Book Covers

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  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227
    edited June 2018

    Here is the series I am currently working on. I already posted the 1st one, but I have two more done for it now. It's a lot of fun. I used to read the 1st couple chapters before doing the cover but the author writes so fast that he has started putting pre orders up before the next book is even written. So now he sends me loose descriptions of what should be on the cover and then writes the cover into the story. He does insist on "colorful, interesting text"  but it is fun to turn his loose descriptions into covers. Beings the story isn't written yet we run into some funny snags. Like with the two mage's fighting as I was doing the work I realized I didn't have a location for the fight so didn't know where to put my fighters. When I asked him if he even knew where the fight was taking place yet - he was like "nope, let's put it in a keep, think medieval" 

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  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,406

    Did you see the mixed ones that, I think were poasted in this thread..... where they mixed 3D bodys with photo heads. They looked pretty real. 

    Yah pretty amazing use of photoshop,  as long as the face and maybe the hair is real,  people have an easier time jumping the uncanny valley. Since we as humans see a few hundred thousand faces,  a 3D face still comes across as fake except in those very rare exceptions.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,406

    I've also been dabbling in book cover art lately. 

     

    These are great! Have I seen some of these up at thebookcoverdesigner? 

    Yes Deanna, I do have some up there.  Need to expand some advertising and get more exposure.   Don't particualrly like the gatekeeper setup they have though behind the scenes. 

  • I have another thread running, but I wanted to jump in here as well as it seems appropriate!

    I do cover designs for publishing company that is almost exclusively Kindle.  At the current moment, most of our titles are Science Fiction Erotica, though we have some mainstream works coming up.  Right now, I'm just looking to license renders for use on covers (PG to PG 13 for the images as Amazon can be picky).

    At the moment, we're not looking for custom commissions, though that will almost certainly change.  What we're looking for right now is to pay artists to use a piece that's already in their portfolio, with them retaining copyright.

    If you're interested, please drop me a message!

     

    Kevin
    AVP Publishing

  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227
    edited July 2018

     Here's one of my new ones. I had a lot of fun working with this new author and am really looking forward to the series. She's more visual then the people I usually work with. Sending me photos, like a black and white profile of a guy, saying this is what my main character might look like. Fun because it was a profile so it gave me some ideas of what to look for but wasn't a head shot so I didn't need to make it look exactly like anyone. She also competes in this thing called "Readers Favorite"  where they critique and rate your book. It's a little nerve wracking as the cover has it's own section in the critique and she said she would send me copiers of the reviews when the judging starts.  

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  • Worlds_EdgeWorlds_Edge Posts: 2,025

    That’s a beautiful cover @deathbycannon. The natural pose, the colors and the style. 

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018

    Another something for no particular reason.

     

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  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018

    Ages and ages ago I made a few renders of one simple scene - I did something with a couple of them at the time but have just found the other lurking untouched so I did this while listening to some audio recordings of missing Doctor Who episodes (The Macra Terror - great stuff!).

     

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  • EJWorksEJWorks Posts: 479
    edited July 2018

    While these are completely fictional covers, I thought it would be fun to add my artwork to blank book covers and come up with some random titles :)

    Artwork created with Daz / Photoshop and various painterly technique

    They are all great. These two are my favorites from your post. Two different styles and emotions, but very well done and eye catching.

     

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • EJWorksEJWorks Posts: 479
    edited July 2018

    Reading through some of the most recent posts on this thread I learned about https://thebookcoverdesigner.com and opened up an account with them to upload some covers soon.

    However, I was hoping to actually recieve commissions from authors that know what they want on their covers. Could those of you who have been doing this for a while give suggestions for places to avertise, more websites the specialize in selling cover art, and feedback on how to set prices?

    Post edited by EJWorks on
  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    edited July 2018

    philebus, the half scratched-off pricetag is a good touch.

    These latest covers remind me of the pulp style popular in the 60s in the UK. They tended to print the price right on the cover. At that time, the price would have been stated as shillings and pence, something like 2'6, which would be two shillings and six pence (2 and 1/2 shillings). From my recollection the price could be in the upper or lower part of the cover, and was unmistakable in its size.

    Have you thought about doing a few in a more McGinnis style -- Carter Brown, or a Spillane. If anyone can pull it off, you can!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/robertmcginnis/

    Post edited by Tobor on
  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227
    edited July 2018
    EJWorks said:

    Reading through some of the most recent posts on this thread I learned about https://thebookcoverdesigner.com and opened up an account with them to upload some covers soon.

    However, I was hoping to actually recieve commissions from authors that know what they want on their covers. Could those of you who have been doing this for a while give suggestions for places to avertise, more websites the specialize in selling cover art, and feedback on how to set prices?

    I use the book cover designer like a funnel. I tend to keep most the authors I work with so after they buy a pre made the rest is done on a commission. You can try Fiverr though, it's freelance services on demand. Do a search on book covers to see how they do things there. 

    Post edited by deathbycanon on
  • EJWorksEJWorks Posts: 479

    I use the book cover designer like a funnel. I tend to keep most the authors I work with so after they buy a pre made the rest is done on a commission. You can try Fiverr though, it's freelance services on demand. Do a search on book covers to see how they do things there. 

    Thank you

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    EJWorks said:

    However, I was hoping to actually recieve commissions from authors that know what they want on their covers. Could those of you who have been doing this for a while give suggestions for places to avertise, more websites the specialize in selling cover art, and feedback on how to set prices?

    Covers for self-published books has become a fairly saturated market. There's a ton of great stuff out there that isn't selling. Certainly submit some covers but the way to break in is to specialize in a couple of genres that are personally interesting to you, and then visit some of the author hangouts for these genres. Not to sell, but to engage.  

    Know that there is an abundance of romance and dystopian science fiction covers, among others. True, these are popular genres for self-publishing, but if you're going to do these try to find an angle that makes your covers distinctively yours. Consider specializing within the specialization.

    With so much available royalty-free art out there, there's no shortage of graphics content. Where many cover artsts fall down is the basic design rules, especially as it relates to type. Get real good at this and you'll be a cut above the rest. Don'ty be afraid of collecting best-sellers in maintainstream popular paperback fiction, and copy. Well, not copy, but analyze the general layout, art placement, and type treatment they use.

     

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018
    Tobor said:

    philebus, the half scratched-off pricetag is a good touch.

    These latest covers remind me of the pulp style popular in the 60s in the UK. They tended to print the price right on the cover. At that time, the price would have been stated as shillings and pence, something like 2'6, which would be two shillings and six pence (2 and 1/2 shillings). From my recollection the price could be in the upper or lower part of the cover, and was unmistakable in its size.

    Have you thought about doing a few in a more McGinnis style -- Carter Brown, or a Spillane. If anyone can pull it off, you can!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/robertmcginnis/

    I remember having lots of second hand books with the old British prices on them. I would like to look more at reproducing some old book cover designs and elements on them like that - I just regret that so much of my childhood book collection had to be sold when we moved to the south of England back when I was 15 (a loss it still pains me to think about). I did try a Carter Brown and even a Mike Shayne a while back but they are certainly something I want to revisit (and I'm with you on McGinnis but I don't think I could come close to his style - perhaps, with time and practice, I might hope to evoke it a little). I finally have a blog underway and once I get the basics up there, I want to start looking at old paperback book design in more detail, in particular how it was used for branding both series, authors, and publishers as this is something that I think is lacking in modern pulp.

    I think that Indie publishers, in particular, are missing a trick with that - readers should be able to see a thumbnail and think "I've read books that look like that which I liked" followed by 'click!' Most Indie published authors will never be able to build an effective brand of their own but sharing in a strong publishing brand is something all the authors can benefit from. Sadly, most Indie publishers don't even seem to feature so much as a logo on their covers.

    Well, here's one more, another created for a tutorial for the blog...

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  • Do you know if it is necsary any aditional permission to create book covers?

  • Do you know if it is necsary any aditional permission to create book covers?

    Content from the Daz store, with a partial exception only for the Ann Marie Goddard Digital Clone for Victoria 3 at this time, may be used commecially for 2D renders - still images, such as book covers, adn animations, such as YouTube video promoting a book. For other content, especially freebies, you will need to check the read-me or other documentation to see what, if anything, is permitted.

  • image

    Hi all,

    After approaching a few artists that create book covers, I have created a free webinar event to have an opportunity where you can meet each other, share tips, challenges and artwork - all in real time.

    We had a similar workshop for comic book artwork recently and this was very successful in connecting artists together and sharing knowledge.

    Feel free to come along and contribute!

    +++++++++

    Creating a book cover illustration is a challenging and  fun artwork project. If you are a writer on any level, it's a perfect way to convey your characters to the outside world. It may even provide an income stream when gaining a commission.

    This is an opportunity to connect to like-minded illustrators and share your own artwork, inspirations, challenges and tips with other artists. It a chance to talk to other artists and have a chance to learn answers to these types of questions:-

    • What makes a successful book cover illustration?
    • Where do you start when designing a book cover?
    • Where and how can you gain commissions for producing book covers?
    • How can you create this as another income stream or as self-promotion?
    • What elements help convey an instant story?
    • How do you deal with fonts and text on a book cover?

    This webinar is driven by YOU, the artist. The more artists that share a challenge or tip, then the more value that can be gained by other artists.

  • This was a book cover I created.

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  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    philebus said:

    I remember having lots of second hand books with the old British prices on them. I would like to look more at reproducing some old book cover designs and elements on them like that - I just regret that so much of my childhood book collection had to be sold when we moved to the south of England back when I was 15 (a loss it still pains me to think about). I did try a Carter Brown and even a Mike Shayne a while back but they are certainly something I want to revisit (and I'm with you on McGinnis but I don't think I could come close to his style - perhaps, with time and practice, I might hope to evoke it a little). I finally have a blog underway and once I get the basics up there, I want to start looking at old paperback book design in more detail, in particular how it was used for branding both series, authors, and publishers as this is something that I think is lacking in modern pulp.

    I think that Indie publishers, in particular, are missing a trick with that - readers should be able to see a thumbnail and think "I've read books that look like that which I liked" followed by 'click!' Most Indie published authors will never be able to build an effective brand of their own but sharing in a strong publishing brand is something all the authors can benefit from. Sadly, most Indie publishers don't even seem to feature so much as a logo on their covers.

    Didbn't realize you were in Britain, so you know all about pre-decimalized money! I just find the reference part of the fun, like putting 35 cents on the cover for a mid-60s drug store paperback here. I can't imagine how they sold these at 35 cents. An author getting 10 percent oon cover price made only 3.5 cents per book. That's a lot of typing for not much money.

    I think there might be a problem with imprint logos because they are understood to be trademarks, at least here in the US. There's always the possibility it sorta inda looks like something else that someone claims trade dress ownership to. That said, the image like your yellow jacket wasp might be generalized enough that the picture alone doesn't constitute a trademarked logo. If the design is kept very simple it could work. I do agree an imprint helps publishers and authors, whether it's traditionally publishes or self published.

    I'm sure you're aware of it, but the editor over on puplcovers.com regularly highlights your stuff in his blog post. I've been seeing your work for years.

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300

    As a FYI for anyone who loves cover art (books, ovies, magazines), run -- don't walk -- to Amazon to get the definitive Robert McGinnis art book

    amazon.com/Art-Robert-McGinnis/dp/1781162174

    You can learn more technique from this one book than a semester's worth of art class.

     

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018
    Tobor said:
    philebus said:
    I'm sure you're aware of it, but the editor over on puplcovers.com regularly highlights your stuff in his blog post. I've been seeing your work for years.

    I don't think that I did know that - or if anyone told me, it didn't register with me for long. I do know the site, though.

    Here's a quick example of why I've come to love heavy postwork. Of course, there is that fact that it evokes the books and covers that facinated me growing up, which is largely why I still do this - but then there is also so much freedom and control. The lighting here is a rudimentary pre-set, the render settings basic, and the materials almost irrelevant. Then it's fun getting the highlights, shadows, and colours right for the mood I want - the difference is dramatic. I must admit, until recently, I seldom did much with the colours - sometimes adding bits of colour in ArtRage but nothing extensive - but now, I always make some degree of adjustment. 

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  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    philebus said:

    Here's a quick example of why I've come to love heavy postwork. Of course, there is that fact that it evokes the books and covers that facinated me growing up, which is largely why I still do this - but then there is also so much freedom and control. The lighting here is a rudimentary pre-set, the render settings basic, and the materials almost irrelevant. Then it's fun getting the highlights, shadows, and colours right for the mood I want - the difference is dramatic. I must admit, until recently, I seldom did much with the colours - sometimes adding bits of colour in ArtRage but nothing extensive - but now, I always make some degree of adjustment. 

    Excellent work, as usual!

    Out of curiosity, about how long did it take you to do the art for the cover (minus tography and the old gummy sticker that partially blocks the author's name -- what a hoot!!).

     

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    Tobor said:
    philebus said:

     

    Out of curiosity, about how long did it take you to do the art for the cover (minus tography and the old gummy sticker that partially blocks the author's name -- what a hoot!!).

     

    I can only offer a guestimate I'm afraid. From opening the render in the photo editor (Affinity Photo) to exporting the faux painting from ArtRage, perhaps an hour at most, but maybe less. This type of image is very simple with only one layer having any content to work on. In Affinity, the job is to adjust the image for shadows, highlights, brightness, sometimes gamma, and colour balance. In this case, I used a dodge and burn to bring out the wrinkles in the skirt. I run it through Topaz Simplify and then resize/position the figure on the canvas, exporting as a png. In ArtRage, it's a matter first of painting a very quick background with colours that work with the figure and it's lighting, then merging and attacking the figure with the knife.

    The cover is assembled in a simple template, which makes fast work of the rest. I think I spent more time deciding on the text than I did setting it. The font, Area of Suspicion, has some nice little tricks and characters to help fit it all together - something that Affinity makes possible in ways that Photoshop Elements was lacking. I'm so glad that I made that choice.

    The goal of the project is to have a method of working that others can employ to make pre-made covers fast enough to be viable for that market (just because this is what I want to see on books). Of course, that assumes there is a market and some people who want to supply it - but if not, it's a fun ride and making these is kind of relaxing. I like to think that I've improved a bit over the last few months (and no longer regret ditching my old stuff from the galleries) - the transition from using Photoshop Element's Cutout and Drybrush to using the Topaz filter was a bit tricky at first but I'm beginning to figure out how to get what I want from it. I guess that the better I can get, the more likely that others will give it a go themselves.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,406

    I generally love these covers.  I think the price tag detracts from the artistry. 

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239

    I generally love these covers.  I think the price tag detracts from the artistry. 

    I guess there is a conflict of aesthetics, between the cover design and the faux authenticity of an old book.

    On another note, I wanted to share a font find that I stumbled on today (I can't think how I've missed it in the past).

    One of my favourite fonts is Lydian - I have the Standard Roman from the PagePlus resource disc and simply love it. You will find this a lot on old book covers and it is still used to evoke those classic designs today (Hard Case Crime, for example, use it very frequently both on covers and for some titles within their books). However, it is adds up pricewise. Each of the four styles is £25 or £84 for the package. Without a really strong alternative, I would recommend £25 for the Standard Roman for anyone doing book design. Bagnard Sans is one free alternative that I've suggested before but never felt it quite hit the right notes. However, here's a foundry producing GPL2 font families.

    I've just been looking at the Libris font there, which is based on Lydian with all four font styles - they really do look good on first inspection. There are some very nice glyphs in there as well, though I'm perhaps not all that keen on a few of the ligatures. Anywho, for anyone who wants to get that classic look, this is worth checking out.

  • captainteancumcaptainteancum Posts: 3
    edited July 2018

    I discovered Daz Studio late last year and used it to complete my first children's book "Angry Eyes: A Monster Training Guide" after years of trying unsatisfactorily to draw by hand. I used the Monster in a Cupboard asset as my base. I am super grateful to Daz Studio for making such a great user friendly product. If you have any interest in the book (ages 3 to 7), please check it out on Amazon here. Here is a picture of the cover. I think the paperback version came out much nicer than the Kindle version. Thanks again Daz!

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    philebus said:

    I can only offer a guestimate I'm afraid. From opening the render in the photo editor (Affinity Photo) to exporting the faux painting from ArtRage...

     

    That sounds pretty good. You probably answered this before, but do you use just the mouse or a tablet? I had a nice Intuos 5 for a while, but I couldn't get the hand-eye coordination between tablet and screen. I plan on saving up my nickles and getting an integrated tablet/screen someday.

    Like I said, someday!

     

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    edited July 2018

    I discovered Daz Studio late last year and used it to complete my first children's book "Angry Eyes: A Monster Training Guide" after years of trying unsatisfactorily to draw by hand.

    Looking good! 

    If you're seeking suggestions, I'd consider these changes for the next edition:

    * Make your name a little bit bigger and bolder. You have a lot to be proud of, and at thumbnail sizes it's a bit too small.

    * I think you'll find there's not enough contrast between the yellow background and the blue type, so the book title doesn't really pop. If you look at the image (at thumbnail sizes) converted to just gray scale you'll see the type is a very light gray and the background is a light-medium gray.

    Open your Amazon page and sit back about two feet. The type for the main title is okay (though I've never been fond of it), but the drop shadow used on the subtitle makes it hard to read. 

    The beauty of Amazon publishing is that you can update the cover often! Netflix now does this to re-capture viewers interests. A new cover looks like a new book, so it makes people give it a second look. (It can also cause confusion for people looking for your book, so do it with caution!)

    Post edited by Tobor on
  • BradCarstenBradCarsten Posts: 810

    This was a book cover I created.

    That's a cool cover. What did you use for the crowds in the background?

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