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Old 07-28-2016, 04:04 PM   #1
Sammael Bard
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Cover Art that you've made (and really liked it)

It's f-ing fun creating cover art. I've done it for half a dozen people now, and I find it mostly easy (provided they aren't looking for something weird). Stock image, a nice font, special effects and you're almost done.

I want to know what you think makes a cover art stand apart from the rest. What would you do to make it better?

Most of indie authors rely on self-created cover art, so here's to hoping that this thread would be somewhat educational to nOObs and old fellas alike. Here's the deal:

1. You can post a cover art which you've created (or someone you know has created it for you) that you really liked.

2. Tell us something about it (what you liked, if it could've been made better, if the abstract/funny cartoon helps your cover stand out from the rest). What do you do to make it relevant and catchy at the same time?

3. Don't post stock images that you've bought. For obvious reasons. Watermarked stuff will do for all reference purposes.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:13 PM   #2
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This is cover art of a sort. I made this cover, all except for getting the knife in her hand, that was a separate image and I couldn't shop it in myself.

The rest of this is all stock photos I spent hours looking through to find the right ones, then added text to them.

The music was tricky. The program I used gave a lot of instrumental options, but even the 'rock' selections sounded like something you would sleep or meditate to. But in order to use a song you need to own the rights or...

Know someone in a band. The music for this is from a co-workers death metal band. He agreed to it for a shout out and a free copy of the book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwxmdZcAkdw
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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I have nothing to contribute to this thread, except to say that I'm really excited to see everyone's covers
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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I did this one for my first story collection. I had to change it because Amazon flagged it as adult content, too cheeky I guess.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:35 PM   #5
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I did this one for my latest ebook. It was much more time consuming but I feel it needs more work. The upload changed the shading and definition. Sorry about the double post. (Couldn't upload two pics)
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:47 PM   #6
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My ten most recent book covers continually update in my sig line. I've picked the images for most of them, although I don't do the covers myself. The ruling elements of what I look for/try to provide in a cover are that it has to stand out in a thumbnail size, which is how most potential buyers will see an erotica e-book being distributed on the net (so it can't have too much detail work), and it needs to reflect the genre (which is why a young hunk almost always features on my GM books--see my current avatar). Once you have a fan base, your author name should be pretty prominent as well. I also try to pick cover images that go with the content of the book. Too often mainstream covers are developed without having read the book and the character on the cover is not identifiable with a main character in the book.

Illustrative of this, I think the cover below gets across that this is a bisexual category book. It also, I think, would signal transsexual. If you can, the title should help define it too, with the title of this one being important to slant it toward the bisexual rather than the transsexual.




If it's noir or period, I also go for signaling coloring, as in:




or

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Old 07-28-2016, 04:48 PM   #7
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I've had lots of fun doing cover art. This is my favorite so far: it's a cheap stock image made into Emily of my "Slave Girl Emily" by the addition of a rose vine tattoo (the thorns added one by one) and platinum nose ring, warped and/or distorted into shape and position with Photoshop. Fonts are Lilith (lovely public domain font, great for erotica and romance), Optima, and Garamond Premier Pro.

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Old 07-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #8
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Man, that is one big cover. A table top book. The kitchen not the coffee.

How about downsizing a bit.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxRad View Post
Man, that is one big cover. A table top book. The kitchen not the coffee.

How about downsizing a bit.
Sorry. Smashwords only gives you two sizes to link to: original and thumbnail. I've changed the link to the thumbnail. Those wanting to look at the original can visit the site. While there, why not buy a copy?
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serafina1210 View Post
Sorry. Smashwords only gives you two sizes to link to: original and thumbnail. I've changed the link to the thumbnail. Those wanting to look at the original can visit the site. While there, why not buy a copy?
Nice cover image . . . but . . . the lettering doesn't stand out enough for me to read it easily, and it would be even less readable in the thumbnail size (which is even smaller on a Web page than this). Sorry, but that illustrates a point I made, I think. The titling disappears into the background color. Red would have stood out better--and maybe lose the subtext on the advertising version. It's entirely unreadable.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:03 PM   #11
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You can also use the cover to link books in a series. These two feature a D.C. vice cop as protagonist and signal dominant/submissive GM content.




But it also links this book to the next in the series:




Contrasting color and title unity are also ways of linking books in a series:



(I didn't pick the images for these last two titles. They are by the publisher eXcessica)
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Nice cover image . . . but . . . the lettering doesn't stand out enough for me to read it easily, and it would be even less readable in the thumbnail size (which is even smaller on a Web page than this). Sorry, but that illustrates a point I made, I think. The titling disappears into the background color. Red would have stood out better--and maybe lose the subtext on the advertising version. It's entirely unreadable.
Okay, thanks, I get it. Here's a second try, at Smashwords thumbnail size. Red lettering seems to me to decrease rather than increase contrast, but a bolder font makes a big difference.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
(which is why a young hunk almost always features on my GM books--see my current avatar).
Speaking of your avatar--I'm kind of in love with that guy. I enjoy him every time you post
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serafina1210 View Post
Okay, thanks, I get it. Here's a second try, at Smashwords thumbnail size. Red lettering seems to me to decrease rather than increase contrast, but a bolder font makes a big difference.

One thing a graphics artist friend has suggested is using "airier" fonts rather than heavy ones. If the letters each take up a lot of space, they end up losing resolution. Thinner ones stand out better, but of course they can't be too thin.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:11 PM   #15
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Here's my first own attempt that I am rather fond of. But I'd love to hear if it works for other people. It's very simple, but I tend to like that.

http://forum.literotica.com/attachme...6&d=1446324304
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:15 PM   #16
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One thing a graphics artist friend has suggested is using "airier" fonts rather than heavy ones. If the letters each take up a lot of space, they end up losing resolution. Thinner ones stand out better, but of course they can't be too thin.
Any fonts to suggest?

I like your cover in your following post.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:32 PM   #17
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Speaking of your avatar--I'm kind of in love with that guy. I enjoy him every time you post
Me too (*smile*). He'll only be there a couple of weeks, though, as "Liaisons" is the series I'm in the process of posting to Literotica. Back to a summer one after that's posted.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:33 PM   #18
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Okay, thanks, I get it. Here's a second try, at Smashwords thumbnail size. Red lettering seems to me to decrease rather than increase contrast, but a bolder font makes a big difference.
That's certainly better from an advertising standpoint.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:34 PM   #19
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Here's my first own attempt that I am rather fond of. But I'd love to hear if it works for other people. It's very simple, but I tend to like that.

http://forum.literotica.com/attachme...6&d=1446324304
Yep, I think that's a good one.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:10 PM   #20
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Any fonts to suggest?

I like your cover in your following post.
Thank you, glad you like it.

I apologize - I looked for my working .ppt file and I can't find it. I tend to trash things like that and keep only the .png or .ipg files, but they don't have the font information. (I realize it's bad practice - should keep the other as well.)

I mostly use PowerPoint to make the covers, and then I play ad infinitem until I am pleased with something. I'll show you two others I made that I like as image files but I don't think work as well as covers.


This one has nice fonts, high contrast yadda yadda and I really like the photo, but in thumb nail format, the photo tends to look too dark.

This other one has problems with contrast above the background photo, which get worse in thumbnail size. And of course, the eroticism is only distantly implied... LOL.

You can see what I mean here.

Good luck! I really enjoy making covers, but I do end up spending a shitload of time on it for almost zero return. I mean, about a Grande Americano's worth from Starbuck's...
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:10 PM   #21
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Any fonts to suggest?

I like your cover in your following post.
Quote:
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Yep, I think that's a good one.

Thanks - glad you liked it. I wish my others were as good...
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:56 PM   #22
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:12 PM   #23
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Nice!! Like the angle.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:23 PM   #24
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:25 PM   #25
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