Tag Archives: cover art

Behind the Scenes – Entrance to Dark Harbor

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to keep the same style as the first book, Dusk Runner. I used the same two textures to create the background (though I made sure to do the retouching on the basic layers this time, so that next time will require less retouch work). The author already had an image in mind for the main picture. While it wasn’t from one of our usual stock providers, I used the provided image and their description of the ship to find a similar picture at Dreamstime. I kept the text placement and style the same (though some adjustments had to be made, since the title was longer). We also tried two different font colors, a pale, near-white blue, and then a light blue. We ultimately chose the light blue since the color was still visible and provided the closest match to the previous title.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-brown-leather-texture-image21958744 – leather texture

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-old-yellow-brown-vintage-parchment-paper-texture-image24082203 – paper texture

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sailing-ship-image12784651 – ship silhouette

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Behind the Scenes – Sojourn: The Beastlands

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the style of the previous books, The Wildlands and The Deadlands. I kept the general placement of the titles and author name the same (though we did experiment with different placements), plus we kept with the general theme of the two characters walking on a path to a different destination. In this case, we used the same model imagery from the second cover, but I did a few adjustments to their images to make them seem a bit different (pushed them closer, adjusted the girl’s hair a bit, and flipped their images). We added a couple pieces of deserted imagery to add to the abandoned feel, and I used a lot of Photoshop masking in layers to get the various jungle layers to mesh properly and look natural.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-jungle-green-thickets-mountains-malaysia-image56303604 – jungle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-abandoned-road-image16324304 – road
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-tropical-rainforest-khao-yai-national-park-thailand-world-h-image68662437 – jungle overlook
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abandoned-diner-photo-taken-off-interstate-i-usa-image56088809 – abandoned diner
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-abandoned-car-image23149927 -abandoned car
People – From the Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – M.O.B. (Mean Old Bastard)

I based the style of this cover on the Matt Helm and Travis McGee series per the author’s request. While I still tried to modernize it, I applied several illustrative effects to the pictures using photoshop filters and layer styles. Originally I looked on Dreamstime and Shutterstock for stock photos that fit the main character of the novel, but they weren’t hitting the mark, so the author sent me a picture of his own (that he was free to use), as an example. I liked the look and asked if I could try working that photo into the design of the cover, and this is the result:

SBibb - MOB_Cover_Blog

MOB - Wraparound Book Cover

Photo of the man on the motorcycle provided by the author. Other stock images are my own.

I also formatted both the print and ebook editions of the book. For the ebook edition, I decided to use the silhouette of the man on the motorcycle as a break between section (whereas the print edition has extra line space between sections, and uses the silhouette as part of the chapter title). Since I wanted to try matching the title font to the chapters, I created all the chapter titles as images and used those in place of the typed titles in the ebook. However, the current previewer for Kindle wouldn’t render a transparent GIF properly in the iPad/iPhone option (rendered them as black, illegible boxes), so I created them as JPGs. They might look a tad bit funny if on a background color other than white (such as cream), but at least all the main devices should be able to read them. I plan testing a PNG file for transparency on a future project, but I wanted to make sure that the current file will be readable for everyone until I can test the file formats separately.

Buy M.O.B. for the Kindle or as a paperback.

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Behind the Scenes – Night of the Hunter

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted a dark, sinister tone, and the author asked for the demon-like creatures to be staring out of the darkness. To achieve the appearance of the demon, I used a base image to start with, then used various layers in Photoshop to apply the red glow, which I then smudged and liquefied to match the model’s facial features.

Since the author said the main character is supposed to be a reincarnation of the main character from his other books, I used the same model, but with a different hairstyle.

This is the result:

Book Cover - Night of the Hunter

Back of Book Cover - Night of the Hunter

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-young-vampire-man-shirtless-gesturing-to-camera-portrait-showing-his-torso-chest-abs-looking-dark-background-image60136451 – demon

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-fog-smoke-background-image69643118 – fog

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dangerous-man-gun-sunglasses-standing-abandoned-house-image65411957 – black shirt

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-businessman-gun-white-image47821012 – aimed gun

Head image from Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – The Poe Codec

A cover for Cave Hollow Press. For this cover, they wanted to incorporate elements of Edgar Allen Poe’s work and a feeling of a mystery. We settled on a raven and a locket (the locket plays an important role in the story) and we used the codec from inside the book (provided by the author) for the background. We went for red and black colors to add to the mysterious look, and I chose a cob-webby font that would add to the eerie mystery and work well for middle grade fiction.

I also did a wrap-around print cover. However, knowing that the primary form would be paperback–and knowing that CMYK does not play well with red– I created this cover first in CMYK (a smaller color space), and then converted it to sRGB for the online editions.

Something important to keep in mind when working with print editions is that if you download a template from Createspace, that template is in sRGB. You will need to convert it to CMYK prior to moving the image over for a wrap-around cover… or potentially need to redo portions of the image. (This is mostly a problem if you have a heavy amount of red on the cover.)

Another trick I found for getting the red color to work well in CMYK is to create a layer of red color based on the title (Hex Code: E32E24), overlaying it across all red portions of the cover (I masked out the locket and publisher logo), and the lowering the opacity to 30%. (I use Adobe Photoshop CS6). I’d read an article that suggested that CMYK does better with “pure” colors, and by adding the red overlay, that made the colors seem more “pure” for its color space.

I also did the interior formatting. You can check that out using the “look inside” feature on Amazon. 🙂

This is the end result:

Behind the Scenes - The Poe Codec

Behind the Scenes - The Poe Codec - Wraparound Cover

 

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-raven-image36339410 – raven
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-remembrance-image28935144 – locket

Code picture provided by the author.

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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 – The Quarter Horse

A cover for Melange Books’s YA imprint, Fire and Ice. This is the fourth book in The Horse Rescuers series, and so we wanted to keep the style the same as the other books. In this case, we kept the same layout and font. We tried a couple different colors as the main color scheme (each book is a bit different), and ultimately settled on the gray-blue.

For the horse image, I used the art form to reference the kind of horse the author wanted, and then I created a lightbox on Dreamstime with several horse options (and I checked to see what general season I should be looking for). The author selected two of those images, which I made rough proofs. Once we narrowed it down, I finalized the cover.

This is the end result:

Behind the Scenes - The Quarter Horse

Rough version of the back cover (subject to change per the Publisher’s needs):

The Quarter Horse - Back Cover Blog

Stock photo from Dreamstime.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-bay-horse-image3555999 – horse

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