Tag Archives: Barking Rain Press

Behind the Scenes – Lesson Plan For Murder

A cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, since the mystery involves the murder of a school teacher, the publisher was looking for something that would convey the theme (as cozy mysteries often do). So we chose to have the chalkboard background with a chalk-like font for the title, along with books and pencils on the desk, which would create the sense of a school setting. We also included hints of the murder weapon by having the concealed pills and the spilled coffee… obviously drank from due to the lipstick stain.

This is the final result:

SBibb -Lesson Plan For Murder

SBibb -Lesson Plan For Murder

Stock images from Shutterstock:

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/stack-old-books-isolated-on-white-110298509 – books
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/cup-pens-pencils-isolated-74529190 – pencil cup
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/cup-coffee-spilled-on-computer-keyboard-76303951 – coffee cup
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/wooden-table-on-blank-green-board-208701988 – blackboard and table
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/lip-stain-vector-241323901 – lipstick stain
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/pill-bottle-concept-healthcare-medicine-97588814 – pill bottle

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Behind the Scenes – Shadow Notes

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, the publisher wanted to stick with the blue and white color scheme, which plays a major role in the story. The author provided a few example covers of books with similar tones, which I used to get an idea of the design style: the style of scenery, the font and title placement, and the general mood of the cover.

This is the result:

Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Wraparound Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-351762476/stock-photo-lonely-woman-walking-in-the-park-with-trees-at-snowy-day-snowfall-in-park-with-lonely-walking.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-27596422/stock-photo-woman-with-psychic-pressure-in-a-corridor.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-44825947/stock-photo-walk-in-winter.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156469889/stock-photo-frozen-land-in-winter-time.html

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Behind the Scenes – Requiem In Red

A cover for Barking Rain Press.  This is the sequel to Eine Kleine Murder by Kaye George. (Note that the publisher’s version of the cover is slightly different, and I modeled the sequel cover’s border around the main image after their version). For this cover, the publisher wanted to convey the dark mood of the book, along with a hint at the musical themes involved. They provided a couple possible background images and ideas, which I then put together in a rough comp. I also found the music sheets (part of one larger image of multiple music sheets, which I cut-and-pasted, and then used Photoshop CS6’s warp tool in order to place them in varying positions). I also added the conductor’s baton in the hand of the statue, made it look like the baton was the same material as the statue, and added the directional shadow. The goal was to have everything fit together smoothly.

Afterwards, the publisher asked about adding a church in the background, behind the woman’s statue. So I placed the church (careful to get the size and placement in the image right so that it looked like it was in the background), blurred the background around the statue a bit for a focal effect, added more now to the steeple, and also played with the darker sky from the church image.

This is the result:

SBibb - Requiem In Red - Book Cover

SBibb - Requiem In Red - Wrap-Around Book Cover
Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=101040352 – musical background

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=22681549 – graveyard

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=15224833 – baton

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=22723609 – music sheets

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-22681552/stock-photo-village-church-in-snow-czech-republic.html – church

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Behind the Scenes – The Girl Who Flew Away

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. The author had several ideas on their art form for how the cover might look, and they listed a few options for symbolism. After reading the form, I had an idea of the style I thought might work. I found the images (including the sketchy dragonflies, both the illustration and the creature referencing the book) and put together a mock-up. My initial mock-up had a different background, which included cliffs and a waterfall but didn’t really give the right feel in regards to setting. I sent another idea for the background, just the picture, along with the mock-up, and they asked to try it. This is the end result. 🙂

SBibb - The Girl Who Flew Away - Book Cover

SBibb - The Girl Who Flew Away - Wrap-Around Book Cover

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=94726207

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=171422249

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=116280835

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=146807903

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Behind the Scenes – The Stage

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, the author and publisher decided to focus on the setting, rather than characters, so we set out to create a mysterious club. With symbols from the book and direction from the publisher, I incorporated various different stock images from Shutterstock (provided by the publisher) to create a new scene: a nightclub for vampires. I chose the swirls to overlay across the door to add a hint of mysticism, and we went with the blue color because of its symbolism in the story (sacred to the vampires). For the back cover, the publisher asked me to use Seattle’s famous ‘Gum Wall,’ to place the novel. She wanted a ticket booth, so I merged a couple different ticket windows, which will serve to hold the back cover copy. You can see the results below. 🙂

 

SBibb - Book Cover - The Stage

SBibb - Wrap-Around Book Cover - The Stage
Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-229526110/stock-photo-old-door.html?src=lb-34288799

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-179242310/stock-photo-metal-door-of-the-ancient-castle.html?src=lb-34288799

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-124981262/stock-photo-collage-with-retro-door-knockers-images-from-italy.html?src=lb-34288799

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-257872856/stock-photo-old-copper-door-knob-with-arabic-pattern-on-black-wooden-gate-izmir-turkey.html?src=lb-34288799

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-35080699/stock-photo-close-up-fragment-of-ancient-door-with-lock-keyhole.html?src=lb-34288799

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=221809120

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=221942575

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=42315235

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-150461954/stock-vector-seamless-pattern-with-black-swirls-on-a-white-background.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=47336815

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=78116509

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=58882601

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Behind the Scenes – The Anthropologist’s Daughter

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, we wanted a clear connection to its related series cover ( The Revolving Year ), so we used the same background, same position of the lead character, and same placement of text. Since this is a prequel, this cover has a younger character. However, while the stock image we chose for the field (we wanted to change the seasons to match the story) has a young girl in the image, her hair was too long for the main character. Normally I’ll just photoshop the hair, but it turned out she needed more of a pixie/elfin cut. Now, the story of this goes that I was heading out of town to go visit friends at an anime convention (Naka-Kon… wonderful convention for those of you who like Japanese anime and culture), and while there, I noticed one of my friends had the same hairstyle that I was looking for. I asked if she’d mind me taking a picture of the back of her head for the cover, got permission, and voila! One pixie cut ready to go! I photoshopped the cover to include the new image, thinned the neck a bit to make it fit better for a child’s, and this is the result. Sometimes you’ll find the image you need around you. And it’s helpful to have a camera on hand when you do. 🙂

SBibb - The Anthropologist's Daughter -  Book Cover

 

SBibb - The Anthropologist's Daughter - Wrap-Around Book Cover
Stock images from Shutterstock and from my own personal stock.

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=105630767
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=99948338

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Behind the Scenes – Howling Mountain Blues

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press.

For this cover, the third in the Crime Fighting Bluesmen series, we decided to model it after a Blues poster. For that, I stuck with more illustrated effects and textures, and stuck with a limited color scale, rather than the photo-realism I typically go for. I also played with juxtaposition, placing the monkey on top of the harmonica. In order to get the illustrated effect (which came from photos), I masked out the unnecessary portions of the photos, then used the threshold adjustment tool in Photoshop CS6, linked by a clipping mask to the photo, to make it black and white, then copied those layers and deleted out the extra color. I used the magic wand, without contiguous selected so I could make sure I could get all the excess black “paint” out.

This is the result:

SBibb - Howling Mountain Blues - Book Cover

SBibb - Howling Mountain Blues - Wrap-around Cover

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-143096134/stock-photo-man-sitting-on-stool-in-dark-room-playing-guitar.html?src=YXC4bJk9QY4AHuec3KmbMw-1-45
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-105812573/stock-photo-m-carbine-isolated-on-a-white-background.html?src=1XhlIKJOIrcMv9LG0tUqiA-1-57
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-128205749/stock-photo-harmonica-isolated-on-white-background.html?src=FkpC4FBCUaA1D1HeIEzIAg-1-1
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-150340748/stock-photo-black-howler-monkey.html?src=FeKPz55ibOJQ8jx5X6aLmg-1-32
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-41437732/stock-photo-the-painted-jungle.html?src=id&ws=1
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-99005135/stock-vector-vector-of-ancient-american-ornaments-on-white.html?src=id&ws=1
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-125309489/stock-photo-yellow-plastic-guitar-plectrum-isolated-on-white.html?src=DJCaLEQMiXkeNAk2HzB1nw-1-26&ws=1

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