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Want to share a book cover you've created? This is the place.
Marc Poliquin
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 3:17 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Hi, folks:

Seeing as we can't yet upload covers to our books (unless I've missed something, which is very possible) I thought I'd create a fun little discussion where we could post links to book covers that we've made or commissioned.  Here's one I created for The Fate Merchant. 

http://fatemerchant.tumblr.com/

Any other Photoshop enthusiasts out there? 

Cheers,

Marc

GD Deckard
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 7:35 PM

Marc, that's a clever images-within-images cover, intriguing to look at. I like it!

Mine's a badly done sketch from the most ancient past:
http://thephoenixdiary.com/

Great idea for a thread!


Marc Poliquin
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 9:36 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


I like it, GD.  There's a sense of mystery about it.  My eye is drawn to the silhouette of the person on the cliff.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 9:42 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014



Marc,

That really is a gorgeous cover. I'm working my way toward creating art also. I have it all, Quark, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator.

My problem is, I went through art school long, long ago, when it was all done by hand. By hand is what I'm comfortable with, but my drawing skills have been neglected for years, and so I'm very tentative in my efforts. I made my living in Graphic Production, page assembly, for most of my career.

I'm trying to transfer my skills to Illustrator. It's painful. My drawing style is softly linear, with much variation in weight of the line. (Think Arthur Rackham) This does not translate into illustrator, so I'm trying to reinvent my approach.

One of these days (hopefully sooner rather than later), I'll have something to show.



Marc Poliquin
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 7:21 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Hi, Mimi:

Thanks.  I haven't used Quark or InDesign, but Illustrator scares me.  My day job is video editing and I use Illustrator at a very basic level.  I admire anyone who knows how to use it properly.

Look forward to seeing some of your work. 

Cheers,

Marc


Ella Black
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:46 AM
Joined: 1/26/2012
Posts: 28


Love those covers, GD and Marc! Very different styles, but both are striking. They would get my attention. On another site I'm a member of, book covers are highly encouraged, and I had a few reviewers remark that I needed a cover, but I don't have any programs to do that. So, I came up with something very basic using, yep, Word, clip art, a stock photo, and a downloaded font. It's not amazing, and I'm not a graphic artist, but I kind of like it.

http://ella-black.com/novelsamples.html

But, I always assumed book covers were more the publisher's prerogative, anyway.


Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 10:36 AM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356


Hi gang -

Yes, Ella, you're right. If you are published through a traditional publisher, the author usually has very little say in how his or her cover looks. But for self-pubbed books, it's all about author input!

Nice covers, you guys!


Marc Poliquin
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:53 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Thanks, Colleen and Ella.  And Ella, I'm not going to lie, that cover makes me want to go back to Paris.  Badly.
GD Deckard
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:50 PM
Ella that is a delicious cover. It's mood-setting. You have a good eye.
Ella Black
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:14 PM
Joined: 1/26/2012
Posts: 28


Aw, shucks. (blushes)

Merci beaucoup!


Serene
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 12:41 AM
Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 1


Hi Marc, I'm new to the group. Just looked at your cover and I like it very much. I'm always drawn to B&W and sepia photos.

I've tried to include a link to my latest cover, but no matter what I do my copy and paste won't work in the body of my post. (I can copy but not paste.) Any suggestions?

Thanks, Serene
Marc Poliquin
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 4:07 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Hi, Serene:

Thanks for the compliment.    I wish I had a suggestion for you regarding your link, but I'm at a loss as to why it wouldn't paste. Sorry.


Herb Mallette
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 6:09 PM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 188


I painted the covers for my first two books in Photoshop. I remain ambivalent about the results:

http://herbmallette.blogspot.com/2012/07/cover-tweaking.html

Marc Poliquin
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 7:48 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Hi, Herb:

I like the covers.  When it comes to fantasy novels, I definitely prefer painted covers to photorealistic treatments.   Since you asked the question on your website, I think the first cover for The Last Tragedy has a better sky, but the characters don't stand out as much.  And the guy on the dragon in The Sharp Edge of Memory stands out more in the first treatment.  My two cents.


GD Deckard
Posted: Monday, July 9, 2012 10:10 AM
@Herb: They're all wonderful covers, bright, colorful & with a hint of whimsy.
Herb Mallette
Posted: Monday, July 9, 2012 10:13 PM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 188


@Marc: Thanks for the input. I'll keep tinkering with them to see if I can selectively get the contrast right in the different areas of the pictures.

@GD: Glad you like them! Thanks!


Marc Poliquin
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 10:19 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


You're welcome, Herb.  Curious: Do you draw by hand, then scan and paint, or do everything in Photoshop?

Ella Black
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 9:43 PM
Joined: 1/26/2012
Posts: 28


I like those, Herb! They suit the genre.

They also kind of remind me of the Harry Potter cover art, which is a good thing in my mind. It's meant to be a compliment. But, if you don't like that comparison or it's somehow offensive, then never mind.

Herb Mallette
Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 5:41 PM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 188


@Marc: I did very rough sketches for both of those covers by hand and scanned them in. By very rough, I mean basically for figure placement only -- no facial features or other details. Everything but the layout was painted in Photoshop, and even the layout changed significantly on the cover for The Last Tragedy.

@Ella: Thanks for the compliment. Someone on another board compared them to the work of Kelly Freas, by which they did not mean to be complimentary!
Ella Black
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:31 PM
Joined: 1/26/2012
Posts: 28


Well, with sci-fi not being my genre, and graphic arts not being my specialty, I thought I'd better specify, since I have no concept of how others more "in the know" might look at such comparisons. Funny how another person might take the comparison to Freas as a major compliment as he's won so many awards and is the "dean of sci-fi artists" according to wikipedia. (Because I totally knew who he was and didn't have to just Google him. Ahem. Okay, maybe I did.)

Herb Mallette
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012 5:22 PM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 188


Freas was a terrific artist, but I think most s.f. and fantasy fans would acknowledge that his work has a very dated look to it now, which I think is what the poster on that other thread meant to communicate. I myself failed initially to realize that the poster was being critical, because my intuitive reaction to Freas' name was a very positive one, even though I couldn't recall (without looking him up) what his art was like. As the discussion wound on, I realized I was being (gently) encouraged to commission art from a more sophisticated artist rather than continuing to do my own covers. I actually did that for the third book in the series, The Ingressionist, but it hasn't seemed to make any impact on sales.

Ella Black
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 5:53 PM
Joined: 1/26/2012
Posts: 28


Okay, I can see that about Freas, but that was not my initial thought in seeing your work. As someone pointed out on another thread, there are always those critics
who (sometimes rather blatantly) feel like they can do what you've done, only
better. In the case of graphic arts, it's a little harder to prove that point as quickly as reworking a paragraph from a manuscript to present
to the writer. Oh wait, that was GD that said that to you! Still true, I think. (And I got one of those reviews, too.) 

Anyway. I say that if you enjoy the process of doing the art yourself, and you're receiving feedback that suggests it's not totally awful or somehow offensive, then go for it.


Herb Mallette
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 11:19 PM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 188


Thanks, Ella. I find it gratifying to create my own art, and even more gratifying when people say they like it. But I'm also highly aware that it's not on the same level as the work of mass-market paperback artists. I consider it kind of a compromise, since the sales I've gotten so far don't allow me to commission replacement covers by more accomplished artists. My experience in self-publishing so far suggests that you need a lot more than a good story and a tolerable cover to achieve success, though.
Dana Reynolds
Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:25 AM
Joined: 3/16/2012
Posts: 6


My book cover is at my blog...
http://wardenclyffe-foundation.blogspot.com/

I would appreciate feedback.
Marc Poliquin
Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 8:57 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Hi, Dana:

My two cents:  I find that the goat gets lost in all the white, and that the white is a little overwhelming.  The font for the title seems a little squeezed.  A slight vertical scale down might make it a little more pleasing to the eye.  I would put A Time Travel Love Story on one line, and make your name more prominent and center it along the bottom above the Book 1 line, which I would make smaller than your name.  Hope that helps.  Again, just my two cents.

Marc


GD Deckard
Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:34 AM

Excellent cover, Dana! The goat was obvious & the white space is perfectly placed to display the text. But Marc Poliquin may may have a point. If you think so, maybe, a slight graying of the white space would make the cover appealing to more people. You could do what Stephen King does if one person advises a change he ignores the advice, but if several people suggests the same thing, he does it.

Oh, and did you know you can get the domain name, Wardenclyffe-Foundation.org from GoDaddy.com for under $15 and point it at your blog?
Wardenclyffe-Foundation.org would then be the domain name for your book.


A Michael Marsh
Posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012 6:11 PM
Joined: 7/11/2012
Posts: 7


Hi Everyone,

This is an important topic.  People say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but most of the time - they totally do.  I tried to do my own cover art, which had less than stellar results.  Since my cover looked like a photoshop nightmare, I went back to the drawing board.  I got in touch with a friend of mine who's an artist.  He read my novel and came up with an illustration that I really like. I did some simple typesetting on it, you can see the result here:  http://www.amichaelmarsh.net/projects_the_red.html
GD Deckard
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 9:54 AM
Yes! THAT is a striking cover, Michael Marsh. Impressive simplicity.
A Michael Marsh
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 2:12 PM
Joined: 7/11/2012
Posts: 7


Thanks, GD!  My friend really came through for me on the illustration.  In the discipline of visual arts - my kung fu is weak. 

Something I just wanted to put out there for everyone:  I read a blog a while back about cover art for today's novels.  Now that so many people purchase books from online sellers like Amazon, the writer advises us to make covers that can still be eye-catching when the whole image is shrunk to a thumbnail.  That's a tall order (I know my cover doesn't look that great when it's half an inch tall), but I see his point.  Just something to think about.

Marc Poliquin
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 4:34 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Good advice, Michael.  Thanks for sharing that.  I also like your cover.  Well balanced, simple, striking. 

GD Deckard
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 9:22 AM
Excellent point about a thumbnail cover, Michael. I wonder... when can we start using animated gifs as cover art... hmmm.
Yezall Strongheart
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 1:28 PM
Joined: 10/8/2011
Posts: 15


I have a website that I have a showroom of all the covers I have created for myself and others.  Check it out! 

http://coversbyyezall.weebly.com/
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:14 AM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272


Here's my first attempt at a cover for Slide The Scales From My Eyes:

http://timothymaguire.deviantart.com/#/d5u0p6a

I think it went quite well. At the moment I'm just waiting for permission from the creators of the original images before I know if I can go forwards with it.
Marc Poliquin
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 2:44 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 67


Very nice, Timothy. Striking.
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 5:26 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272


Only problem I have is that the creators of the images I used have abandoned their deviant art pages and I can't get in contact with them. I may literally end up facebook trawling for them to get permission to use their images.
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:00 AM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272


Here's the new design, with stock I can actually use:

http://timothymaguire.deviantart.com/art/Complete-Cover-356540354


Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:10 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


This is nice, Timothy . It fits the book quite well. 
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:06 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272


Thanks! I was aiming for weird, dark and creepy. It seems to have worked.
GEWilhelmgermanic
Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2013 9:12 PM
Joined: 11/15/2013
Posts: 10


Here's mine: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/ed/91/2e/ed912ebc4d9de80ee8a11fbb51d050c8.jpg
Robert G. Moons
Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:49 AM
Joined: 3/3/2014
Posts: 18


Here's one I did.

http://cache.smashwire.com/bookCovers/43f84c784cb7d4c41d5cbca699ee7e5b69297ae9