1. vampire_dua
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    vampire_dua Member

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    Will this book cover be good?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by vampire_dua, Sep 22, 2008.

    Will this book cover be good?

    I've been hired by an author to illustrate the book cover. What she wants is too much for a book cover, I guess.
    She wants the hero standing with the heroine behind him on the pier and a light house in the background and an ocean. Also a heart on the sand with 'I Love You' inside and a stick beside the heart.
    Isn't that too much? And the hero shouldn't be drawn on the cover right? I mean that will limit the reader's imagination. Besides, now the covers are mostly symbolic or conceptual.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Kaij
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    Kaij Senior Member

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    On the contrary, I find a lot of book covers have the hero of the story on the front. I like it that way, because I can actually see what they look like, rather than having a mental image in my head.

    There are a lot of elaborate book covers, but even more are beginning to just look on the simple side. I like more detail, because it grabs the reader's attention a bit more (to me, at least).

    It's up to the author to decide what they want for their book cover, and I suppose as long as it matches up to what's inside the book, it's all good. *shrugs* Can't really argue with it.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've seen covers with the hero on the front with other stuff, but they are usually for romance, sci-fi, or fantasy novels. The covers also have brights colors which I'm guessing is for marketing purposes since it catches the eye right away.

    As for you cover, I think you should do as the author says. After all, she was the one who hired you, so it's only fair you do what you've been hired to do. If you don't agree, you could always talk to her about it.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Wouldn't cover design be the publisher's call? After all, that's primarily marketing (packaging).

    But if the author has a vision that she will pay you to turn into cover art, she is the customer. Probably your best bet is to block out some rough drafts first based on her criteria, and let her choose from among them, before refining the artwork and finding that what she really had in mind was something a bit different (shadowed faces, close-ups, heart smaller, etc...)
     
  5. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I like interesting covers, with something to look at. I know they say never judge a book by its cover, but people subconsciously do anyway, most of the time. So long as it looks attractive I don't think you should worry about it too much, and if you're being hired, then just go with what the author wants. Or at least try it. If you really think it isn't working then talk to the author, because you're the expert in this field, so he/she should listen to your opinion.
     
  6. Wickerman1972
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    Wickerman1972 Member

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    Well, I wouldn't choose a cover like that but if that is what the person wants then that is what they should get.
     
  7. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    I agree with Wickerman. Its what they ask for, you get paid. Is it really such a bad idea that you don't want your name on it or what?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    those who pay get the 'say'!

    if you take on a commission for pay, just do what you're told and cash the check before the client notices how stupid they were...
     
  9. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the author is self-publishing, she can do whatever she wants, though.
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    You might design the cover so that elements of it wrap around to the back cover. For example, have the "hero standing with the heroine behind him on the pier and a light house in the background and an ocean" on the front cover. Then, wrap the beach around the book (to the left on the full cover graphics) where the stick and heart in the sand would appear. Then, when adding the back cover author pic or summary, those can be shaped around the back cover artwork and can be done in translucence so the back cover-art still shows through. Could make for a dramatic and enticing cover.

    Besides, like others say, she/he who writes the check gets whatever she/he wants.
     
  11. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Personally I see no problem with her book cover. A lot of older books like the Elric Saga and stuff had the hero on the book cover. So I see no problem with the hero being on the cover.
     
  12. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    If it's truly a problem, why not make two.
     
  13. ecanusia16
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    ecanusia16 Member

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    Why don't you try making three different studies of the cover? One is your idea: (MAKE IT GREAT--colored, polished and trimmed). Second is a weaker concept that might work: (But you don't want her to pick this. Render in Black and white or with less oomph that your first one,) Third is the author's idea: How it looks like in your head: (I agree with you that it is ostentatious."Heart on the sand with 'I Love You'"? Come on.)

    The idea is to 'trick' her into picking the BEST design. If she sees how good her book would look with your design, there'll be no qualms. I'm speaking designer to designer here, of course.

    (And surely, you've read the book already? Maybe the hero+heroine+heart in the sand cover might be more substantial than what WE might think.)
     
  14. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Lol at Mammamaia... good point though

    How about having the hero on the front cover, and the heroine on the back, or vice versa!

    I have seen both hero and heroine on book covers as well, especially romances. Some have the image inside the cover, i.e. when you open the book from the cover , you find the image inside.

    Good luck
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why would you do this? You have been commissioned to create a visual image to your client's specifications. If she had asked for advice on designing the cover, it would be different - although even in that case it's best to present a fair selection of layouts for the client to choose from - but this client has a pretty clear notion of what she wants.

    As Maia says, deliver what she asked for, and cash the check before the ink dries. Always deliver what your client wants, not what you would rather create. It's ok to ask if she wants to consider alternative layouts, but if she says no, stick to the specs.
     
  16. ecanusia16
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    ecanusia16 Member

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    It's just a strategy when you think you have more to offer to a client; by no means are you going to OPPOSE what the client wants. Sometimes, it's hard to convince clients that what they want isn't the 'best'. It's a way of showing you 'care' more about the work rather than what she/he pays you. If you know that the cover is not gonna work (like vampire_dua showing her doubts about it), it's good to show something that would. Talk about professional pride as well (nobody wants to be blamed for a sucky cover -- and sometimes, even if you followed exactly what the clients say, you still get blamed if it's sucky. Cruel world.)

    The "trick" I mentioned is simply a technique designers use for a win-win situation. But pardon if I'm speaking through my head. It's what I've learned in the business, either way. Just a suggestion.
     

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