Great thanks to Jen for inviting me to appear on her blog.
Today I’d like to speak a little about book covers and general artwork for authors.
Having painted my own book covers, I also make all my own promotional pictures and banners for my books and for my Facebook, twitter and blog sites. I’ve assisted other authors on a tight budget, and made banners and promo’s for friends too.
After making Jen’s new cover for Kissing Demon’s, we decided it would make an interesting post on her blog and also give other authors who are thinking about their next cover, something to think about. It’s a difficult step moving from the author’s brain and imagination to the artist’s creative hands, and quite often there are disappointments.
Once myself and Jen agreed I would make her new cover for Kissing Demons, I began with my usual set of questions…and after about the fifth or sixth, Jen was starting to wonder if she was taking an exam! I don’t ask questions for the fun of it, they’re all so I may try to recreate what the author has in their head.
Here’s an example…
- What color scheme do you have in mind?
- Body’s or faces?
- Handwriting fonts?
- Color of fonts?
- Grungy? Clean?
- What image would you like on the cover?
- What about a line we can use?
- Bold or delicate? Curly? Blocky?
- What color hair/eyes does your heroine/hero have?
Those are just a few, and depending on what description comes from the authors lips, depends what other questions I need to ask.
One of the most difficult situations is when the author says, “surprise me!”
Of course, I do! And then the changes begin… “I don’t like that font for the title…can you make it a different colour? I was thinking maybe we should have it black and white…..It’s too big…too small…don’t like the image…” You see how difficult it can be to get over what’s in one head to the other?
So when you’re thinking about have a cover designed, try and help out the artist as much as possible and be prepared for an interrogation. The more information you can hand over, the greater chance there is of a satisfactory product. While it’s impossible to always get it right first time, by working together, we can usually get to where the author is happy.
Having spent a few hours on a cover where I’ve been given a free hand, only to be told nothing of what I’ve produced is anything that the author likes, is a little disheartening.
So when you’re looking for your next cover, and want to be involved with the design and have your fabulous writing complemented with an equally fabulous cover, think about details and how much information you can give the artist. It saves both time and frustration, and will ensure the author gets the cover they dream of.