Book Covers

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  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018

    More playing about with colours, shades in one and contrasts in the other.

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    Gold is the Coldest Color Gallery.jpg
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    Post edited by philebus on
  • Prince WaoPrince Wao Posts: 336

    I've also used Daz for 5 of my own book covers. Just as I love creating fictional characters, one of the things I love most about Daz is morphing my own custom characters. But as I'm not a modeller as yet - that's another steep learning curve - I can't reproduce the exact outfits actually worn by the characters in my books.

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    philebus said:

    More playing about with colours, shades in one and contrasts in the other.

    Both good covers from an art standpoint. I'd say "Gold..Coldest" doesn't have that strong sense of intrique. Gold bars aren't as mysterious as maybe a gold statue (do you have a Bhudda or Egyptian cat model?). You're on the money with using an assertive looking character as the femme fatale. Only I wonder if a second character might be brought in, perhaps into the background, to add some sense of suspense.

    Just brainstorming witcha! Both covers are very nice.

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300

    BTW, For anyone loving the myster/thriller genre, if you have access to The Great Course (online, streaming, or by mail) I highly recommend this very detailed 36 lecture course:

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/the-secrets-of-great-mystery-and-suspense-fiction.html

    Dr. Schmid does a terrific job going through all the mystery subgenres back to Poe's Rue Morgue to current, with a lot of emphasis in the pot boilers and puls of the 30s to 60s. Though it's not about the cover art, what goes into the book has influenced the covers over the years. I can't imagine a Spillane without a lurid cover.

    (In going through Pulp Covers I came across the many McGinnis covers, but also saw this from an artist I'm not familiar with. A+ in my book!)

    https://pulpcovers.com/me-hood-1971/

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018
    Tobor said:
    philebus said:

    More playing about with colours, shades in one and contrasts in the other.

    Both good covers from an art standpoint. I'd say "Gold..Coldest" doesn't have that strong sense of intrique. Gold bars aren't as mysterious as maybe a gold statue (do you have a Bhudda or Egyptian cat model?). You're on the money with using an assertive looking character as the femme fatale. Only I wonder if a second character might be brought in, perhaps into the background, to add some sense of suspense.

    Just brainstorming witcha! Both covers are very nice.

    Honestly.... gold is a pain in the posterior! Shiney stuff doesn't do too well with the method I've been using. Gold, for example, ends up being either muddy brown or lacking any defination (I have some nice statues that I've tried without joy crying). The gold bars are probably the best compromise I have until I can figure out an alternative that will give me more variety - they have simple geometry that doesn't get too lost, though even these needed to be cut out and worked on seperately. Definately on my to do list though.

    I do also want to look at different image compositions a little more systematically - the temptation is to go all out to ape the original paperbacks but I want to keep the project tightly on track now, which means looking at necessary compromise to work in stores like Amazon. My plan for the blog is to next start building a selection of cover basic cover designs, and then look at the types of image composition that will work best wtih them with the online bookstore in mind.

    This is the first that I'm looking at

    And here's my version of it...

     

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

    And here's my version of it...

    Excellent! I love the 60s geometric styling and you've hit the composition on the head. This layout was quite popular in the less trashy thrillers, as well as some science fiction (not with those colors, but with the panelization).

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018

    And here's a finished example...

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    Post edited by philebus on
  • Cris PalominoCris Palomino Posts: 9,029
    philebus said:
    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. 

    I love your yellowjacket covers. Where you obtaining some of your fonts such as this one, if I may ask, please?

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018
    philebus said:
    Tobor said:
    philebus said:
     

    I love your yellowjacket covers. Where you obtaining some of your fonts such as this one, if I may ask, please?

    Hi,

    One of the best places for period fonts is The Scriptorium. Their website is a bit clunky to navigate and they only sell a very limited number ot items elsewhere, so we are largely stuck with it. They have some good value packages and it's worth signing up for the newsletter, as they also have some nice sales here and there.

    For this example...

    Tag: Ascelon from The Scriptorium - I got this as part of the Modern fonts package and is one of my two go-to fonts for taglines (the other being Stonehouse, also from Scriptorium).

    Title: Area of Suspicion from The Scriptorium - this one is based on the font used on many John D MacDonald novels, I purchased as part of their Pulp fonts package.

    Author: Lydian - I had this included in a Serif PagePlus Resource Disc, it's sold by bitstream and MyFonts has it listed as £25 for Roman Standard. This is one of my favourite fonts and you can find it on a lot of old pulps as well as a number of Hard Case Crime covers. I haven't had a chance to look at it properly yet but I recently found this look-a-like.

    There are a number of free commercial use fonts that are very good for this sort of thing - here's a selection...

    Bagnard Sans (not a bad Lydian substitute)

    Bahiana

    Brushstroke Plain (a better choice than the over popular True Crime)

    Cantora One

    Carter One

    Merienda (This was used for "Gold is the Coldest Color")

    Sigmar One (I often use this for "Yellow Jacket")

     

     

    Post edited by philebus on
  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    edited July 2018

    This is the first of two after classic Mike Shayne cover designs. This design, including the primary font and Robert McGuiness art, can also be found on spanish editions of some Mikey Spillane novels. I'm afraid that my little portrait isn't particularly good but I did manage to figure out the lined effect found on this version of the covers, so I'm satisfied.

    It's a great exercise in branding that works very well in a thumbnail. However, this comes at the expense of the artwork which needs more contrast to be seen at a small size than is found in some of the original art.

    The main font is from the Scriptorium and is called Shayne, having been based on this line of Mike Shayne books.

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

    philebus, did you set the title text, or is it from an example Halliday/Dressler book? The reason I ask is that the wide leading, now out of style, is actually what they did in this era! You have a good eye, my friend!

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239
    Tobor said:

    philebus, did you set the title text, or is it from an example Halliday/Dressler book? The reason I ask is that the wide leading, now out of style, is actually what they did in this era! You have a good eye, my friend!

    I set this one myself - I downloaded a bunch of examples as a guide to where to put what. The leading could vary quite a bit - it seems to me that this decision was often about filling the space well. To be honest, most of the Mike Shayne stuff of this period had tighter leading that this, though there were excpetions. However, I've used a tall font (I think a bit taller than the usual Mike Shayne title font), which I think let's you get away with the extra spacing - I'd rather the extra leading than type that's too big or too much empty space where it's not wanted.

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,300
    edited July 2018

    On the cheapest old pulps the title was sometimes set on its own apart from the rest of the text, and provided as a separate piece of film, more often than not from premade trays already set up for the trim size of the book. They often set these in cold type, and it could be a hurried job. That's why letter spacing isn't always accurate, there is little or no kerning, and so on. Doesn't mean all of them were done this way, of course, but a novel that retailed for 35 cents couldn't cost more than $200-300 for a set of complete printing plates. They had to do these cheaply.

    One reason for going real cheap on these is that the same book might have a couple different titles and covers, depending on where it was released. If the title was too lurid they could give it a different name in about 10 minutes. They did the same with the covers. The nude and half-nude covers were for distribution only in the larger towns where the local censors weren't as likely to confiscate the copies.

    Post edited by Tobor on
  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 8,110

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

     

    And very nice dabbling you've been doing there. :)

     

     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.  

    Really nice cover. I like the fact you used an old prop and made it look good. That's a nice mix of elements.

     

    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!

    That's darn cute!

     

    philebus said:

    And here's a finished example...

    I love most of your covers. I especially liked seeing the before and after of this one. 

  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227

    That digital art live webinar is going on now if my time conversion is correct but I have no idea how to log in or where to go - anyone else attending?  

  • philebusphilebus Posts: 239

    That digital art live webinar is going on now if my time conversion is correct but I have no idea how to log in or where to go - anyone else attending?  

    I had planned to attend but also had some trouble getting in. I found a link in my email and that just downloaded some sort of client - I don't install anything that I haven't researched, so I'm afraid that I left it at that.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,364
    edited July 2018

    For Digital Art Live webinars, I get an email from Paul at DAL with a link to the webinar meeting room.  Usually have to check my spam folder (sorry, Paul).  This email from Paul is in addition to the confirmation email that philebus refers to.  The email with the meeing link might not arrive until a few hours before the scheduled Digital Art Live event.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • 3Ddreamer3Ddreamer Posts: 1,152

    I attended and found it very useful. The download is a client app for Zoom, it doesn't actually install, just creates a live session - we use Zoom at work so I am familiar with the Meeting aspect, not the Webinar that was used here, but it

    Zoom, as I understand it, was created by people from Webex - we have recently moved from Webex to Zoom as our default meeting app.in an international company.

  • Sorry that you didn't get to attend. Paul used to use a different webinar client, and has just switch to Zoom in the last few webinars. I really like it a lot better.

    The session went quite well, it would have been nice to have a few more people there to add in. He is planning to do some more similar ones in the future.

    Hope to see you all there.

  • Tobor said:

    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!)

    Thanks! All great thoughts.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,364
    edited August 2018

    My try for a Victorian mystery/angst cover.

     

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  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227
    edited August 2018

    Finally got around to converting some of my recent artwork into book covers.  BTW the Trolls one was not accepted by the gatekeeper at the book cover designer. :) Covers link to the original art in my gallery. As I said before I just do whatever I want for art and convert the ones that work into covers when I get time so there's no loss for me if things don't sell or the gatekeeper declines them.  

      

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    Heroes.jpg
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  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 8,110

    Those are all superb. My favorite one happens to be the troll. You did an amazing job on him. :)

  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227

    Those are all superb. My favorite one happens to be the troll. You did an amazing job on him. :)

    Thanks KM, I'll just put it up on my facebook page

  • Cris PalominoCris Palomino Posts: 9,029
    philebus said:
    philebus said:
    Tobor said:
    philebus said:
     

    I love your yellowjacket covers. Where you obtaining some of your fonts such as this one, if I may ask, please?

    Hi,

    One of the best places for period fonts is The Scriptorium. Their website is a bit clunky to navigate and they only sell a very limited number ot items elsewhere, so we are largely stuck with it. They have some good value packages and it's worth signing up for the newsletter, as they also have some nice sales here and there.

    For this example...

    Tag: Ascelon from The Scriptorium - I got this as part of the Modern fonts package and is one of my two go-to fonts for taglines (the other being Stonehouse, also from Scriptorium).

    Title: Area of Suspicion from The Scriptorium - this one is based on the font used on many John D MacDonald novels, I purchased as part of their Pulp fonts package.

    Author: Lydian - I had this included in a Serif PagePlus Resource Disc, it's sold by bitstream and MyFonts has it listed as £25 for Roman Standard. This is one of my favourite fonts and you can find it on a lot of old pulps as well as a number of Hard Case Crime covers. I haven't had a chance to look at it properly yet but I recently found this look-a-like.

    There are a number of free commercial use fonts that are very good for this sort of thing - here's a selection...

    Bagnard Sans (not a bad Lydian substitute)

    Bahiana

    Brushstroke Plain (a better choice than the over popular True Crime)

    Cantora One

    Carter One

    Merienda (This was used for "Gold is the Coldest Color")

    Sigmar One (I often use this for "Yellow Jacket")

     

     

    Thank you.

  • Digital Art LiveDigital Art Live Posts: 116
    edited August 2018

    Book Cover Webinar Workshop

    Hi all,

    We have another free Book Cover workshop on Saturday the 8th of September. 

    It's a live forum to share your book cover artwork, tips and challenges with like-minded artists.

    You can register for free here:-

    https://digitalartlive.com/event/daz-studio-book-cover-art-workshop/

    It's 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.

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227

    I'll try and make that one. lol If my time math is correct I think it will start at 5pm central time

  • vwranglervwrangler Posts: 4,395
    edited August 2018

    I'll try and make that one. lol If my time math is correct I think it will start at 5pm central time

    I think it starts at 2pm Central time.

    12 noon Los Angeles/Vancouver = 1pm Denver/Edmonton = 2pm Chicago/Winnipeg = 3pm New York/Toronto = 4pm Halifax = 8pm British Summer Time.

    Helpful (with startlingly large numbers) time conversion page.

    Post edited by vwrangler on
  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 8,110

    Looks like fun. I just signed up.

  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227
    vwrangler said:

    I'll try and make that one. lol If my time math is correct I think it will start at 5pm central time

    I think it starts at 2pm Central time.

    12 noon Los Angeles/Vancouver = 1pm Denver/Edmonton = 2pm Chicago/Winnipeg = 3pm New York/Toronto = 4pm Halifax = 8pm British Summer Time.

    Helpful (with startlingly large numbers) time conversion page.

    Thanks @vwrangler

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