Friday, April 27, 2012

Choosing a Cover Artist

Tip of the Day: My newest novel, Afterlife, released today. It's only 99 cents through Sunday. Plus, I'm giving away some Harry Potter souvenirs on my blog. Check it out!

As an indie author, I spend a lot of time on the aspects of publishing that most traditionally published writers never experience. Covers and artwork are a huge part of this. From what I'm told, most trad pubbed authors have little, or no, say in their covers. This is something I LOVE about being self-pubbed. The cover art is in my hands.

It's also one of the parts that terrifies me the most.

I don't have an eye for artwork. I couldn't even tell an artist what I want, really. In my mind, color, shape, contrast, all of that stuff, is just a blob of nothingness. I'm not a very visual person.

When I set out to create my first cover, I perused the covers of a ton of self-pub authors. The one that struck me the most was Ravenmarked by Amy Rose Davis. It's beautiful, isn't it?
I found out her artist was Robin Ludwig. I contacted Robin, told her about my book, and she created the cover for Anathema - a cover that has been highly lauded. Then she took that concept and made my Cloud Prophet Trilogy come alive. Each cover utilizes the same model and background, but just the simple changes (a turn of the head, or removal of a hood) speak so intimately to the storyline. I couldn't have done that on my own. 

For my next trilogy, The Swarm, I went with Phat Puppy Art. I wanted a different feel to these books and Claudia's artwork spoke directly to the heart of my story lines.

If you're interested in self-publishing, I HIGHLY recommend finding an artist to create your cover. Unless you're proficient in Photoshop, don't attempt it. Your cover is the first thing a read will see. If you don't want to come off as amateur, make sure your cover screams professional.

Search through Amazon and find covers you love. Contact the artist for a quote. Some are far more expensive than others. Many times it depends on the amount of manipulation that goes into the creation of the graphic.

Covers aren't the only form of artwork a self-pub needs. I have bookmarks that have been created by Robin, as well as Chris Whigham, a prominent social media manager. My new blog header was created by CP Design.

Without these people, my artwork would be atrocious. I'd probably sell far less than I do. I am so grateful to have found such incredible designers!!!!

Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber


Daisy Carter said...

What gorgeous covers! I'm going the traditional route, so I won't have a say. It's so cool that you get to be creative in ALL aspects of your book!

Megg Jensen said...

Thank you, Daisy! I give all the credit to my artists. They are a wonderful bunch of people. :D

Bonnee Crawford said...

If I end up going through with traditional publishing, losing a say over the cover art will be the part I hate most.

Megg Jensen said...

Bonnee - Hopefully someday you'll get a cover you love, no matter which path you take.

There are many beautiful traditionally published covers out there. I think more hits than misses. :D


DeenaML said...

You are so fast -- can't believe AFTERLIFE is ready! And your covers are so captivating.