Put a Pretty Picture on it! discussion

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So. How hard is it to find a cover artist.

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Rydder (ThomasRydder) | 6 comments Mod
Everyone who writes a book needs an artist. Tell us how you found yours...


message 2: by L.M. (new)

L.M. Smith (LadyMuse82) | 4 comments I actually do my own cover art since I've done graphic design work longer than I've even been a writer but, that said, I have a friend that takes AMAZINGLY beautiful pictures and then photoshops them to give them that special something - they would make amazing cover art so I've invited her to join the group.


message 3: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Rydder (ThomasRydder) | 6 comments Mod
L.M. wrote: "I actually do my own cover art since I've done graphic design work longer than I've even been a writer but, that said, I have a friend that takes AMAZINGLY beautiful pictures and then photoshops th..."
Excellent! Thanks, L.M. :) That's the spirit!


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Goldman | 3 comments I have a neighbor who is going to an art and design university. I thought I read on her FB that she is taking a course for creating book covers. I've been meaning to ask her about it so I might point her this way too.


message 5: by Duncan (new)

Duncan | 6 comments Getting an appropriate book cover on your book can be essential in landing book sales. However the task is not as easy as one might suppose, and working with a book designer can be traumatic when things go south. Here are a couple of blogs with some good tips that may be of help:

http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/20...

http://duncanlong.com/blog/?p=4147


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Rydder (ThomasRydder) | 6 comments Mod
Duncan wrote: "Getting an appropriate book cover on your book can be essential in landing book sales. However the task is not as easy as one might suppose, and working with a book designer can be traumatic when t..."
AH...Duncan Long...believe it or not, he's one of the artists that are supposed to be joining. Good one, eh?


message 7: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Hanrahan (musesinspire) I'll be honest... if the cover looks cheap/cheesy, I'll not even bother reading the book. I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I do. And I know I'm probably passing by some amazing novels, but oh well!


message 8: by L.M. (new)

L.M. Smith (LadyMuse82) | 4 comments Muse wrote: "I'll be honest... if the cover looks cheap/cheesy, I'll not even bother reading the book. I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I do. And I know I'm probably passing by some amazing ..."

I'm really with you on this one Muse but it's almost impossible not to judge a book by it's cover if you're just browsing on Amazon or in a book store. Think about it - you can't exactly turn over every single book in the store to read the blurb or open it and read the first chapter so there has to be something about a certain specific book that catches your attention and makes you want to turn that particular book over to read more about it and most of us don't even take the time to read every single title so that leaves only one element ... the cover.

I will also say, though, that one of my own personal pet peeves is picking up a book with an AWESOME cover and finding out that the book doesn't live up to it - or worse, finding out that elements on the cover have absolutely nothing to do with the story.

I can't think of a specific example off the top of my head because it's been awhile since I've even had a chance to read for pleasure but there have been times where maybe the heroine on the cover has this super funky and cute look to her that makes me want to read the book only to discover that she looks NOTHING like the cover. I've even had instances where I've picked up a book that showed a wolf on the cover (I love books with animals in them) but then there wasn't a single mention of a wolf or dog, or werewolf, or anything even remotely canine in the story. In those instances I realize that maybe the author and the artist weren't communicating.


message 9: by L.M. (new)

L.M. Smith (LadyMuse82) | 4 comments OH just thought of an example actually:

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

Most of you already know that I LURVE Kim Harrison's work and her latest novel, though not her best, was no exception (ok maybe I didn't love this one but I did like it and I LOVE the rest of the series).

However, notice on the cover that the main character, Rachel, is crouching to examine a crime scene - relatively normal for Rachel and applicable to this story as much as any other, if not more so. BUT, in the background there is a man who's features are undefined lurking behind her.

******SPOILER ALERT*******
Although there are several strong male characters in the book, this lurking figure doesn't really resemble any of the closely enough to say "Yep, that's Trent." Secondly, the figure gives the impression that he's either got Rachel's back (love interest perhaps) or that he's stalking her. Neither sort of character presents itself to Rachel in this particular book and when someone asked Kim on her Facebook page who the guy in the back was her response was "I don't really know."

That bugggggged me!


message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I haven't used anyone personally yet, but i also wanted to recommend checking into artists on Deviant Art, they have a forum there as well and artists will post that they are taking commissions as well as what areas they can and will work in, often with their price lists as well.


message 11: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Wallace | 1 comments I've been in advertising for years and have been fortunate enough to know many great designers. I'm also lucky enough to live with a cover designer.


message 12: by Carrie (new)

Carrie | 2 comments I found my cover artist through my publisher (they put out a bid and looked through portfolios before deciding on an artist). The artist's name is Tony Foti, and he was WONDERFUL to work with. My editor and I went through concept rounds first together, deciding what we wanted to depict. Then, we sent a brief to Tony, and he took us from thumb nail sketches to painted art. Unfortunately, the publisher foots the bill, so I have no idea how much the cover cost (for any self published authors who are budgeting for a cover design). But I highly recommend Tony! He has worked with many major companies on campaigns (Pepsi, etc.), and works with quite a few authors. He works out of LA, but I worked just fine with him remotely. http://www.tonyfotiart.com/


message 13: by Duncan (new)

Duncan | 6 comments Unfortunately, publishers sometimes cut back on the money they spend on cover work, especially if the economy is stumbling. When this happens, often you find cover artwork that has little or nothing to do with what the book is about -- rather the artwork was available for not very much and pressed into service.

This is better than a cover that's poorly done, and most readers are somewhat forgiving of cover illustrations that aren't quite on the mark. But it can also leave some readers feeling a little miffed, so the closer the artwork is to the story, the better.

With the explosion of small presses and self-publishers, the new "gate keeper" for judging the quality of the writing in the book has become the cover. If the publisher thought enough to pay for a good cover, then you can figure the press at least cares a little about what's between the covers. If the cover looks cheap and amateurish, then most of us figure the writing will be, too.

This isn't always correct, but more often than not it is. So most of us who like to read quality stories have got used to this "short hand" for finding a book we're likely to enjoy.

That said, a solid cover with a nice looking typeface often looks better than a cover with an illustration that is poorly executed. If you can't afford a quality illustration for your book, go with an elegant design.
=====================
http://duncanlong.com/


message 14: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) I like to do computer graphics and have done my own cover for my first book. But I've been thinking that "less is more" or in the case of the Twilight series books, the designs were simple yet recognizable. I'm working on my second book and have already designed a cover for it (not sure this will be the finished product). It is mostly black and white - mostly black. It helps inspire me to write my book when I see images like what I've designed. I'm working on chapter three. Can I have some feedback on this cover? http://www.goodreads.com/photo/author...


message 15: by Duncan (new)

Duncan | 6 comments Glenda: The artwork is very powerful. However your lettering probably needs to be increased in size (you might use a condensed font that allows a taller title -- and reduce the size of "the" at the first); and I'd suggest using just one typeface (rather than two) and ideally not the ornate one that calls attention to itself. You might also consider rotating the picture slightly so the horizon isn't straight across the picture to add a little tension.


message 16: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) Just joined the group, hello all. My publisher contracted Andrae Harrison for my first two books:

http://andraeharrison.blogspot.com/

I was very happy with what I got, but I'm now considering self-pubbing my next novel so I'm beginning to look for a fantasy cover artist. Looking forward to seeing what resources this group will uncover...


message 17: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) Welcome Andrae. Glad to meet you.

Duncan, I didn't know that you had responded to my post back in December. Thanks for your input on the fonts & graphics. Sometime in the future, I'll try to tweak it. I did stick with the same fonts that are on my first book that is in print. I can't help it, I love the Harrington and Copperplate fonts. This is also a time in history when men wrote with quills instead of keyboards. The hubby loves the cover & keeps getting after me to write. I've been busy preparing for my first book signing, BooksAlive!, that will happen Feb. 2nd.


message 18: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) I'm not Andrae, that's the cover artist, but thanks for the welcome! I was just giving him a plug...


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