Hello everyone, Paul here again. In a recent post I discussed the importance of book covers and whether or not they lead to sales. In case you missed it, you can read it here
. I also would like to take a moment to inform you of the spooky Fangs, Fur & Fey Giveaway Hop
that runs October 2-8. We will be giving away a copy of Michael Dahl’s Troll Hunters
to one lucky US or Canada resident. Now, I’d like to look a little more at book covers today. I mentioned Laura Wright LaRoche last time, and I want to share more of our discussion. I personally found it very interesting and informative and invite your comments as to how you feel at the end.
What kind of covers do you do?
I do photo-manipulation, blending with graphic art and designs. Using multiple photos, graphics, and personal computer generated designs to create the perfect cover the author envisioned. I make front covers and full covers in any format needed by the author.
What is the difference between a front cover and a full cover?
A front cover is the image with title and name. What is used for eBooks. The full cover is used for print. It includes the front cover, binding, and back.
How do you decide a cover’s design?
Well, (and this might be a little difficult to explain) but as an artist, author, and photographer, I put myself into their stories and look around at what I see. This might seem difficult to imagine by just reading a few reviews and/or a synopsis, but it’s not. I have a ‘knack’ for feeling the mood, scene, and emotions the author is betraying within their words. All authors write differently, so I approach each one uniquely.
The genre sets the mood of the book (coloring, fonts, and style.) I go through my stock photos searching for anything that reminds me of the story (this is the most time consuming part of making the covers. I have over 10,000 personal photos. If I don’t find what I’m looking for I will download royalty free photos to fill in the gaps.) Usually I grab about 20 different photos to place in Photoshop at the beginning. I then start cutting and pasting, making changes, throwing out and keeping different pieces and parts until I have digitally created a unique image using various items from several photos.
How much input does the author have in the design?
The author can have full control or leave it up to me. The most common cover I make are designs left up to me to create. I love making the covers either way! I get to create and bring to life the authors imagination! But when the author knows exactly what they want they send me the basic info of the story, pointing out the elements they would like to see on the cover with a short description of the scene, and what genre category it is. Sometimes they provide pictures and graphics they want to use. If the images are of high quality, I do what I can to make sure I use them. It is important to reflect the authors wishes as best as possible.
When the author leaves the design up to me, the items and information I get varies from author to author. If the book is already published, I go to the web site and read everything I can. Reviews are very helpful for a designer. Next I read the synopsis, and some of the preview chapters provided if needed. The genre of the book plays a huge role in the design. If the book is not published yet, the author provides some or all of the items listed: synopsis, reviews, key points, character description, genre, etc. . . I use the same insight used with published books. If the author has a web site, I do visit and read. You can learn a lot about their stories by reading about the author. The author’s personality gives you insight to their work. Plus I’m just a curious person who believes you can never learn to much!
What are authors’ main requests for a cover?
1) Something eye catching that screams “read me!”
2) That perfect font for my cover design.
3) Author name at top and title at the bottom.
4) The title at the top with author name at the bottom. (number 3 & 4 are actually tied)
5) Props/key items from the story reflected on cover.
6) Bright/dark covers with lighter lettering.
7) Main character on the cover.
8) Something simple, yet professional.
9) Make it pretty! (yes even male authors say this!)
10) No visible faces.
Is there anything else you can think of that, in your experience, can enhance a cover to make it incredible and provide that all important favorable first-impression in the marketing/sales process?
There are really so many different ways to approach creating or enhancing a cover. First off, make sure the sizing of your cover is presented as a book. Covers are not square, or oblong. Fonts are extremely important. You can have a beautiful cover with the wrong style of fonts leading the reader to misinterpret your book, and the reader might pass it up. The title needs to be visible in thumbnail view. Not all covers, even ones I’ve made, do this. Sometimes the author doesn’t want it like that. I advise they should, but I always leave it up to them in the end. Coloring really sets the mood of a book. These are just examples, but not the rule. (Examples: See images above: Red/black/dark blue: eerie, scary, horror. Pastels and primary colors: childrens, poetry, memoirs. Purple/green/yellow: romance, drama.)
I hope you enjoyed reading about the creation of my covers and helpful suggestions. I have seen so many beautiful to ugly covers on the market. Not all beautiful covers were created by a professional and not all ugly ones were created by an individual. As a mother I pick out the perfect coat to keep my child warm, and as an author I pick out the perfect cover to keep my creation inside.
“In a world of words, anything is possible.” – Laura Wright LaRoche
Where can people view your work?
My personal site is http://www.llpix.com
LLPix Photography and Design. Click the appropriate tab to look for covers or author products I offer. My author information and books I have written are also on this site.
How can people contact you?
Well, that concludes our conversation and I hope you enjoyed it. I personally found it very informative and learned a lot. Again, I want to emphasize that your cover is your first-impression maker and should not be overlooked. It plays a vital role in whether the consumer decides to look at your book and ultimately, buy it. It tells the consumer of your professionalism and attention to detail. Do not overlook or cut corners on your book cover. I hope that you learned something and please, leave a comment telling us what you learned, what you wished you’d learned, or what you have learned in your experience. I have to go now, I need to see if my book titles are visible in the thumbnail view! Until next time, keep writing & keep reading!