Book Cover · Design · The Final Calling

Book Cover Remakes – The Final Calling

So, I’ve just finished reworking the cover for The Final Calling! As for what comes next, I’m not 100% sure, but I’ll definitely be posting it here when I’m finished. As a side note, I’m considering moving to a new blog entirely, but if that happens, and I’m not sure it will, I’ll post the information here for all to see!

Thanks so much guys and I hope you enjoy the new covers! :)

Book Cover · Design · Light of Dawn · The Crucible · Uncategorized

Book Cover Remakes – Light of Dawn

So … I bet no one thought to see me posting here again any time soon, huh? Myself included! But here I am, and I have some fun stuff to show off … well, fun stuff if you ever read any of my stories lol!

As most of you already know, I unpublished my books a year ago (almost exactly, which seems a little strange!). In the time since, I’ve learned quite a bit about my difficulties functioning in recent years, and while I don’t want to start dumping lengthy explanations on everyone right now, I can say that I’ve discovered new ways to do art, and that’s what’s been taking a lot of my focus!

So in the effort of keeping things short and sweet, I think everyone is aware that I created my own book covers for The Crucible Series. There are several places online where you can purchase stock photos for fairly cheap, and using those, I would piece the cover together, slap the title on it, and voila! For example, here’s Light of Dawn’s old cover:

This is still one of my favorite covers just because I love the light effects! However, I’ve been dabbling in 3D modeling lately, and wouldn’t you know it, I managed to create the characters from my stories! Well, I haven’t created all of them yet, but I do have quite a few, and yes, that includes Charlotte and Ulric! As such, I decided to remake the cover of their book for no other reason than I could, and I love doing graphic design. So without further ado, here’s the new cover for Light of Dawn:

Before I go any further, I wanted to make sure to specify that no, this doesn’t mean I’ll be republishing my books! I’ve still got a long way to go before that option is back on the table again, but I wanted to do something creative, and I had way too much fun piecing this together! I can also say you guys can and should expect to see more in the future because I’m intending to rework the covers of all my books, as well as post some general character art and make a few covers for books I never got the chance to write!

I hope you guys enjoy this! <3

Book Cover · Design · Fallen Hearts · Writing

Animated Book Covers – Friend or Foe?

fallenhearts_med If animated book covers was something I thought of before, I promise it’s not an idea I considered in depth until recently. Why? I’m gonna be frank; animating shit is hard. Even if you have some graphic prog that’s specifically designed to make animation easy, it’s still hard.

This doesn’t stop some people from having the most awesome looking covers, though! Even Fallen Hearts over there looks pretty spiff, though I may have gone overboard with the floating particles. Anywho, the point is that, despite the difficulty animating or how much a graphic designer might charge to animate your cover, this is a pretty unique marketing strategy. Not every book has a cover with “moving parts”, and this can definitely be eye catching regardless of whether the animation is done right or wrong.

And that right there might be the biggest problem–going overboard. If these types of covers became a huge trend, it would mean the more popular they got, the higher the bar would be set to actually grab someone’s attention from “all those other books”, and the more eye sores we’d get.

As a general principle, book cover animations should be subtle in most cases, basically so the user can see the title without straining their eyes. But “subtle” can sometimes be the enemy of “attention grabbing”, particularly if you have a lot of competition with those nifty moving parts.

Still, it doesn’t seem entirely likely that we’ll get many of these covers often, at least, not from a ton of indie authors who might lack resources. The reason is that the only books which could really benefit from an animated cover (unless you count holographic prints) are ebooks, and to my knowledge, the most popular ereaders don’t support these images. This might change in the future, but for now, these covers are best left to marketing and promo, so even if they were done in full force, we’d probably only see them on author websites and blogs yadda yadda.

I may just go ahead and animate the rest of my covers (I have this weird OCD thing where if I do one, I have to do them all lol) but I’m definitely not looking to make a huge case out of it. So what do you guys think? Animated books covers; great idea, or destined to become the most messy train wreck of all time?

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Design · Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible

Out with the Old Cont…

It’s so weird that I got a new (and wonderful, let’s not forget that part :D) review on Light of Dawn just when I was about to share the new paperback cover image =| It must be a sign! Of what, I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out in time! :P

pdfcover_5.5x8

Call me arrogant, but I’m reeeeeeally happy with this one! But I’ve always been a sucker for glowy sparkles and that kind of thing. AND LIGHTNING. Lightning is awesome. <3

Cheers!

Book Cover · Design

Out with the Old, in with the New

So, I’d been up to something sneaky lately. Well, it’s not sneaky, I just hadn’t mentioned it to anyone cause it makes me feel like a secret agent. “I’M UP TO THINGS YOU’LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT … UNTIL I DECIDE TO TELL YOU.”

wtferm

What?

Anyway, I’m sure many of you recall my book cover updates. Or maybe you don’t. Regardless, last July or thereabouts, I updated my book covers to shiny, new, and what I can only hope is overwhelmingly eye-catching images (more on those “upgrades” later). At the time, I’d decided to revamp my ebooks only (Blue Moon, Light of Dawn, and Strange Brew all have paperback options) and leave my paperback covers with the old images to kind of differentiate them.

Well, I’ve started working to incorporate my new covers with the paperbacks as well! Createspace is currently reviewing my cover for Blue Moon, and in the meantime, I thought I’d share it here.

bluemoonpbcover

Light of Dawn’s cover is currently “under construction”, and I’ll get to Strange Brew’s as soon as I’m done with it. But while I’m at it, I thought I would share images of the “conversions”, which isn’t something I usually talk about because I know not all writers out there are graphically inclined and I always felt I wouldn’t be able to offer much advice on the task of getting book covers done because I always just make my own.

Still, sharing tips and tricks of any type seems like it might be helpful to at least a handful of people, and besides, I might end up going into the book cover making business myself. Who knows? I’m definitely no artist, but photo manipulation? Sign me up! :D

oldnewbm oldnewlod

Credits: for Blue Moon and Strange Brew, I found suitable stock images from The Killion Group, Inc., and for Light of Dawn and Fallen Hearts, I purchased images from RNC.

oldnewsb oldnewfh

So if you’re a writer who also designs your own covers/banners/websites/whatnot, but maybe you’re not quite a photographer, or you just don’t know a lot of people willing to have their pictures taken to be used on the cover of your book, this info would be helpful. Both of the websites linked above have a multitude of stock photos that can be used across a wide variety of genres, and the basic license isn’t too expensive.

But that might be considered a kicker. Some of you might be hesitant to purchase stock covers because you’re uncertain about the licenses and the proper way to use the images, and I have to stress that it’s important to check the terms on each website so you know what you’re doing, and even contact the stock providers to ask. There might be a limited number of print copies you can sell using the images in your designs before you have to purchase a new basic license, and exclusive licenses are much more expensive.

But don’t let that scare you away! It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and if you’re only publishing in the ebook format, chances are you won’t have a set number of copies to sell before you’re required to purchase a new license.

You may also want to keep in mind that one of the cons with using stock images is that there might be several other books out there featuring the same image as the one you’ve purchased. This is why I try to be as selective as possible. Okay, it’s not actually the only reason (I’m just extremely picky with images depicting my characters; it took me forever to find a suitable photo to use for The Final Calling, and I’m so glad I checked out Period Images because those guys are AWESOME! :D) but it’s one of the major ones.

Yet I’m of the opinion that using stock images can greatly improve the quality of your covers (if you’re a designer or pseudo designer as I tend to be anyway). I’m not saying my old book covers are bad (I’d revert to using them again if the situation called for it in a heartbeat! They’re my babies ;_; ) but the newer ones have more life, so to speak.

So should you use stock images? Or even hire a designer to make a book cover for you? (And yes, to those writers who are graphically challenged, these stock image websites also offer design services! :D) I suppose it depends on your current needs, your audience, and whether you truly think it would “advance your career” for lack of a better way to put it. In any event, if you have questions, feel free to ask away! I’m a chatter box and it’s hard to shut me up once I’ve gotten started. Well, sorta.

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Design · The Crucible

Book Covers

And here’s a line up of book covers:

bookcovers

…But wait, what’s on the end? Hmm! Work in progress is coming along pretty well! :D