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Clients from Hell

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I design book covers. I was just starting out when a client contacted me to do a bundle of five...

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I design book covers. I was just starting out when a client contacted me to do a bundle of five covers. Needless to say, I jumped on it.

Well, I shouldn’t have. The first red flag came when they negotiated my fare down to only 10% of what I would have originally charged. I should have declined them then and there, but I was new at this and needed the money.

Red flag number two?

Me: So what are the titles of the books?

Client: I haven’t picked yet. But start putting something together in the mean time.

Read flag number three:

Me: What are the plots?

The client listed five generic plots that sounded recaps of recent rom-coms.

These covers were for romance novels. The client had a few ideas for the layout they wanted – bulky, messy ideas, and I couldn’t talk them out of it. The big idea was that even though these were romance novels, they shouldn’t feature people. Just… “schemes.”

No, I don’t know what that means either.

Me: (after seven revisions) How does this cover look to you?

Client: The plot of my book is about schemes. You need to put more schemes in the cover.

Me: But no people?

Client: No people. Absolutely not.

Me: What kind of schemes are in the book?

Client: Perfume.

Me: …Perfume is a scheme?

Client: Of course!

I put a perfume bottle on the cover.

Client: What are you doing? I said more schemes! How dim are you?

Finally, I broke off the relationship. I told them that clearly I wasn’t doing the job they wanted, and I wasn’t interested in continuing to do the work.

Two months later:

 Client: So what - you’re not going to do this design for me anymore?

If that’s their idea of “trying to get someone back,” I doubt their romance novels are going to be any good.

> Want to know if freelancing is for you?

Source: Clients from Hell

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