I just discovered a website that is asking a $5 to $15 fee for album cover design submissions. I will not post the link to this website. I do not want to publicize something that is obviously a scam. The website claims to be involved in projects for major recording artists.
No reputable design firm or record label asks graphic designers, photographers and illustrators to pay a fee in order to submit their work for consideration. That simply is not how the business works.
Over the years, I have known several art directors who work for design firms and record labels. Not a single one of them would use a service that exploits designers by charging them a fee. This is similar to the scams that charge aspiring models and actors for auditions and expensive portfolios.
On occasion, I have been contacted by young people who want advice on how to get work designing album covers. The truth is, there is not a single path to getting into that line of work. Of those various paths, none of them involve paying a fee.
There are many design firms that hire freelance artists. It takes time and effort to establish a relationship with these firms. However, they do not make graphic designers work for free and they certainly do not charge them for their submissions.