fiona

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I’ve noticed lately there’s a bit of a divide in terms of provided details from my cover art forms. There are some authors who are very specific in their descriptions and requirements – in some cases even specifying the jewelry of the character, while others give me less then a bare minimum to work with.

Both approaches have pluses and minuses, and depending on our needs and your ability to let go, either approach can lead to confusion when you see the cover art comp and say “this isn’t what my characters look like”. (P.s. a comp is an example cover design we put together to show you the direction we are thinking of. Also referred to as the mockup or mock.)

Less information equals more freedom to pick photography stock art – tall, short dark hair, muscular lends to a lot more choices for models. Now if the author adds details – square chin, leather boots, piercing blue eyes that MUST be shown on the cover – that narrows our choices and may exclude a potentially incredible image, or may give us EXACTLY what you’re looking for. It’s a fine line:)

This applies to dress style, jewelry, curly or straight hair, any other other nuances that make human beings beautiful and unique. More details equals less chances we’ll find a person adhering to those descriptions at stock sites.

There are also some instances where authors take the time to search through images and provide exact pictures of their characters. In some aspects, this saves the artist a ton of time which can be used in perfecting the image. The downside however are details you may not notice when picking a character – often times, their hair or their sides are cropped off and are completely unusable in a design. And as much fun it is to add “hair scalp” on top of someone who has been cropped off, it looks much more natural when they have their own scalp to begin with 🙂

One of the huge and subtle details are visual clues about the story. A lot artists like to have sweeping backgrounds or symbols integrated into the cover to enhance design and to provide more clues as to what the book is about. The less details I’m given – the less pieces I can include. By detail we’re talking about visual subjects – the pyramid of Giza, a leather flogger, etc.

Depending on your needs and preferences for covers, your trust in your cover artist and the position of the moon, it’s up to you to decide how much or how little detail you should include in your Cover Art Request form.

The job of any cover artist is to convey what your book is about – be it from a quick glance, a tiny image or your cover splashed on a billboard. It’s vital to convey the feel of the book, maybe even a character or two, but most importantly, play up to established expectations. Historical romances generally have sensual fonts and silken fabrics. The latest trend in paranormals is to have wicked body art on gorgeous male torsos. Notice all the hot females with weapons (swords or firearms) lately?

If your book have any of those elements, play them up to get the most exposure! We don’t want your book to look like everyone else – but at the same time, we want it to be identifiable by those readers who are looking for what you’re writing!

[frame_left][/frame_left]Should be an easy enough question to answer, right? But that answer suddenly becomes hard when you have a less then a second to show a potential reader what the book is about – and you have about an inch of space to make your point. Even the book detail page doesn’t give us a whole lot of real estate – so you have to be ruthless. Cut out everything that doesn’t convey the most impact – we want the most bang for your buck.

So what’s the book about? What’s the genre? Is is a genre that’s hot right now? If so, we need to capitalize on that. Male Male romance is a very popular genre right now – so a cover with two hot guys will immediately catch the attention of readers looking for it. A cover with a single hot guy will also be eye catching, but it doesn’t convey the best marketing tool you have in your disposal – an immediate peaque to the reader’s interest. And pique usually equals to click. And click – if your blurb is well written, if your excerpt is compelling, if the stars have aligned – may result in a buy.

This can also backfire – if your book is about vampires in a market up to it’s ears in vampires, what makes your book stand out? Fangs and blood just won’t cut it anymore – but talk dark and angsty just might:)

Of course, there are some authors who don’t need to do that – they can sell a book on the strength of their name alone. If that’s you – may I have your autograph?

 

 

 

 

 

How to get Started?

All our book cover packages include a consultation to find the best direction for your project, combining your vision with a visual marketing strategy.

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"Fiona Jayde took the image I always had for my novel and made it come alive. It was perfect, along with the promotional items she created for me. I highly recommend this cover designer for your book needs. She was wonderful to work with, fast and efficient, and made sure I was a satisfied customer. I look forward to working with her again so he can design my next cover masterpiece!" Best Selling Author Sherry Ewing