Bisky's Twitterling's Scribbles! discussion

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Books/Characters > Indie Covers

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message 1: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I've been stressing for about a while about what I actually want my cover to look like. It suddenly hit me today when I was eating instant mash and ketchup (poor writer food)

Don't judge a book by its cover.

But when It comes to self published books, I kind of do. If it doesn't look like its had effort and thought put into it, I kinda think the writing will be the same.

So, what grabs you in a cover? Have you liked all the ones you have made? Have you something that instantly turns you away from indie books?


message 2: by James (new)

James Caterino (jimcaterino) | 37 comments Oh you better believe a book will be judged by its cover, especially if the author is unknown to the browsing reader. The cover and the back cover copy are everything. Over the years I have bought hundreds of books based solely on the intriguing cover art that drew me in.

I am a big fan of illustrators such as Julie Bell, Royo, and Drew Struzan and I was lucky enough to find a cover artist who in that class but not as famous (yet). Very happy with the covers she had created for me. Best investment I ever made in my books. Before I found her I winged it and did the covers myself with mixed results ranging from okay to disastrous.

I stress about the cover too and will sketch things out until I have a concept and composition I like. That way the artist and I are on the same page and what I imagine literally comes to life on the cover.

The biggest turnoff for me are covers that don't match the tone of the book based on the genre or back cover copy. I want to see a character or a scene or a setting, a cool logo, or even a graphic symbol ala "The Hunger Games"... something from the book that makes me want to find out more.


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I made the decision to get mine done professionally from a guy recommended by a writing school. There was cost involved, but I didn't have the horrible time of trying to coax/convince friends or acquaintances to do it, and didn't have the awkward moment where I told them I didn't like it.

I was lucky: he did a great job and knew what he was doing: gave me a great experience and (more importantly) gave me confidence in doing what I was doing. I'm actually a bit embarrassed to admit that the book is self-published now, cos the cover is so good (in my opinion) that I feel like it should have some fancy publisher logo on it.

I hate that phrase about book covers, btw: I've always judged a book by its cover. Because the cover should convey genre and tone and so much more.


message 4: by Bisky (last edited Aug 29, 2013 02:08PM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
@James I used to go through phases of things I liked and I would buy by picture accordingly haha.

@Ken I didnt realise you were self published, it is good! Hahaha! Good choice :3

Luckily for me I'm arty myself, and I have pretty family members for bodyparts, haha. And my brother has a posh camera so I'm gonna try my hand at it myself, but I'll see how it goes :3


message 5: by Susan (last edited Aug 29, 2013 06:35PM) (new)

Susan (authorsusanreid) | 28 comments I love covers that offer an air of mystery, while at the same time, depicting related metaphors, so you kind of know what to expect... not just with the title and description...but when you start reading the book. I agree with a few others, I think in some instances, simplicity it good, but I think the effort, design does say a lot about the writing in many instances as well. I hate judging books by their covers because I never do that with people but from a creative perspective, it does speak volumes when you're trying to compete and sell yourself among the ranks of many, many other talented authors in the same genre too.


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Hah, Susan, that's what I love about my cover. My designer asked for themes and relationships and came back with something completely different from what I expected, but that actually tied everything together so much more than I ever hoped possible. It also helped that I had a few more weeks til I published, so I got to go back into the book and make a few of those themes a little more explicit.

Bisky, did you do your FB banner yourself? I'm usually not a fan of people-on-the-cover (I think it sometimes gives an impression of a character that overrules your imagination) but that is goooooooooood.


message 7: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
@Ken I didn't do it myself but the girl is me :p It was more concept art my friend wanted to do, its not a cover. Most of my friends and family aren't native english speakers so it was to explain to them what the book would be like without referencing hollywood movies they probably hadn't seen :p The ninjas are stock images so I wouldnt be able to use it for anything commerical :3

My cover will be alot simpler, but mysterious ;D


message 8: by Nicole (last edited Aug 30, 2013 05:37AM) (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments First of all, I recommend using canstockphoto.com for a really cheap way to buy a pic. I will not (and cannot!) buy a pre-made cover for $45-100. NO WAY. Sorry. I will never make ANY money! Kindle has a great set up for creating a e-cover.

Second, I really like romancenovelcovers.com. You can buy a pic for $10. They have nice pre-mades too if you are will to spend the $45! One complaint, it's always the same guy. I think it is HIS site. Don't get me wrong, Jimmy is HOT, but he doesn't always fit my character.

As far as what I like- I guess it really depends but it has to be well done. If it looks like it was done with MS Paint, Uh, NO. It has to have some sort of QUALITY. Simple is fine, just not cheap.


message 9: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments Shutterstock! You can get high quality pictures and they only cost about ten bucks. Then it's just a matter of moving them into Photoshop cropping them into your cover size, running a filter or three, and adding graphics(making sure to adjust edges, shadows, sizes, positioning, and colors)


message 10: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
You know you can always find artists on Deviant Art who commission aswell :3


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I think it's fun to try and create your own! Even on a basic paint/ photo shop program. At the very least you'll have a reference to give to a professional to do it.


message 12: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Yes! I'm doing mine myself :] I'm going to be showing it on my facebook by the end of the week :D!


message 13: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
I was struggling to find a cover. For months while I was taking small breaks from the writing I was trying my hand at some and although they were not bad, I didn't like them. Finally, my son offered me his help. I bought what he needed on canstockphoto.com and he made it for me.
I do judge a book by its cover sadly. I have been turned off by some covers even though the story sounded good. However, I will judge the same way for a professional published book too. If I don't like the cover, I won't pick it up.
Now for what I like or don't like about covers:
I like when it has a little to do with the story of course.
Although I love abs and nice six packs, sadly, those covers end up all looking the same in the end especially when the head is cut off. So unless they have something else that can tell them apart, I am not inclined towards those.
Symbols, an air of mystery, or a great color combos will pull me in.
I like Amygdala Art on facebook. She has nice premade for 60$-80$ but I couldn't find one that fit what I wanted.


message 14: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments Rick wrote: "Shutterstock! You can get high quality pictures and they only cost about ten bucks. Then it's just a matter of moving them into Photoshop cropping them into your cover size, running a filter or t..."

That's a lot of work. I get my pics for $2.50 and then use the Kindle cover helper for free. :)


message 15: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
What I settled for with my cover for Fury wasn't what I originally intened. But I still really like it. I can't wait to show it to everyone and see what they think :3


message 18: by Dionne (new)

Dionne (httpwwwgoodreadscomdionnelister) | 26 comments I loved doing my covers. I had a professional artist do them and each book has a cover that is a scene from within the book. They did cost a lot but because I write fantasy, it was worth it. I always grew up reading fantasy and I always looked forward to seeing the cover on a new release almost as much as seeing what was inside.


message 19: by J.P. (new)

J.P. Sloan (jpsloan) | 19 comments Early on, I decided to get a pro to do my covers... mostly because I'm not at all graphically talented, but also because they do their due diligence in making sure everything they use is free of copyright. I've heard horror stories about indie authors using images on blog sites and covers they shouldn't.


message 20: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) That was a big factor (probably the biggest) with me too, JP. I wasn't sure what fonts I could/couldn't use and images and on and on. So much easier just to get someone else to do that groundwork.


message 21: by J (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
@Nicole - The lighting doesn't match at all on that--it's a photoshop disaster. D8

@Dionne - I like to have covers made by artists, too. I've spent quite a bit, too. xD

@J.P. - I guess some people just take whatever they want off Google. Tsk. Tsk. lol Could you give as some details of a horror story or two? :3

@ Ken - For fonts, I always go onto free font web sites and see which ones can be used commercially. For the recent over I had done, the artist put the title on, but I also asked for one without the title because I kind of want to play with fonts on my own. xD


message 22: by Nadia (new)

Nadia (nadiajwriter) | 8 comments I know a few designers who have reasonable prices and do good work. Rebecca Berto of "Berto Designs" and Najla Qamber of "Najla Qamber Designs." Rebecca actually has a whole list complied on her blog, Novel Girl.


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