Sources for cover art

Discussion in 'Cover Design' started by Benjamin Clayborne, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    In a nutshell: Are there good, inexpensive (or, ideally, royalty-free) sources of art that one can use for "cover art" for e-book publishing?

    I've got a few short stories I've worked on. A few of them, I think, are good enough to publish, or close to it. I've mostly been putting my efforts these last months into my novel (and, well, a few challenges ;-)) but I'm thinking about the idea of posting a few short stories on Amazon, just to start having a presence in the marketplace and (at least a little) to get some practice publishing through KDP and learning the ropes there.

    To that end, it makes sense that even a short story sold on Amazon for $0.99 should still have cover art; this I decided when I went and checked out Kevin McLaughlin's offerings on Amazon, and noticed that "The Font of Forgiveness" had some nice cover art, even for a $0.99 short story. I assumed (forgive me if this is incorrect, Mr. McLaughlin) that he found existing art and designed his own art.
     
  2. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Been doing the Googling for this for awhile, and basically this blog post has everything you need to get started. Links to other discussion threads, as well as links to free image repositories. Best of luck!

    Myself, I keep trying to hand-draw something in GIMP that's acceptable. Might have to fall back on using stock imagery type stuff, cuz... I'm just not up to my own standards.
     
  3. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    Thanks! Definitely looks like a good place to start.
     
  4. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Scribal Lord

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  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    All three of those may have taken only a few hours of graphic manipulation and a little bit of back-and-forth with the artist, but they all show rather a lot of skill. You also need rights on the dagger. Can I ask, how much would something like that cost?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  6. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    Yeah, I wouldn't have one percent of the skill needed to create covers that look that good. I think for the nonce, I'm going to stick with the stock photo + GIMP manipulation + basic text approach. Especially since it's for short stories, where the ancillary production values aren't expected to be quite as high. For my novel, I'm going to commission actual cover art, of course.
     
  7. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    My problem is I'm in love with hand-drawn art, and that's how all my visions for covers appear in my head. I might need to fall back on photo manipulation for the beginning efforts.
     
  8. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    Another possibility that occurs to me is to find something on e.g. Deviantart and ask the artist if you can license it. If you find something that works well for a story, it could be a good way to get good, non-photographic art for relatively cheap.
     
  9. Joanna

    Joanna Journeyman

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    My sister's building up her portfolio and was thinking of doing some covers for others (she's done some for her own books), she'd love to do hand drawn as that's her speciality as an illustrator. She would be looking for £50-100 depending on complexity. If anyone is interested you can find her portfolio here: katrinaconquista.com

    Hope it's OK to post these details :)

    Personally I've had a cover from 99designs for my non-fiction book - that was about $350. I was happy with the price as I'll re-use most of the cover for the next volumes in the series.

    From what I've seen around $300+ gets you into the slightly more professional market, but you can still find individual artists for less if you look around. Also if you like someone's style on deviantart it's not just licencing you can approach them about - you can ask if they take commissions, and they could do a custom cover in their style for you. But then you'd have to negotiate the price yourself :)
     
  10. mythique890

    mythique890 Mystagogue

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    I was also going to suggest looking for artists on Deviantart, even though I'm not sure if they'd want royalties or not. It probably depends on the artist.

    I have an acquaintance who is a freelance illustrator with a style I like. When the time comes I'll probably approach her. If she doesn't want to do it, she'll be able to recommend someone at least.
     
  11. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Turns out I have already approached few DeviantArt artists - no responses yet. :(

    Thanks for letting us know about your sister's work, Joanna. Her art is very interesting, but not the style I'm looking for on any current projects. I'll keep her in mind for the future, though.
     
  12. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Dark Lord

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    Interesting work. Not what I am looking for but very well done none the less. :)
     
  13. Joanna

    Joanna Journeyman

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    Thanks, her personal style can be a bit shocking to some :) She's an art graduate though, and actually can do work that's a bit more "normal" too ;) I'm currently bugging her to do a portrait of my novel's main character who's a human/dragon hybrid - here's hoping for a birthday present ;)
     
  14. JazzTD

    JazzTD Apprentice

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    Ah, I could lend a hand for cover art if anyone wanted me to. I'm a very vector oriented artist though, I don't do realism ... ever.

    But I'm decent, I believe, sort of, not fabulous at all.

    But mostly, I mean if anyone needs a hand and can't afford or find anyone else just let me know, I enjoy requests so I don't charge.
     
  15. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    JazzTD, do you have samples of your work online we could look at? I'd be interested in employing the services of a fellow MSer :)
     
  16. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Dark Lord

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    If individuals are seeking a cover artist, Christine Griffin, who did the cover art for both of my novels might be someone to consider.

    You can see the cover art for my novels at my website (click on the link in my signature file) and message me if you have any questions.
     
  17. Xanados

    Xanados Scribal Lord

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    Conceptart.org
    Brilliant site, that is.
     
  18. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Those are beautiful. Given her bio I assume they are hand drawn. Definitely will be contacting her.
     
  19. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Dark Lord

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    Telcontar,
    Christine Griffin is wonderful to work with. I saw sketches and such as she worked, but the products are completed using some version of Photoshop, I think--I like to think I write pretty well, but I'm not an artist--obviously :)
     
  20. JazzTD

    JazzTD Apprentice

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    Actually most of her art is Digital, from what I can tell anyway, but I'm not wearing my glasses right now, so I might be wrong. However it seems like a digital painting, reminds me of some done with Corel Painter.

    I don't have any book cover examples at the moment, but I do have general art examples, it isn't much different honestly, just need the right contrast between the colors and the words, and all that jazz(heh, I made a funny).

    Examples of my art are like my avatar
    <------

    Or this or this or this or this.

    As I said, I'm not fabulous, but if anyone needs a hand I'll lend it.
     
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