Search This Blog

Monday, January 13, 2014

Covering the Indies

Hello everyone, always enjoy having you stop by to read my little posts. Okay, so they aren't all that little. This week I wanted to introduce you to a part of me that you may already have met. I have what has been called a "giving spirit". I love to give and help when and where I can. Not for the glory or prestige, but because I just like to do things for others. I know where it comes from too, my mother is exactly the same way, just in different types of giving.

That said: A while back, probably two years ago, I read a rather disparaging article written about indie authors. It was mean, disdainful, and with a lot of demeaning attitude. In particular they attacked the cover art of independent authors. Of course they picked out some rather terrible examples of covers and then pretended that all indies books suffer from the same horrible artwork. The article was borderline internet bullying, but perpetrated by a well known news source. I couldn't argue that their examples were bad, they were awful. I couldn't argue that those examples weren't really out there, they were from real books. But, I could argue that not all indies had terrible covers. Then I went to look and saw that a lot of indies covers really did need work. They weren't nearly as bad as the examples shown, but they were in need of attention.

I am not a graphic artist with any credentials. I never said I was. But, I do have an eye for color and art. I have studied art history for most of my life, I am an avid stitching which teaches color balancing and design, and I have a heart for those who don't have the money to hire a credited graphic artist. So, I decided to start my own cover art business. Only, this one would be free. What I would do is search high and low on the internet for public domain pictures and create a massive file of those. I also added in a lot of my own photography that I didn't mind using. I then took all this and crafted covers. I began to offer them for free for whoever wanted one. If asked, I would even add title and author name. I didn't get as many takers as I expected, but I did get a few. On more than one occasion I found an author on Facebook who had a book with a rather....shall we say...unfortunate cover. But, they were very proud of their work and refused any advice. I never harassed them or even told them that I felt they needed help, if they were happy then they are fine. But, I offered all the same.

Only once, so far, have I done actual drawing and art for a cover not my own. I saw a friend who was desperately looking for specific cover image and couldn't find one. She had a hopeful source, but couldn't get in touch with them. I realized that I could probably draw something like she wanted. So, without her knowledge I drew the picture and then gave it to her. She was so excited she asked me to help do the whole cover. Though I never asked, she insisted on payment. She asked me to do the sequel, drawing the characters and designing the cover, and I agreed.  Thus I have actually been paid for a few of these.

With all that said, I would like to show you some of the work I have done. Yes, some are my own books, but I want you to see what I can do. Also, here is a LINK to the page of available covers that you can choose from if you are in need of a cover for a book, or know someone who might be interested. If the cover is in that link, it is free. Also, check back, I add to the covers as I play around designing more blank covers.

 Note: Some of these are either not available yet, or they have since changed their covers.

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy seeing your art and am very glad that others are getting to see your art as well as use it for their book covers. Well done my friend!