Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - oh those pretty, pretty covers


Book covers. This is where I like to have complete control. Maybe not do the actual design myself, but to puppet a talented artist to do it just the way I want it. I used to dream I'd have Michael Whelan as my own personal cover artist.

All the books I've self-published, I designed the covers and I'm immensely pleased with them. I bought the images from a host site (Dreamstime), and I manipulated them to suit the stories. I spent as much time on the font as the images themselves. It's tough work making a cover perfect. It takes a long time. Time I'd rather spend writing.

For my Dice & Debauchery books, I have very little input on the covers. I filled out a questionnaire and described my main characters, but that's all the say I get in it. I knew I wouldn't have any control in this when I signed the contract. I weighed it against the benefits of having a publisher for this series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I at least kind of like the covers when I see them.

Next year, I'm self-publishing an urban fantasy novel. I'm going to hire a cover artist to do it for me. I'll have much more input than I do with my publisher, but not as much as I do if I did it myself. I tried finding images that would work for a cover, but nothing stood out for me. Nothing I wanted for this book. It has to be unique. It has to be made to suit it.

If you're published, did you design your own covers or did someone else? Do you like having control or are you much more easy-going about it than I am?

22 comments:

  1. I absolutely loathe cover design LOL! However, I do like to have a say in them. I designed the covers for the Game On series, and while I'm happy enough with them, I know they could be better. For my new book, I hired a designer and, honestly, I wish I'd done that all along!

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  2. I just went with Amazon cover creator, even though I know that I need a new one for now I'm too busy to do anything about it!

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  3. Love all your covers! Thanks for giving the links.

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  4. I'm so impressed that you designed all the 13th Floor covers! One of them is better than the next. I can only imagine the disaster I would have on my hands if I tried to design a cover LOL. I can't even manage the most simple task in photoshop or any other graphics program. It was all I could do to get my book covers on the bars for our UR books page LOL.

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  5. I do a little of both with my covers, but I love having a say in what I want, if I'm working with a cover artist. I'd love to one day take a class in Photoshop and learn more.

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  6. I like having control over my covers too. It was nerve-wracking to give that up for my last three covers. But it turned out just fine!

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  7. I"m so happy to let my publisher take care of the covers though they all give me a lot of input. Good luck with your venture.

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  8. LOL! I'm a total control freak about myself, but not so much about anything else. However, I do like having control of the entire publishing process, which came as a surprise. Even though I like the control, I wouldn't balk at a good book deal. I do hate the thought of querying, though.

    Re covers: I see great ones in my head, but translated to reality, they fall short. That's why I've always used a cover designer. Mine is awesome!

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  9. Your post resonates with one of my current creative interests. I've been playing with covers lately too! I like having control, but more than that, I like the creative process.

    Your 13th floor series turned out well. Did you do those? I hope Dice and Debauchery ends up with something you're happy with. :)

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  10. I hope your publisher creates a cover you will like for Dice and Debauchery. I admire your own work in creating covers for your self-published books. My sister created the cover for my children's book but she was also my illustrator. Even though I self-published, the reviews for my cover and illustrations have been out of this world so I am quite content with her work. I often think about pursuing traditional but I don't know if I would be able to give up working with my sister to create picture books. Plus, I like being in control since I am doing all of the artwork, writing and promoting myself=)

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  11. I really enjoyed the process of using 99 Designs when I was making a cover for Peter. (Which I may or may not use, depending on if it gets picked up or I self-publish!)

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  12. My publisher's illustrator usually reads through the story and has a scene in mind when he asks for details from me. I never know what to expect but so far they have rocked.
    Hope your publisher does a great one for you.

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  13. I enjoy doing it, but I have to admit I'm not great at it. I prefer hiring out these days. It takes much less time. The publisher doing the cover thing might make me sweat more. I guess as long as it spoke to the genre correctly, I'd be OK with it.

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  14. Working with CQ I've seen the flipside to cover design, and it's really interesting. Sometimes, even though the authors have the best intentions, they're too close to the story for their ideas to be marketable, and we have to step in and guide them in the right direction. It's really made me re-think how I look at cover design, and when I publish, if it's self-published, I will hire an artist.

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  15. Thank you all for commenting. I love hearing your experiences and preferences. It seems we all would rather be writing!

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  16. I guess I'm a little strange because I love working on the art... it would be difficult to let go and not be vedy involved with it. But I graduated with a digital art degree and an art history minor, so I'm equally as in love witb visual art as written art :) I designed the cover for The Labyrinth Wall and it was very fun for me, lol.

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  17. My covers have both been a complete surprise to me...a PLEASANT one, but still a surprise! They asked me a little basic information and took it from there. No way could I have come up with something even close to being that good!

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  18. Since I make comics, it'd be odd to have someone other than me do the covers, haha. Still, even if I wrote novels like I used to, I think I'd still want some control. Not sure I'd trust publishers with depicting my characters!

    Anyway, I hope the covers for D&D end up exceeding your expectations! Can't imagine how devastating it'd be to ultimately be disappointed by them...

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  19. I think you did an amazing job with your covers! Too bad you have little say with Dice & Debauchery, but I'm sure it will be awesome. I love working with my designer and being part of the process, having to design it myself however would make me sweat bullets lol

    S.K. Anthony: Deleting the Best Part of You

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  20. I did mine for my cookbooks and I loved it.

    It's interesting when you have no control. Some covers are still right on - other seem to have nothing to do with the book. Hopefully yours will work perfectly!

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  21. All of your covers have turned out great! The illustrators of my picture books designed my covers. You never know how they're going to look, but so far I've been pleased with the end products.

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  22. I'm awed you did all these great covers yourself. Great work. Love them.

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