Behind the Scenes – Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri

This is a cover for Melange Books.

In this case, the author wanted an illustrated cover to fit with the style of story he’d written. While I primarily deal with photomanipulation, I decided to give it a try. My first couple attempts ended up looking too cartoonish (which the story is not), so I finally decided to go with a heavily altered photomanipulation using Photoshop CS6. That is… the table is illustrated, the devil tail is illustrated, and the daiquiri was created by using a combination of several Photoshop Filters (Cutout and Notebook at varying levels of opacity and filter options). As for the face and fingers, they’re a mix of illustration and photomanipulation. Though their base is in a photo, I painted in and masked out sections to create the overall look the author wanted. The eyes went through a number of revisions, mostly using the liquefy tool, then painting the pupils and light reflections back in. The hair horns were actually unintentional at first, but the author like the look, so we tweaked them to make them more specific to the image. I also toyed with letter placement of the text to add to the mood of the cover.

Anyway, this is the result:

SBibb - Screw the Devil's Daiquiri - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-curly-hairstyle-young-beautiful-happy-healthy-woman-hair-over-white-background-image33054669

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-black-martini-most-popular-cocktails-series-image5087594

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-aggressive-girl-hands-long-red-nails-isolated-white-background-image33061224

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Behind the Scenes – Take Back the Memory

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, I actually strayed a bit from the art form, but I based the cover proof on the information that was provided. Since the book was described as women’s fiction, I researched a few recent covers in the genre and tried to apply the coloration and theme of those types of covers to this one, including hinting at the location of some of the scenes in a washed out image below the text (dividing the cover by the scene and character seems to be one fairly common trend among book covers).

The author had already found a workable image for the main character, and since it was from the main site the publishers use to pick up a subscription from, we were able to use that stock image as part of the cover.

SBibb - Take Back the Memory - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-young-cowgirl-hat-portrait-image32934876

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-african-safari-jeep-image24805178

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-water-texture-image79337

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-paper-texture-image1495336

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Behind the Scenes – Red Sun Over Panama

This is a cover for Melange Books.

The novel is an espionage/mystery novel with a historical setting, and based on the art form, I pictured a setting or rising sun over the ocean with the WWII Japanese flag behind it. I had a few questions based on what I’d read on the form, though, so I sent an email to the author before creating anything to clarify a few points in the story. I’d thought about having some sort of era based aircraft in the background, but I wasn’t sure what would be appropriate to the story. Turns out there weren’t any references strong enough to warrant having it on the cover. However, in corresponding with the author, he mentioned an idea for the cover that sounded very similar to what I had in mind. So I went ahead and created a proof based on a combination of both those ideas, and in the end, this is the result.

SBibb - Red Sun Over Panama - Book Cover

In the case of the flag, I used the stock image for the basis, then extended the suns rays so that they would bleed off the edge of the cover. Another thing I found that may be useful to keep in mind is that deep reds don’t seem to want to translate well from sRGB to CMYK for the print version. As a result, I found that curves adjustments and color balance adjustments can be rather useful in trying to match the CMYK print version of the cover to the RGB ebook version.

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-islands-scenic-ocean-image7860079

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-sunset-image14014412

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-kamikaze-image8000487

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-grunge-folded-paper-texture-image5110364

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Behind the Scenes – Seeking Sir Gwain

A cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, I wanted it to look similar to the first of the series, Seducing Sir Gwain. I gave it a similar texture and color treatment. We actually went through a couple proofs before deciding on this stock image. We wanted it to convey the genre, as well as still fit the characters in the books. I changed their hair colors to match the description in the art form.

SBibb - Seeking Sir Gwain - Book Cover

Stock Photos from Dreamstime.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-old-paper-texture-grunge-backgrounds-image31086277

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-sexy-couple-hugging-bedroom-image29467309

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Behind the Scenes – Murder In Her Dreams

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, we wanted a dream-like feel to accompany the idea of the story, in which the main character is having symbolic dreams involving a black rabbit attacking a man. While we stuck with the initial positioning and texturing I created, my first proof used a contrasty red and yellow theme. For the final, we decided to tone it down to purple and blue and black to give it a more dream-like feel.

This is is the end result:

SBibb - Murder In Her Dreams - Book Cover

Stock photos from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-man-green-jumper-34-image2456679

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-jumping-jack-rabbit-image13466896

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-torn-metal-texture-over-rusty-grunge-backdrop-image15468411

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-grunge-blue-painted-wall-texture-background-image14562711

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-wall-texture-may-use-as-grunge-background-image24050441

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-abstraction-image1251511

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Behind the Scenes – Emma and the Cutting Horse

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, the author had already received permission to use  a silhouette image from the National Cutting Horse Association, so I used that as my starting point before creating the rest of the cover. In this case, I put more emphasis on the title and surroundings (while I initially had a stable in the background, I switched the image to an arena per the suggestion of the author). Since the book was meant for younger readers, I looked for a font that had a more kids-y feel while still relating to the story.

This is the end result:

SBibb - Emma and the Cutting Horse - Book Cover

Silhouette image used with permission from National Cutting Horse Association.

Other stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-empty-horse-arena-image25648103

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-tall-grass-image15537678

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-field-tall-grass-image11303386

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Behind the Scenes – Mira’s View

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, since the background was horizontal and worked well to wrap-around, I went ahead and created a wraparound background, rather than my usual basic background. This ended up using two different images for the elf… the face and head were one photo, to match the description of the character, and the body/outfit were another, to match the style of outfit requested on the art form. On the final image, since the hair was cut off at the edges on the original photo, I played with the smudging effects to create a more illustrated, fantastical look, and I also played with the softness of the background using Gaussian blur, Lens Blur, and overlay/soft light effects.

Here’s the end result. :-)

Basic wrap-around, no spine or text on back cover:

SBibb - Mira's View - Wrap-around Book Cover

 

Front E-Book Cover:

SBibb - Mira's View - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-portrait-young-beautiful-woman-long-flowin-image24027857

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-elf-image37703849

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-green-forest-mountain-view-top-some-villas-image32433154

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