1. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Terrible Cover Art

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Tenderiser, Mar 9, 2016.

    I was having a minor freak out about the pressure of choosing an agent, so my best friend made me some covers for the book to cheer me up. Well, now I can't stop laughing, so I thought you guys might enjoy them as well. And maybe add some for your books?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Cover art is a bit like giving your dog a haircut. Looks easy, but ten minutes in you're googling for a local pet groomer because... no! :confuzled:
     
  3. Ashley Harrison

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

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    I don't know why the cover art for majority of self-published books, are so pitifully bad? It's the equivalent of when they release a DVD cover for a made-for-television movie, they broadcast in the afternoon. It's usually very amateurish, whereas the cover art for most books that are published by the big publishing companies, use the simplistic but effective method. Mark Billingham's novels are a good example of having a modest but elegant book cover art.
     
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  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think people just fail to realize that there may be an art or a science to it. In this case I think there's a healthy helping of both. People get paid to make good looking, professional covers for a reason. There will always be those who just have a natural feel for it and are able to say "Well, I have no training and everyone raves about the covers for my books that I made myself." Sure, yes, of course. But the exception does not make the rule.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yeah, people don't want to pay to get a professional cover. After all the time and energy that goes into writing your book, you should at least pay for a professional edit if you need it, and pay for a professional cover.
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Seconded. :agreed:

    Else, risk finding your cover on one of those Terrible Book Cover sites. :confuzled:
     
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  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    This is the one I'm going to use:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Your friend is funny. :) I like his/her little blurbs on the cover. :-D
     
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  9. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    There's one with a quote from my mum saying "too much sex and swearing", which is EXACTLY what she'd say if I let her read it. :D
     
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  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    OMFG

    [​IMG]
     
  11. HelloImRex

    HelloImRex Senior Member

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    Yeah, the cover would be perfect if the title were "Touchable". For "Untouchable" you need something a little different.

    [​IMG]

    Though if your pessimistic enough a beautiful girl works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  12. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    @HelloImRex, are you available for freelance cover-arting? How much do you charge?
     
  13. Alejandro89

    Alejandro89 Member

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    The idea behind the "wild child" one seems interesting, but the execution makes it look like it's just a photo with a bunch of filters on. I think bad covers have three reasons: bad taste, cheapness and an overeagerness to publish. I can understand the first one, the other two are beyond my comprehension, its like if you dressed your kids in garbage bags.
     
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  14. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Often, even when the cover art is passable, the typography is dreadful. I don't know enough about typography to know what's wrong with it (maybe a failure to adjust the kerning, as well as a bad choice of font?), but I know it's bad when I see it.
     
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  15. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    Couldn't even bother to magic wand the foot away >.>

    I'm starting to notice that for some reason, the faded face of a person over a landscape background is oddly popular...
     
  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    Stupid question (oh wait the only stupid question, is the one not asked) Any who. :supersmile:

    What would you recommend in the way of software for creating said cover?

    If anyone would be so kind as to offer a suggestion or two that would be most helpful, and I thank thee. :supergrin:
     
  17. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Senior Member

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    Mmh, looked through 15 pages. Felt five got a bad wrap. Two were hand drawn, which I think for a fantasy self-published book isn't bad at all.
     
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  18. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    @ToBeInspired It gets interesting the deeper you go, I made it some 36+ Pages and had to stop. :p
     
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  19. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    My recommendation... don't make it yourself! You can buy some professional-looking covers for like £40.
     
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  20. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    I was hoping it would be a smidgen cheaper than $80 (approx. conversion to save time), but I will keep that in mind. Thank you.
    That feels a bit steep for a 4inx6in image, is it really worth that much?
     
  21. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The cover is the single biggest selling point of a novel, so yes.

    If you mean will a self-published book make $80? Highly unlikely. But at least if it has a good cover (and editing) you haven't embarrassed yourself.
     
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  22. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ooh I like your avatar!

    It's funny that we as writers would fall into the trap of assuming we can all make our own book covers, when we'd usually laugh if people suggested there's no need to pay for a good writer to do the content, ever. Like, surely we should know better, of all people!?
     
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  23. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    @Mckk Thank you!:supersmile:

    I hear you in the fact that as the author, one should be the one to know what their cover should look like. So many decisions to make when coming up with the image of said book.

    On a side note I think my avatar is secretly telling me to watch out for 'wolves', so to speak.:supergrin:
     
  24. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I can make four recommendations (to be used together or separately):
    • Photoshop (photo manipulation)
    • The GIMP ( " )
    • CorelDRAW (structured drawing)
    • Illustrator ( " )
    There are many, many others and even though I haven't used them all, the only one I'd steer you away from is InkScape. It's fine as long as you're working electronically, but if you print something to paper, the registration is off and trying to work out compensations to fix it were mind bending (in fact, I gave it up as a lost cause).

    Photoshop Elements works just as well for cover design as the full version. You don't really need those $1000 bells and whistles.

    The GIMP is free, but harder to learn because it's a moving target and the documentation is never up to date.

    CorelDRAW is my favourite structured drawing software. Its biggest drawback is that you can't buy it without also buying five or six other useless apps Corel throws in so they can jack up the price to $600. In days gone by, it was possible to buy CorelDRAW by itself for about $100. Now that was a good deal! But you can still find older versions on eBay for more-or-less reasonable prices.

    Illustrator is a tough nut to crack, especially if you're used to CorelDRAW. It's also one of those subscription apps Adobe is trying to flood the world with, so if you use it, you'll pay for each month of use. It's sometimes possible to luck into an older, pre-subscription version on eBay, but they're increasingly hard to find. I do wish they'd make an Illustrator Elements version.

    You can also find so-called paint apps which can be fun, but for best results, you'll want a drawing tablet. (As a fellow student in art school once said, "Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a brick." I kind of agree with her.) The best tablets for drawing are the ones with a built-in screen so you're actually drawing on the same surface you're watching, but those are a huge financial commitment, like $1500.

    Then, as well as the software, it's advisable to spend some time studying design and layout. Of course, you'll want to understand at least the basics of colour theory, too. Also, learn about fonts, how to pick a font, how to kern and how to mix styles. Most of this will be included if you take a full-time design programme at the post-secondary level (all except the colour theory; that's better learned from a full-time art programme, but who wants to spend eight years studying art and design?)

    Then you'll want to 'major in' cover art and study all the best ones from the last fifty years, learning what works in that format (formats, really, since there are quite a few) and what doesn't.

    After five or six years of study and practice, you should start coming up with some pretty decent cover art.

    Or you could wing. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  25. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    @Sack-a-Doo! Thank you so much. :)

    I will have to look into one or two of these. Problem is I am a traditional paper and pencil kind of guy, and I agree that using a mouse to draw is like drawing with a brick. :p
    Again thank you for the suggestions, much appriciated. :supersmile:
     
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