My Book Cover Journey – Part II: The Search

With all my posts about everything else except my own personal writing, you’d think that I’m getting absolutely nothing done. That would not be true, of course. I’m working on several things actually. Switching my website to WordPress format, finishing up the fourth story in The Dark Corner, and working on details of my first novel, Blackson’s Revenge. It’s been slow going but it’s still going. All of this will be coming in due time.

One of the things that I have been working on behind the scenes is book cover art for Blackson’s Revenge. Well…technically I’ve been giving input to my book cover artist as we’ve been going back and forth on how to make it look compelling. I’m excited with what he has put together so far. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.I said that I would chronicle my journey in creating the book cover for my novel and I like to be a man of my word. In the first part, I’ll reveal how I found a great book artist for reasonable fee.As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a geek on several levels. One of those is a comic book geek. I have been published as a writer of comic stories. I’ve even put together a few shorts that will eventually turn into novels. Because of that and frequenting comic book conventions, I’ve come across a lot of artists. With the Internet, I know exactly where to look for them.Don’t be fooled by the word “comic book”. A vast majority of the comics on shelves today are not for kids. The art in many of them are good and the average artist will charge about $175 a page for comic art work, give or take $50. Do the math for a 22-26 page comic book which is in the $50,000+ range. Not too bad. That’s freelance by the way. So, it goes without saying that they can do some great book cover art as well.

The trick here was to find artists who are trying to break into comics or start their own studios. Up and comers. There are two places that I went for this. The first is (a kind of disturbing name). This is a site specifically for artists. All kinds of artists. Some of them are…well…garbage. Some are good. Real good. To save myself time, I put an ad up in the forum which you can get to by clicking the drop down arrow next to the site name in the top left hand corner. Scroll down to Employment Opportunities and click on Job Offers. I placed an ad up outlining the details of my offer in summary form including pay, scope, and deadline. I got over 40 candidates who applied. Many of them were very good.

So, it was time for me to go through the process in stages. The first stage had me choosing 20 candidates to “make the cut”. From those twenty, I whittled it down to three then one, the winner. Some of the art that you see in this post is from artists that I passed up on.

Yeah. I know. These cats are good.

Why a book cover artist instead of a designer? Part of the reason is because of the genre I write. Scf-fi/fantasy. Those kinds of books tend to have illustrated covers.

Second is because I’m designing my own covers. The artist that I have will be the artist on all three of the novels in the series. However, I need to just add a word of advice here: if you don’t have any idea what a good cover entails, don’t have the software to do it or have it and don’t know how to use it, I suggest getting a designer. However, if you are good at picking up those kinds of things and want to learn it for future projects, have at it. The key here is as long as it looks good and you get a good illustrator then you’ve tackled 90% of the problem. If you write in a different genre where photo manipulation is the order of the day, may be a good idea to get someone else to do it for you unless you’re willing to take the time to learn. . Just make sure the results are compelling, high quality, and eye catching, among other things. I’ll do a post on my personal suggestion for learning book cover design for your projects.

That was the beginning. I am extremely happy with my artist and I’m looking forward to working with him in the future, God willing. My next step in the process was getting down to business. That means contracts. I’ll cover that in my next post.

3 thoughts on “My Book Cover Journey – Part II: The Search

    1. I’m going to be doing a couple of interviews with some of the guys that I couldn’t use for the series. You’ll be able to see more of their artwork in the post. My artist will come last and that is where I’ll post the cover of Blackson’s Revenge. I’m looking at the cover illustration as I write this and I’m just geeked. Love his artwork.

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