging their abilities, for sure.
I have often had the paradox he speaks of, as to price range for my clients. I give 200% of my efforts to my clients, yet I can't count how many times people have not used my services because they feel the price is too high. Unfortunately, as Jeff Huang hit on this subject, Indie (self) Publishing is causing this. So many authors are opting not to get a great cover due to the expense, yet the cover really is the first step in selling a book.
I'm not saying I will be raising my prices into the thousands of dollars, like Jeff Huang. I definitely must consider the amount of time I want to spend on a cover, and weigh how much my time is worth.
In the mean time, maybe giving your cover designer a few more pats on the back, and truly appreciate the time that goes into one. It is not just an hour or so to design a cover. We look into the words used, the overall idea of the book, searching for stock images to keep your price down, and then all the actual design time. That doesn't even account for the years of training on software and learning all the intricacies of marketing in the book industry.
To read more from Jeff Huang's interview, visit Reedsy.