Book Covers

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  • ArtAngelArtAngel Posts: 1,091

    You probably won't see me here for another 6 months if ever, so let me leave you with one final thoght, less is more.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468
    edited January 2019

    Okay I have finally buckled down and finished that cover I started wayyyy back on page 39 lol.  However, I am still kind of freaking out.  How the heck to you save the text so you can edit it without having to start over?  I really do not like the text feature in photoshop at all.  Mostly because I have no idea what I am doing.

    Does anyone know if the book cover designers web site has a particular format one has to meet like selfpub does?  This was done with the selfpub template but I cant submit it til tomorrow as they apparently aren't open due to the holidays (my mil is having knee surgery tomorrow and I really wanted to get at least ONE book cover submitted, somewhere)

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    Post edited by IceDragonArt on
  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    Aaaaand apparently the universe does not want me to submit anything today, book cover designers won't let me register.....I think I'm going to go do something more productive, like kill zombies.

     

  • deathbycanondeathbycanon Posts: 1,227

    Save your book cover in a layered format - psd. The text will stay on whatever text layers you had and you can come back and edit if you need to. There is no real format to thebookcoverdesigner I just put the image size specks in the description. For example:  Fits Amazon Kindle fire and 6x9 print 

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    Thanks!  It keeps wanting to rasterize the text layer, and I am like, no, I don't want to do that.  I keep all of my work saved as psd files as well as .jpeg or .png depending on what I doing. I should probably go through stuff at some point and get rid of some of the earlier stuff that I don't consider very good anymore.

  • I sometimes have that same problem when I've saved a PSD on Mac or Windows and then open it on the other one. It shouldn't make any difference, but I've noticed it does, mostly for text. The other times I've noticed it is when I've switched PS versions (I have CS6 on my Mac and the CC version on Windows). Don't know if that will help with your problem but might be a place to look. 

    :-)

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468
    nelm2010 said:

    I sometimes have that same problem when I've saved a PSD on Mac or Windows and then open it on the other one. It shouldn't make any difference, but I've noticed it does, mostly for text. The other times I've noticed it is when I've switched PS versions (I have CS6 on my Mac and the CC version on Windows). Don't know if that will help with your problem but might be a place to look. 

    :-)

    Thank you! 

     

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    Well, I've posted the first one so we shall se if its accepted lol. 

  • Some of the characters that is going into my book. Ratfall. Just a quick pic.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    Some of the characters that is going into my book. Ratfall. Just a quick pic.

    Looks like a great story!

  • Hi, I've been a lurker for a while...and was thinking about jumping into the 'making covers for other people' thing.

    I learnt to make my own covers from stock images, and got annoyed at the limitations, so fell into Daz last December. I've had requests to make covers by others, but I'm pondering today about the licences concerning it. I know that epub covers are fine under the standard terms, but I'm unsure about print covers. I was mooching about on Renderosity and noticed their agreement doesn't allow physical use of content without the extended licence - things like mugs etc. I assume that extends to books too.

    Daz seems more...grey. So I'm wondering, would I have to buy the extended licence for print?

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,144

    I have no idea about the rendo Licenses, but for the DAZ stuff print of an image you made is perfectly fine. Problematic is everything that involves a 3 dimesional result. Like the Gameprint figures are only for personal use an can not be resold

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,144

    Differetn topic, I was strolling through the local bookstoore yesterday studying the covers and found that if people are seen in the covers they alway are shown from their back or in silhouettes, very rarely a face from the side. This was ture for all sorts of genres like fantasy, fiction, historical fiction and thrillr alike.

    The only times there was a face it was from biographies or on childrens books sometimes teens books. Is that a German thing or do you see that in other places around the world as well?

    If so that is something to remember in the making of covers, or maybe that's is just for the printed versions?

  • Kaye KayeKaye Kaye Posts: 196
    edited February 2019
    Linwelly said:

    I have no idea about the rendo Licenses, but for the DAZ stuff print of an image you made is perfectly fine. Problematic is everything that involves a 3 dimesional result. Like the Gameprint figures are only for personal use an can not be resold

    Thanks, Linwelly! :)

    Linwelly said:

    Differetn topic, I was strolling through the local bookstoore yesterday studying the covers and found that if people are seen in the covers they alway are shown from their back or in silhouettes, very rarely a face from the side. This was ture for all sorts of genres like fantasy, fiction, historical fiction and thrillr alike.

    The only times there was a face it was from biographies or on childrens books sometimes teens books. Is that a German thing or do you see that in other places around the world as well?

    If so that is something to remember in the making of covers, or maybe that's is just for the printed versions?

    I think it's down to a few things. Getting a model release agreement and models objecting to the type of books they end up on could be a part of it. Some run in terror of finding themselves on a romance book, after all. ;-)

    Getting the hero/heroine right for the book is also there. I've trawled through stockphoto sites and the perfect image in every other respect has totally the wrong look about the face. And it's easier to buy into the fantasy of a story with a figure without a face; to impose the hero/heroine onto that image than have it set out.

    That said, it happens more with male models as there are so few good stock photos of men. Have a look at science fiction romance books and nearly all of the newer titles are headless bare chests. ;-)

    Post edited by Kaye Kaye on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,144
    Kaye Kaye said:

     Have a look at science fiction romance books and nearly all of the newer titles are headless bare chests. ;-)

    I had a good laugh out of that :D

  • Kaye Kaye said:

    Hi, I've been a lurker for a while...and was thinking about jumping into the 'making covers for other people' thing.

    I learnt to make my own covers from stock images, and got annoyed at the limitations, so fell into Daz last December. I've had requests to make covers by others, but I'm pondering today about the licences concerning it. I know that epub covers are fine under the standard terms, but I'm unsure about print covers. I was mooching about on Renderosity and noticed their agreement doesn't allow physical use of content without the extended licence - things like mugs etc. I assume that extends to books too.

    Daz seems more...grey. So I'm wondering, would I have to buy the extended licence for print?

    I will check at Renderosity, but I'm pretty sure that you do NOT need an "extended license" for a book cover. They have never required that in the past. I'm pretty certain it just applies to merchandising items. But, I will check and report back (I hang out there a lot and know some of the moderators, so asking a question to them should get a quick answer).

  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,430
    edited February 2019

    Here is a concept sketch I'm sending to an editor/publisher for consideration. I chose to do it as a sketch so that the editor (who is not a graphics professional) wouldn't get hung up on the details of the render. I've noticed that problem in the past. The 3D renders come out so clean that the person reviewing the concepts gets caught up in details rather than looking at general lighting and composition, which is what I'm trying to sell at this point of the process. So, I often use Poser's sketch-style render to generate a rough.

    This time I actually did a superfly render and ran it through Akvis Sketch to get these effects (I wanted more color than I was getting out of a straight sketch render).

    As you can see, I've added a mock-up of the title and author's name, too, as well as edge guides.

    Obviously, this is still a rough concept. I need to add more debris to the front cover and I will probably add a little fire coming out of some of the debris on the back cover.

    THOUGHTS? Any reaction to this? Do you get a "story" out of this scene?

     

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    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,144

    Here is a concept sketch I'm sending to an editor/publisher for consideration. I chose to do it as a sketch so that the editor (who is not a graphics professional) wouldn't get hung up on the details of the render. I've noticed that problem in the past. The 3D renders come out so clean that the person reviewing the concepts gets caught up in details rather than looking at general lighting and composition, which is what I'm trying to sell at this point of the process. So, I often use Poser's sketch-style render to generate a rough.

    This time I actually did a superfly render and ran it through Akvis Sketch to get these effects (I wanted more color than I was getting out of a straight sketch render).

    As you can see, I've added a mock-up of the title and author's name, too, as well as edge guides.

    Obviously, this is still a rough concept. I need to add more debris to the front cover and I will probably add a little fire coming out of some of the debris on the back cover.

    THOUGHTS? Any reaction to this? Do you get a "story" out of this scene?

     

    Nice idea, has a bit of a retro feel to it, I think the overall is too dark though or more that the strong contrasts make it hard to read. On the other hand it is what stuff looks like in space, I think. I guess a lot depends on the preferences of the publisher as well, like what are the covers looking like they have?

    Did you just walk up to them and send you proposal in? I'm curious as I was thinking of contacting a publisher as well at some point.

  • Kaye Kaye said:

     

    Daz seems more...grey. So I'm wondering, would I have to buy the extended licence for print?

    I will check at Renderosity, but I'm pretty sure that you do NOT need an "extended license" for a book cover. They have never required that in the past. I'm pretty certain it just applies to merchandising items. But, I will check and report back (I hang out there a lot and know some of the moderators, so asking a question to them should get a quick answer).

    Thanks, mmitchell_houston!

  • Linwelly said:

    Here is a concept sketch I'm sending to an editor/publisher for consideration. I chose to do it as a sketch so that the editor (who is not a graphics professional) wouldn't get hung up on the details of the render. I've noticed that problem in the past. The 3D renders come out so clean that the person reviewing the concepts gets caught up in details rather than looking at general lighting and composition, which is what I'm trying to sell at this point of the process. So, I often use Poser's sketch-style render to generate a rough.

    This time I actually did a superfly render and ran it through Akvis Sketch to get these effects (I wanted more color than I was getting out of a straight sketch render).

    As you can see, I've added a mock-up of the title and author's name, too, as well as edge guides.

    Obviously, this is still a rough concept. I need to add more debris to the front cover and I will probably add a little fire coming out of some of the debris on the back cover.

    THOUGHTS? Any reaction to this? Do you get a "story" out of this scene?

     

    Nice idea, has a bit of a retro feel to it, I think the overall is too dark though or more that the strong contrasts make it hard to read. On the other hand it is what stuff looks like in space, I think. I guess a lot depends on the preferences of the publisher as well, like what are the covers looking like they have? Did you just walk up to them and send you proposal in? I'm curious as I was thinking of contacting a publisher as well at some point. 

    This is just a concept sketch, not the final cover. It's just something to give him an idea of what I'm thinking of doing in regards to content. I will go with a more painterly approach for the final illustration. (And I do agree with you about the retro and darkness; I definitely need to lighten it up for the final cover).

    I wish I could give you some advice on how to meet publishers, but in this situation I cannot. I have known James Shade (the owner/publisher of Epic Age Media) for about 15 years through the small-press gaming community here in Houston, Texas. I am also a game publisher (we released an award-winning game called Gutshot). We usually see each other only once or twice a year at gaming conventions, but stretch that over 15+ years and that's a lot of time talking shop. Ages ago, he asked me about the illustrations in my game books and, when he found that I had created some of them, he eventually asked me to do some illustrations for his role playing game books, which I did. I've done interior illustrations for his games Galaxy Prime and Powers Beyond.

    As part of his promotion for Galaxy Prime, he's releasing this anthology of short stories set in his universe, and I asked if he needed interior art or a cover. So, here I am, doing a cover for his third fiction anthology. Since the other two books were for his fantasy game, we're both looking for a new look for this book (in other words, there is no single house look for his books, at least not right now).

    As for reaching out to publishers in the sci-fi/gaming community, I would suggest visiting some game, science fiction and comic conventions and have a portfolio in hand, along with something physical to leave them. Either a postcard with a link to your online portfolio, or maybe even a 4-page brochure (11x17 folded in half) so they can see your work. Just getting out there and talking to people is how I network (and why I'm slowing expanding my reach to other game companies).

    Good luck.

  • Just got the good news that the editor has approved the concept for the book cover! Excited to move past the concept stage and get this thing going forward.

  • Just got the good news that the editor has approved the concept for the book cover! Excited to move past the concept stage and get this thing going forward. 

    So I'm going to swap out the human for something more alien (there are no "humans" in this universe). Then I'm going to change the debris and add some fires and other effects. I will provide him with one more concept sketch (with more detail) and then render it to full resolution and start the digital painting process.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,144

    Just got the good news that the editor has approved the concept for the book cover! Excited to move past the concept stage and get this thing going forward. 

    So I'm going to swap out the human for something more alien (there are no "humans" in this universe). Then I'm going to change the debris and add some fires and other effects. I will provide him with one more concept sketch (with more detail) and then render it to full resolution and start the digital painting process.

    Congrats! Very cool, are you allowed to show the final result?

    Thanks for all the info on how you made contact, I guess it is what you say, you just have to network and get to know people

  • Linwelly said:

    Just got the good news that the editor has approved the concept for the book cover! Excited to move past the concept stage and get this thing going forward. 

    So I'm going to swap out the human for something more alien (there are no "humans" in this universe). Then I'm going to change the debris and add some fires and other effects. I will provide him with one more concept sketch (with more detail) and then render it to full resolution and start the digital painting process.

    Congrats! Very cool, are you allowed to show the final result?

    Thanks for all the info on how you made contact, I guess it is what you say, you just have to network and get to know people

    Absolutely! He considers "sneak peaks" of the art to be free advertising!

    So I will most certainly share the final version here (except maybe for the back cover text, since he writes that), and I'll probably show a few interim steps along the way as I nail down the details on composition and process.

  • Any thoughts on the new compostion and the painting effects?

    Of do you like it better with the gun down below, as in the original concept?

  • Daywalker DesignsDaywalker Designs Posts: 3,435
    edited March 2019

    One version of the front cover for Hive: Origin. The base figure has changed facially, but this is essentially the character placement I'm wanting for it. Any suggestions as to how to arrange the title and author information around the figures?

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    Post edited by Daywalker Designs on
  • One version of the front cover for Hive: Origin. The base figure has changed facially, but this is essentially the character placement I'm wanting for it. Any suggestions as to how to arrange the title and author information around the figures?

    I think you're going to have some problems placing text on this illustration: you really didn't leave much room for it. At least not in the traditional placement locations. You could always go "artsy" and tuck a small title off the our left in the upper corner. Ditto for author name and stuff like that. 

    Ideally, though, I would suggest rerendering it and giving yourself more room at top and bottom. 

    I also foresee issues with text color. You have a mix of lights and darks, which can cause legibility issues. You'll probably have to do a white or yellow/gold text at the top and outline it with black or some other color. The bottom text (author name?) will probably have to be outlined in order to make it legible against the dogs.

    Moving on to an area which you didn't ask advice for, I'd like to comment on the illustration itself. 

    First off, I like the basic character design. I particularly like that she has a young body type, although her costume is provocative, she doesn't look like a bimbo. The hair is also really well done. This is GOOD work.

    But, I'm not sure who her character is from this illustration. Her pose is just so generic that I'm not getting any sense of who she is. Consider using either an action pose, like walking, running or turning abruptly toward some out-of-view menace, or have her or have her move a hand up as though to ward off an attack, or something to give a sense that we are catching a single frame of an action movie.

    Ditto for the camera angle. Looking at her spot on doesn't convey much emotional depth. If you want her to look vulnerable, the camera should be looking down at her. If you want her to seem stronger, the camera should be looking up at her. I do like the dog poses well enough (although the white one looks like one paw is floating just off the ground by a tiny amount), but I don't think having the white one facing the camera dead on is working. He's too narrow when framed like this.

    Anyway, I hope I don't come off too negative. I really like what you've got here, but just think it needs a few tweaks. Good luck!

  • One version of the front cover for Hive: Origin. The base figure has changed facially, but this is essentially the character placement I'm wanting for it. Any suggestions as to how to arrange the title and author information around the figures?

    I think you're going to have some problems placing text on this illustration: you really didn't leave much room for it. At least not in the traditional placement locations. You could always go "artsy" and tuck a small title off the our left in the upper corner. Ditto for author name and stuff like that. 

    Ideally, though, I would suggest rerendering it and giving yourself more room at top and bottom. 

    I also foresee issues with text color. You have a mix of lights and darks, which can cause legibility issues. You'll probably have to do a white or yellow/gold text at the top and outline it with black or some other color. The bottom text (author name?) will probably have to be outlined in order to make it legible against the dogs.

    Moving on to an area which you didn't ask advice for, I'd like to comment on the illustration itself. 

    First off, I like the basic character design. I particularly like that she has a young body type, although her costume is provocative, she doesn't look like a bimbo. The hair is also really well done. This is GOOD work.

    But, I'm not sure who her character is from this illustration. Her pose is just so generic that I'm not getting any sense of who she is. Consider using either an action pose, like walking, running or turning abruptly toward some out-of-view menace, or have her or have her move a hand up as though to ward off an attack, or something to give a sense that we are catching a single frame of an action movie.

    Ditto for the camera angle. Looking at her spot on doesn't convey much emotional depth. If you want her to look vulnerable, the camera should be looking down at her. If you want her to seem stronger, the camera should be looking up at her. I do like the dog poses well enough (although the white one looks like one paw is floating just off the ground by a tiny amount), but I don't think having the white one facing the camera dead on is working. He's too narrow when framed like this.

    Anyway, I hope I don't come off too negative. I really like what you've got here, but just think it needs a few tweaks. Good luck!

    That's just about what I was looking for, to be honest. I will make a few changes and post a new version tomorrow or on the weekend.
  • One version of the front cover for Hive: Origin. The base figure has changed facially, but this is essentially the character placement I'm wanting for it. Any suggestions as to how to arrange the title and author information around the figures?

    I think you're going to have some problems placing text on this illustration: you really didn't leave much room for it. At least not in the traditional placement locations. You could always go "artsy" and tuck a small title off the our left in the upper corner. Ditto for author name and stuff like that. 

    Ideally, though, I would suggest rerendering it and giving yourself more room at top and bottom. 

    I also foresee issues with text color. You have a mix of lights and darks, which can cause legibility issues. You'll probably have to do a white or yellow/gold text at the top and outline it with black or some other color. The bottom text (author name?) will probably have to be outlined in order to make it legible against the dogs.

    Moving on to an area which you didn't ask advice for, I'd like to comment on the illustration itself. 

    First off, I like the basic character design. I particularly like that she has a young body type, although her costume is provocative, she doesn't look like a bimbo. The hair is also really well done. This is GOOD work.

    But, I'm not sure who her character is from this illustration. Her pose is just so generic that I'm not getting any sense of who she is. Consider using either an action pose, like walking, running or turning abruptly toward some out-of-view menace, or have her or have her move a hand up as though to ward off an attack, or something to give a sense that we are catching a single frame of an action movie.

    Ditto for the camera angle. Looking at her spot on doesn't convey much emotional depth. If you want her to look vulnerable, the camera should be looking down at her. If you want her to seem stronger, the camera should be looking up at her. I do like the dog poses well enough (although the white one looks like one paw is floating just off the ground by a tiny amount), but I don't think having the white one facing the camera dead on is working. He's too narrow when framed like this.

    Anyway, I hope I don't come off too negative. I really like what you've got here, but just think it needs a few tweaks. Good luck!

     

    That's just about what I was looking for, to be honest. I will make a few changes and post a new version tomorrow or on the weekend.

    You're very welcome. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do next!

  • Daywalker DesignsDaywalker Designs Posts: 3,435
    edited March 2019

    You're very welcome. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do next!

    Here is one version, but I think I will end up moving the camera so there is more open space above her for the title text. Or I could pull back a bit more.

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    Post edited by Daywalker Designs on
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