Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Choosing a Cover Artist that's right for you and how to behave when speaking with an artist!

Hi all!

It has recently come to my attention that choosing a cover artist is a difficult decision.  Most don't know where to start.  Others aren't sure if they should base their cover artist on price or style.

Here's my two cents:  (actually, let's make that three cents)

The single most important thing you can do when it comes to choosing a cover artist is to look at their style.  Ignore price at this point.  Compare all the artist's designs.  Each artist has a unique style that may or may not work with your vision.  For instance, I never fade images.  All my images are bold.  I don't use floating heads as I think that is unprofessional and creepy.

Once you have chosen a style or a look from a cover artist, then compare turnaround time.  I have known authors to wait months for their covers.  To me, that's ridiculous.  A great artist can create a fantastic cover in a few weeks.

Having narrowed down your artists by style and turnaround time, it's now time to choose an artist based on price.  Never pay more than $200.00 for a cover if you are an Indie author.  Prices range from $50.00 to $200.00.  My covers have a cost of $75.00 or $125.00 for the back, front, and spine.  Please don't choose cheap.  There are artists, and then there are "artists".  I have seen some really horrid covers that people have actually paid for.  The cover was unprofessional and sloppy.  Please don't choose an artist based on price.  I understand that price is an issue but a professional cover will pay off in the end.

If you're nervous about working with a cover artist, check out the following sites:  romancenovelcovers.com and deviantart.com
Romancenovelcovers.com offers pre-made covers for $45.00.  They are professionally made so you know you have quality work.  The only downside is that other authors might have your cover.  At romancenovelcenter.com, you can actually browse artists works.
Deviantart.com is a collection of artists, crafters, photographs--you name it.  This place is great for browsing, finding photos/models, and for inspiration.

If you choose the wrong cover artist--such as based on price--you will only be disappointed.  Make sure your artist is the right fit for you.  Don't try to mold the artist to suit your needs.

Here are some pointers for interacting with the artist:

--Never assume you know more than the artist.  It's insulting.  If you knew more, then you should create the cover yourself.

--Always start off on a positive note even if you hate the mockup cover.  The artist took a great deal of time to create this for you.  You know how it feels to get a bad review after you have worked your tail off on a book.  The artist puts blood, sweat, and tears into a cover.  Show some respect.

--When it comes to revising the cover, list the changes.  Be nice.

--Whatever you do, DON'T COMPARE ARTISTS!  I dropped a client because of this.  She kept mentioning her other artist.  Well then, use the other artist.  It is very rude to mention another artist as if you don't have to be with your current one.  As if your current artist is a charity case.

--Artists have feelings.  Treat them as human beings not as your personal servants.  They have other clients that take up their time as well.

In summation, do your research.  The artist will be creating a face for your "baby".  Choose wisely.  Above all, be professional and friendly. :-)

Good luck!


4 comments:

  1. This is awesome advice, Erin! I hope you don't mind if I post my own experience (as a very, very happy client) with your work that might help authors reading this. So to authors: Even if you have a very specific vision for a cover, understand what you see in your head may not work as well as you think it does on the actual cover. Just as you have worked hard to learn your craft of writing, so do professional cover designers. Trust your designer's experience and talent. On my latest cover, Demon Laird (which Erin has posted in her gallery) I had a very specific vision. In one sense, it was different than the cover you see now. But Erin communicated with me and it was through our dialog that I realized my specifics would not work. What Erin ended up creating matched my original vision about 80%. But my jaw hit the floor when I realized the 20% that didn't match was actually MORE beautiful and awesome than what I originally imagined. I was open to her experience, creativity, and interpretation and she hit a home run with that cover! So don't be so locked into one vision that it blinds you to even greater possibilities. (And, Erin, I can't thank you enough for all the great work you've done for me!)

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    1. Thank you, Kathryn! You are what I consider a great client and friend! You summed up my words exactly--trust your cover artist :-)

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  2. Erin is amazing! She is always gracious and extremely talented. A few times I have asked her to do the impossible and she made it happen. I also like that the covers she makes for me do not look like the covers she makes for others.

    I agree with Kathryn, Erin has an eye and natural talent. Can't tell you the number of times I have squealed in delight when I saw the cover she created. So grateful to have her on my team!

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    1. Awww, thank you, Red! You are very sweet and it is a joy working with you!

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