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View Full Version : Dreamscape Covers (Buyer Beware!)



Katallina
09-04-2012, 04:51 PM
On July 6th 2012 I hired Joy Stroube of Dreamscape Covers (http://www.dreamscapecovers.com/) to design a front cover, back cover and spine for my first novel, Sealer's Promise.

Ms. Stroube told me that she would be willing to do this for $115 and on July 7th I sent her this payment in full via PayPal. I was extremely thrilled with the price she quoted and felt it was generous of her to extend such an offer. The date that the cover was to be completed by was August 31st of 2012.

It is now September 4th 2012. I do not have a cover. And the last contact that I had with Ms. Stroube or her company was an e-mail dated August 27th, which I replied to the evening I received it.

Long story short, I am not impressed.

Because I gave such a distant due date I have lost any right to make a claim with PayPal. Even if I had been able to make a claim with them, I doubt it would have worked since this company's policy on refunds is that there are not necessary -- Dreamscape / Ms. Stroube will work with the artist until they are satisfied with the end result.

Well, I am not satisfied. I can tell you that right now. And I have absolutely no intentions of ever working with this individual again -- it has been a nightmare. (To the point where it would be financially and psychologically ill advised for me to work with her even if she offered, because my novel is the first in a series and there is no way I will tolerate a repeat of the "service" I have received.) I feel some level of moral obligation to tell fellow authors to please steer clear, because I would hate to see what has happened to me happen to anyone else.

A quick list of my complaints:

1. The artist / company did not complete the work I hired her for. Nor has she contacted me regarding this in any way. This one's pretty obvious. If I had a cover and was happy with it, I'd be in here telling you how great she was rather then writing this. (I really, really hate giving people negative publicity...)

2. The artist / company did not communicate clearly. She indicated I would receive a list of ideas shortly after I paid her so we could decide what the cover should focus on, and I did not receive anything remotely like this until the 23rd of August.

3. The artist / company did not communicate consistently or in a timely manner. I actually had to switch which e-mail I was using to get ahold of Ms. Stroube because "hotmail was not sending her replies to my messages". I wonder if yahoo stopped working for this, too? (Yes, that is sarcasm. Yes, I am extremely frustrated and apologize for any perceived snarkiness.)

4. The artist / company ignored design preferences she requested from me. She wanted to know what color(s) my lead character would wear. I gave her five and she came back with two images--that would require heavy manipulation to even look like my character--which completely ignored everything I told her.

5. The artist / company ignored questions about design issues. I asked her if she had given any thought to the types of font we might want to use. If she had even said she *hadn't* yet that would have been fine, but she ignored my question completely and that made me really mad. (I had noticed this was an area which did not seem to be her forte and I wanted to make sure I would have a say regarding it. And no, I did not indicate that last bit to her for anyone curious...)

I really hate saying bad things about anyone, but I don't make enough money (who does?) to hire someone to design something for me and have them fail to complete the work, take the money and run.

Now I'm going to make a nice hot cup of tea and try to put this whole messy business behind me. Hopefully the next time I post about anything cover related here on AW I will have happy news to share.

If you would like full details, you can read my blog post here (http://www.katreads.com/2012/09/cover-artist-or-con-artist-you-decide.html).

If this post can keep even one person from going through what I have, it will have been worth it. Thanks for reading.

Ink Charmer
10-15-2012, 05:17 PM
Thank you for the warning!

I am so sorry that you had to experience this.
As a Newbie, it terrifies me!!!:cry:

adrijus.g
10-16-2012, 09:50 PM
Thank you for sharing this! As a fellow cover designer I'm surprised with such service provided by that artist..

I'd suggest only paying half the money upfront when buying services. Both, writer and designer, are afraid of getting stiffed and 30-50% deposit seems best option here to protect both. The final part of payment comes after designer sends you finished artwork in smaller size (not 6x9 Jpeg and editable PSD) but something that is half-that size. You approve it and send the money. Then after payment is received designer sends original PSD file and full-size JPEG.

That seems like the fairest option for all sides :)

marinapr9
08-21-2014, 03:07 PM
On July 6th 2012 I hired Joy Stroube of Dreamscape Covers (http://www.dreamscapecovers.com/) to design a front cover, back cover and spine for my first novel, Sealer's Promise.

Ms. Stroube told me that she would be willing to do this for $115 and on July 7th I sent her this payment in full via PayPal. I was extremely thrilled with the price she quoted and felt it was generous of her to extend such an offer. The date that the cover was to be completed by was August 31st of 2012.

It is now September 4th 2012. I do not have a cover. And the last contact that I had with Ms. Stroube or her company was an e-mail dated August 27th, which I replied to the evening I received it.

Long story short, I am not impressed.

Because I gave such a distant due date I have lost any right to make a claim with PayPal. Even if I had been able to make a claim with them, I doubt it would have worked since this company's policy on refunds is that there are not necessary -- Dreamscape / Ms. Stroube will work with the artist until they are satisfied with the end result.

Well, I am not satisfied. I can tell you that right now. And I have absolutely no intentions of ever working with this individual again -- it has been a nightmare. (To the point where it would be financially and psychologically ill advised for me to work with her even if she offered, because my novel is the first in a series and there is no way I will tolerate a repeat of the "service" I have received.) I feel some level of moral obligation to tell fellow authors to please steer clear, because I would hate to see what has happened to me happen to anyone else.

A quick list of my complaints:

1. The artist / company did not complete the work I hired her for. Nor has she contacted me regarding this in any way. This one's pretty obvious. If I had a cover and was happy with it, I'd be in here telling you how great she was rather then writing this. (I really, really hate giving people negative publicity...)

2. The artist / company did not communicate clearly. She indicated I would receive a list of ideas shortly after I paid her so we could decide what the cover should focus on, and I did not receive anything remotely like this until the 23rd of August.

3. The artist / company did not communicate consistently or in a timely manner. I actually had to switch which e-mail I was using to get ahold of Ms. Stroube because "hotmail was not sending her replies to my messages". I wonder if yahoo stopped working for this, too? (Yes, that is sarcasm. Yes, I am extremely frustrated and apologize for any perceived snarkiness.)

4. The artist / company ignored design preferences she requested from me. She wanted to know what color(s) my lead character would wear. I gave her five and she came back with two images--that would require heavy manipulation to even look like my character--which completely ignored everything I told her.

5. The artist / company ignored questions about design issues. I asked her if she had given any thought to the types of font we might want to use. If she had even said she *hadn't* yet that would have been fine, but she ignored my question completely and that made me really mad. (I had noticed this was an area which did not seem to be her forte and I wanted to make sure I would have a say regarding it. And no, I did not indicate that last bit to her for anyone curious...)

I really hate saying bad things about anyone, but I don't make enough money (who does?) to hire someone to design something for me and have them fail to complete the work, take the money and run.

Now I'm going to make a nice hot cup of tea and try to put this whole messy business behind me. Hopefully the next time I post about anything cover related here on AW I will have happy news to share.

If you would like full details, you can read my blog post here (http://www.katreads.com/2012/09/cover-artist-or-con-artist-you-decide.html).

If this post can keep even one person from going through what I have, it will have been worth it. Thanks for reading.

I'm a digital artist and would not charge the client the full amount until they were happy with the work provided in proof form. Any good artist who is genuine is not going to claim full payment up front. I don't, and find this works for me, and to date, all my clients have been happy with my work and honoured payment.

sreeves2
09-11-2014, 08:20 PM
My sincerest apologizes, that does seem like a nightmare. It's a shame you had to go through that.

AnnaKatmore
01-02-2015, 11:11 AM
I worked with that cover designer too. She had some wonderful covers displayed on her site, and she really is a good graphic designer. But she never kept to any deadlines we agreed on. I was lucky, I could stop the payment on Paypal in time and so had a pressing matter for her to finish my cover, which was way AFTER the release date.

It was really stressing me out to work with this person, because she replied to personal emails in which she told me about her life and the issues she has, but when it came down to business, she was silent as a grave.
I think she changed her website since, or maybe she stopped working as a cover artist altogether, but I would never work with her again.