Tag Archives: Melange Books

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 – 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 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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Behind the Scenes – Sword of the Quest

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the covers of the previous books, Dragon Sword and Sword of Doom. The font and border placement remained the same, as did the leather textured background. The difference was the scene on the front. We tried a couple cover options before we came to this particular setup. (As a note, if you’re the cover artist working on multiple books in a series, and you have all the art forms for each of those books, make sure you don’t accidentally blend ideas from each form.)

Since there’s a lot going on in this cover, the lighting played an important role in balancing the cover. I made sure to have the main character fully lit, and thus in the spotlight. Next up was the woman, but I put her in slight shadow. The reader’s gaze falls first on the man, then her, then finally on the cloaked shadow in the background. The cloaked figure I shadowed the most. Partially because the figure is supposed to be mysterious, but also so the figure doesn’t attract the initial attention from the main character. Then, once all the pieces were in place, I added the specific lighting from the emerald, that way the whole scene fell together.

For the runes on the altar, I drew them in one color on a separate layer and then tinkered with the “bevel and emboss” special effect until they looked like they were part of the stone.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sword of the Quest - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Stock site sold to Adobe Stock, individual links no longer work): katana //  wolf //  woman’s head / man’s arm / man’s legs / man’s torso
Stock images from Dreamstime:
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-angkor-wat-temple-inside-corridor-walls-cambodia-image26822490 – temple

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-leather-clad-warrior-image265556 – leather tunic

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-ancient-roman-stone-pedestal-image12983352 – stone pedestal

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-emerald-isolated-image16275280 – emerald

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dangerous-vampire-catacombs-full-skulls-bones-horror-fantasy-image64756682 – cloaked figure

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Behind the Scenes – Red Sun Over Mexico

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to stick with the same theme as the first book in the series, Red Sun Over Panama. I kept most of the same imagery, including quite a bit of the retouching I’d already done, and inserted an image symbolic of Mexico.

To figure out which image to use, I emailed the author about symbolism relevant in the book. Other than the Japanese Red Sun, pulled from the first cover to give this a historical touch, he mentioned the temples as a landmark. So that’s what we went with.

The publisher repurchased a licence for each of the images we used a second time, as well as picked up the new image we needed.

Keeping with the first cover, I hid part of the title behind the landmark. In this one, more of the title is hid than in the first, but I was careful to make sure that the title was still legible.

This is the end result:

SBibb - Red Sun Over Mexico - Book Cover

SBibb - Red Sun Over Mexico - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime and Dollar Photo Club.

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Behind the Scenes – On A Midnight Clear

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author wanted something that showed a cabin in a snowy region and kept with the dark mood of the story. They had already found an image that they felt worked well, so I was able to find a similar one from the stock site we normally use in order to create the cover.

My first attempt at a proof for this cover included silhouettes of the characters, but it didn’t convey the right mood. So I went a more simple route, using the mysterious, dark purple color as the base of the cover, with a narrow focus on the cabin in question. I also changed my initial font to something a bit more bold.

This is the result:

Book Cover - On A Midnight Clear

Back of Book Cover - On A Midnight Clear

Stock image from Dollar Photo Club:

https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/70616736 – cabin

 

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