Cover Me

So what’s been keeping me up at night lately? No, not this blog, though it does occasionally make me cringe when I read it. I hope it’s not doing the same to you. Actually, it probably isn’t, since it seems NO ONE is reading this. Haha *implodes*

Anyway. There’s this one thing that’s contributing to my restlessness. And I suppose it’s all my fault.

You see, I have a friend that is a great artist. And she is trying to make a living as one, mostly by making web comics and the like. As her friend, I want to support her work, and what do you know, I’m going to be needing an artist fairly soon. A cover artist, to be specific. Yet this job opportunity came with a catch…for me.

Given that she is busy doing her own artwork so she doesn’t starve to death in the Sunshine State, she doesn’t exactly have the time to be reading a YA fantasy novel. Have I mentioned that that’s what I’ve written? Well, there it is. So if I want her to read it, it will cost A LOT extra, on top of what I plan to pay her for the cover. And, if you haven’t noticed, I do not have a lot of moneys to be spending on this endeavor. It’s self-publishing on the cheap.

Thus, my predicament. She’s willing to do the cover, but I have to come up with the concept. And it is much harder than I had initially thought it’d be. Like it or not, your book (MY book) is going to be judged by its cover. That’s just the way it is, especially for an unknown author. So it has to meet some important criteria, specifically, not being a piece of shit.

I have agonized over a lot of different covers that have passed through my minds eye. Is this one boring? Is it too busy? I can’t even sketch it out on paper cause I suck at drawing that much. I see it in my head, and then judge it. Try doing that for several weeks. Not fun.

For those of you who don’t have artist friends or don’t want to commission an artist to draw a cover, there is an alternative. And it does not include throwing a few stock images together on Photoshop. As I’ve gone further into research, I’ve learned that there are sites with pre-made covers! You buy a cover, stick your title on it, and BAM. Cover done. And most designers will promise to never put that cover up on the market again once you buy it. It’s yours. Only trouble is, it may not fit your book exactly. Or it may be too generic. But hey, I’d say it’s a pretty good option.

Despite a seemingly easier method, I’m sticking with my friend. I don’t think she’d care much if I reneged, but I trust she can make a pretty unique illustration for this novel. In fact, I don’t think there’s anyone else I’d rather have create it. And I finally have a decent idea of what it could look like.

Cross-posted on Tumblr

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