Behind the Scenes – Fairy Christmas, Darling

For this cover (Melange Books), I started with a similar concept to the final image here, but different models. To create the characters described on the art form, I originally did quite a bit of piecing various stock images together. But since the publisher wanted to try to stick with stock images they’d already purchased, I took a look through the available options. Turned out we had one that worked quite well, and only used one stock piece instead of… five? I think? There were several.

Sometimes it’s better to go simple.

For the rest of the cover, I worked on blending everything to have a wintery romance feel, and used Christmas textures to add to the feel of the cover and enhance the title. I kept the back and front covers to a similar color scheme, but I changed the position  of the texture images to create the back cover.

This is the result:

SBibb - Fairy Christmas Darling Book Cover

SBibb - Fairy Christmas Darling Book Cover

 

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-red-barn-farm-yard-wind-mill-other-buildings-image33905325

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-little-cute-girl-butterfly-wings-adorable-girls-under-blossoming-apple-tree-image40844285

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-magic-wand-image23000346

2380782 – No longer on Dreamstime?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-gallic-rooster-5-years-old-image14539620

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-simple-rustic-christmas-trees-snow-two-cut-out-wood-standing-front-wooden-wall-falling-snowflakes-festive-image34089609

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-red-christmas-lights-abstract-background-made-material-image32919894

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Behind the Scenes – For the Love of Ruthie

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, I wanted to portray a happy, light-hearted tone, so I used bright, vivid colors. I also used a font with a swirly influence to give the title and author name a fun, romantic feel. The pig is Ruthie, so I gave it a prominent place on the cover. The text I wrapped around the couple in the scene so that the faces remained clear. The author requested that there also be a cat and tri-colored basset hound pup on the cover, so I included them near the couple’s feet.

Once the concept was approved, I blended the full-sized stock images together (using multiple layers and masking, and retouching the background between layers).

This is the result:

SBibb - For The Love Of Ruthie - Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-young-couple-standing-over-white-background-image37973502

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-cute-basset-puppy-image23115808

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-pink-pot-bellied-pig-image29172888

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-abandoned-wooden-farm-house-image23179806

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-cat-yawning-image19233539

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Behind the Scenes – Tangled Roots

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. I’ve created the cover for her Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and this is a New Adult companion novel. Unlike the previous covers, this one uses primarily stock images. We tinkered a lot with finding the right font for the book. I also played a lot with creating the right mood for the cover. I ended up finding a decent tutorial on how to turn a day shot into night (see the end of the post for a link).  I also used a bit of digital illustration to get everything blended right and to add the roots around the girl on the cover.

Tangled Roots - Book Cover

 

SBibb - Tangled Roots - Wrap-Around Cover

And this is a promo piece (a rack card) I did for this book:

SBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack CardSBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack Card

 

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Roots-Rebekkah-Ford-ebook/dp/B00NH84NNW/ref=la_B00896OMB0_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414362849&sr=1-1

 

Stock images from iStock:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3484986-sad.php?st=bf175e0

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-24247276-south-carolina-lowcountry-angel-oak-tree-charleston-sc-nature-scenic.php?st=3795837

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-36846782-full-moon.php?st=4df0d5b

Useful tutorial for making a day image look like night: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/how-to-turn-your-day-shot-into-night-with-photoshop-14852

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Behind the Scenes – The Doors

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this one, I used texture overlay (the mosaic around the edge), as well as scene creation to create the desired stormy atmosphere and remove some of the birds from the original haunted house stock photo. I added in the girl, then at the author’s request, gave her longer hair. There are benefits to finding pictures where the hair is similar in color and goes roughly the desired direction you want it to go.

My original proof for this cover was too dark and gray, looking more like a horror novel than paranormal, so I lightened it a bit with the various blue and green tones to give it the sea/ocean-side feel, while still keeping the stormy atmosphere.

For this blog post, I’ve also included what I did for the back of the book. I usually keep these fairly simple, and in this case, I took part of the stock image that wasn’t used on the front cover to complete the back. That way the atmosphere remained consistent, while offering something a little different to look at. I used the same texture overlays and adjustment modes to keep the covers consistent, and included the publisher’s logo and barcode information on the back. I also include a separate layer with the author name and book title, that way the publisher can adjust for the spine as needed. I also flipped the back cover image so the white clouds act as a line, leading the eye back to the spine, and so that the dark blue mosaic would act as a frame.

SBibb - The Doors - Book Cover  SBibb - The Doors - Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-man-walking-field-towards-haunted-house-scary-dark-atmosphere-image35050105

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-dark-storm-clouds-image2046209

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-calgary-beach-mull-scotland-bay-located-north-west-framed-low-hills-broad-area-machair-grassy-meadow-image42890362

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-beautiful-teenage-girl-outdoors-portrait-jeans-wear-looking-away-image36670484

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-broken-green-wall-tiles-image19929346

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-sad-girl-image22656428

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Guest Post – Escape From Witchwood Hollow

Today we have a guest post with Jordan Elizabeth, an author for whom I’ve beta read one of her manuscripts. She’ll be talking about her history as a writer below. :-)

Escape From Witchwood Hollow - Tour Dates

How far into the hollow would you go?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow - Book Cover

After losing her parents in a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria escapes New York City to Arnn—a farming town with more legends than residents, and a history of witchcraft and secrets best left buried.

 Everyone in Arnn knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope when she should be afraid, and a past of missing children and broken promises.  To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is Jordan Elizabeth’s first novel.  This young adult fantasy, published through Curiosity Quills Press, is now available for purchase.

https://curiosityquills.com/books/escape-witchwood-hollow/

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, can’t get enough of the woods, be it splashing through a stream, sitting beneath an ancient oak, or following a path up a hill.  Some of those adventures have led to abandoned foundations.  Exploring the rocks and crumbling bricks sparked Jordan to imagine who might have lived there before, and that train of thought carried her to a wicked legend and an enchanted hollow.  You can contact Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethMierek.com.

Jordan Elizabeth - Author Photo

My History as a Writer

As told by Jordan Elizabeth

 

I like to think my history as a writer began as a storyteller.  I would hold a picture book – or draw my own pictures – and then I would make up stories.  My grandmother recorded them on a tape player.  I still have them, although they sound like baby babble.

 

As I grew older, my grandmother wrote them down for me as my handwriting was, and still is, atrocious.  I’m also a slow hand writer.  In late elementary school, I discovered the joys of computer typing.  My fingers could match the speed of my thoughts.  I can now type 77 words per minutes and that’s with two fingers.

 

As time continued, I had my family read my stories and like all good families, they said it was great.  Morbid, but great.  I had no idea about solid editing or query letters.  With great excitement, I sent off my manuscript to a leading publisher.  A year later, the rejection letter came.  I didn’t allow myself to be devastated – time to move on and stick to my dream.

 

I finally did my research – huzzah – and learned editing skills.  My favorite writing website is Critiquecircle.com.  I’ve learned valuable advice and made lasting friendships thanks to that site.  I began to seriously query agents and I kept writing.  There are 23 completed manuscripts now and one in the works.

 

I won first place in the Milton and Harriet Shaw Short Story contest through the Utica Writers Club.  The prize consisted of $100 – my first pay as a writer – and year’s free membership.  Since joining the club, I’ve gotten to meet some of my favorite authors: Tamora Pierce, Bruce Coville, and Maria V. Snyder.  I’m the new president of the club.

 

After six years of querying agents, I finally landed one on my birthday!  That “dream come true” feeling exists; it isn’t just in movies.  I’ve switched agents since then and am pleased to be represented by the Belcastro Agency.

 

I’ve been published in numerous anthologies and have four other books coming out from Curiosity Quills Press.  TREASURE DARKLY will be published February 16, 2015.

 

 

###

 

Jordan Elizabeth is offering up a free eArc of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  There are other ways to enter.  You’ll have to take a look to see what those are!  The drawing for the winner will be held on November 16.

 href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dcedff6d2/

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Behind the Scenes – Mira’s Hope

This is the cover for the sequel to Mira’s View, from Melange Books.

For this cover, I wanted to keep the same style as the first, with the prominent characters and soft background, as well as the text placement. I added in the snow (see the link at the bottom of this post for the tutorial I referenced) to bring everything together and add extra “oomph.” We experimented with a couple different backgrounds before choosing this one. I also included a second character who plays a large role in the story, and considered bringing in a third character, except that I worried the cover would look busy. I was able to use the same models (Yes, plural. Body and head were different, so as to fit the character description) for the female character, though I did use different stock images of them to help keep the covers varied. It’s the benefit to using Dreamtime’s “Other Stock Images With This Model” link when searching for suitable images. We also included a logline, provided by the author, to help create interest in the story. This is the result:

SBibb - MHcoverBlog

SBibb Mira's Hope - Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-elf-image37703101

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-portrait-young-beautiful-woman-long-flowin-image24770171

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-old-rusted-broadsword-image24282162

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-snow-winter-wood-image13044892

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-man-long-hair-sword-down-holding-to-his-serious-expression-his-face-image36385946

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-attractive-young-man-long-hair-image23350511

 

Useful snow tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0-4p_65vxQ

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Behind the Scenes – Murder In the Cards

A cover for Melange Books, the sequel to Murder in her Dreams.

For this cover I kept to the same, dreamlike colors and textures as the previous book, only this time with symbolism from the second. I kept the same text placement and fonts (and border style), so series/brand recognition can be easily recognized. I also worked to have a central focus on the cover, while blending the various images so they would seamlessly morph from one image to the next.

This is the end result:

SBibb - Murder in the Cards - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-old-grunge-creased-paper-texture-perfect-retro-vintage-background-image30556007

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-teen-witch-tarot-card-image8216840

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-cobra-2-image14695145

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-man-running-work-out-image23320007

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-grunge-background-old-style-rusty-image35967692

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