Tag Archives: book covers

Behind the Scenes – A Day Without a Night – Book Cover

This is a cover for Melange Books. We wanted to match this with the cover for the first book in the series (Note: I did not make the cover for the first book), so we kept the black background and the same styles and general placement of the text. The author had a few ideas for symbols that they wanted to use, so they found the corresponding stock images. After tinkering a bit with placement, this is the final result:

SBibb - A Day Without A Night - Book Cover
Stock images from 123RF and Dollar Photo Club.

https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/Search?k=5187071 – sword
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/Search?k=88389030 – background
http://www.123rf.com/search.php?word=29866867 – moon and sun emblem
http://www.123rf.com/search.php?word=10707247 – book


Filed under Book Covers, Client Work

Behind the Scenes – The Girl Who Flew Away

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. The author had several ideas on their art form for how the cover might look, and they listed a few options for symbolism. After reading the form, I had an idea of the style I thought might work. I found the images (including the sketchy dragonflies, both the illustration and the creature referencing the book) and put together a mock-up. My initial mock-up had a different background, which included cliffs and a waterfall but didn’t really give the right feel in regards to setting. I sent another idea for the background, just the picture, along with the mock-up, and they asked to try it. This is the end result. 🙂

SBibb - The Girl Who Flew Away - Book Cover

SBibb - The Girl Who Flew Away - Wrap-Around Book Cover

Stock images from Shutterstock:






Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Behind the Scenes – Beyond the Eyes – Cover Remake

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. For this cover, we redid a cover I created for her three years ago, back when I was trying to find willing authors to take a chance on me so I could build my portfolio (thank you!).

At the time, we came up with this:

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Book Cover

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes - Wraparound Cover

The goal was to create something mysterious, with a bit of a taste of horror for her first YA paranormal. At the time, I took inspiration from the cover of Clockwork Angel, the cover art of which I adore.

However, this was an earlier cover of mine, so the font effects are a tad amateurish (and I hadn’t even justified the original back cover copy… which I later updated once I discovered that trick). Not only that, but the cover felt too much like a horror novel, and wasn’t attracting as many romance readers as it should (since this is definitely a paranormal romance).

So Rebekkah contacted me again a couple months ago to see about updating the covers for this series. She had a few stock images in mind, and after working through a few proofs and font placement, we came up with this remake for the first book:

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Remake Cover

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Remake Cover

(See how much better the back cover formatting looks after three more years of experience?)

The woman on the cover clearly resembles the main character, Paige, the shadow in the distance could easily be a sinister dark spirit (or a mysterious immortal), and the eerie forest distinctly fits a prominent setting of the story. I blurred the background to help make the model stand out, then flipped it for the back cover, and darkened the spine to make sure the words were readable. This cover should now attract paranormal romance readers. In addition, the straightforward text should attract a bit of an older audience (this series fits the upper YA/NA categories).

Personally, I like both covers, but having read the book, I suspect the new cover will attract more of the target audience.

You can find Beyond the Eyes on Goodreads.

Stock images from Shutterstock:



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Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Behind the Scenes – Oh Wicked Escort

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author already had a pretty good idea of what they wanted it to look like, and they provided a mockup along with the art form.

My job, then, was to find the appropriate stock images, the right font, and position those images based on what they had. In addition, I added the gilded, embossed effects to enhance the feeling that the book came from the particular era. I was a little concerned about being able to find an actual omnibus, as they requested, but once I went to the idea of using the gilded effect, I searched through the stock site’s illustrations along with photos, and found something that worked. This is the end result:

SBibb - Oh Wicked Escort - Book Cover

SBibb - OWEbackcoverblog
Stock images from Dreamstime:



Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Thoughts about Publishing – Fireworks and Photoshoots


A photograph from our fireworks photo shoot for the book trailer. The ‘scrying bowl’ from Magic’s Stealing.

Over the weekend, my husband and I visited my family for the Fourth of July. Among the things we did… per usual tradition… was to purchase fireworks. In previous years, we’ve typically picked up an assortment of fountains, smoke balls, and sparklers, then headed across town (or recently) up the hill in the evening to watch the fireworks from the city display. Over the years, the people around town have been picking up the big fireworks, so this year we watched them from the front yard. (And I made chocolate chip cookies during the lull… yum!) Anyway, we didn’t find any smoke balls for sale, but we did pick up a couple smoke canisters. The goal? To use the one day we had available to shoot off fireworks in a city area to get potential footage for the book trailer.


The setup for the 3D camera, ‘scrying bowl,’ and smoke canister.

While we don’t know for certain we’ll use the footage, the shoot was a lot of fun… and very smoky. Me, Isaac, and my dad headed up the hill, scoped out a decent spot for us to lay the bowl and the canister (we brought a couple bottles of water in case the canister didn’t fire properly), along with the 3D camera (it has video capabilities) and the DSLR. I set up the tripod for the 3D camera and kept it low to the ground, then once that was set up, Isaac lit the canister. I shot several still images with the DSLR for potential book cover usage, while Dad kept an eye on what the wind was doing with the smoke. Afterwards, we watered the area around the canisters and set them aside to cool. Dad went back the next day to throw them away.


A still shot from the book trailer video shoot for Magic’s Stealing.


Me having fun with Isaac’s Ultrasaber.

Later that night, I remembered a few photoshoots I’ve done previously using smoke balls and an FX lightsaber (I’m a Star Wars fan). I suggested that we should get a couple more smoke canisters (like Isaac suggested in the first place) and use Isaac’s new Ultrasaber to make long exposure shots. We each got one canister, and we took turns running around in the smoke, trying not to breathe it, to get the various effects. We also shot off a fountain, continued watching the surrounding fireworks show from the neighbors, and played with the sparklers and long exposures to see if we could get any ribbon-like effects for the Magic’s Stealing book cover. We had a lot of fun, and my parents joined in on playing with the sparklers. (We usually take turns lighting the sparklers and twirling them around). And I got poppers. So much fun…you throw them on the ground and they make light and noise… *Happy sigh.* Like my grandma said, “we had a party!”

IP - Fireworks

Isaac got creative with his sparklers and made various video game characters…

The next day we taped a bunch of streamers left over from party streamers ‘fireworks’ to a fan, then took both video and long exposure shots. We got a lot of abstract images, which are great for creating magical effects for the book cover.


Long exposure of streamers for book cover art.


All in all, Isaac and I enjoyed combining our work with play. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope you had an enjoyable weekend, regardless of whether or not you celebrate the Fourth. 🙂


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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Photo Illustration, Writing

Behind the Scenes – Hide and Seek

A cover for Melange Books. For this one, the publisher wanted a cover that conveyed the romance of the two novellas in this book, as well as the suspense and western themes. So we stuck with a silhouette, darker (but still romantic) colors, and softer imagery. For the back cover, I simply used part of the desert landscape imagery I hadn’t used from the front, then applied a similar treatment.

This is the result:

SBibb - Hide and Seek - Book Cover

SBibb - Hide and Seek - Back Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:


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Behind the Scenes – Sojourn: The Wildlands

A cover for Melange Books. I had a lot of fun putting this one together. There are quite a few pieces in this particular cover (14 stock images in total), and I worked with the author to get all the right images and choose the best placement for them. For example: choosing what kind of bow the male model should have. Since the art form mentioned a bow, but didn’t specify crossbow or long bow, I emailed the author to clarify. Helpful to ask about these things up front so you don’t spend a lot of time masking out and fitting pieces, only to find it doesn’t fit the story.  In the meantime, I enjoyed playing with the lighting and colors.

This is the result:

SBibb - Sojourn: The Wildlands - Book Cover

SBibb - Sojourn: The Wildlands - Back Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:



Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Behind the Scenes – The Anthropologist’s Daughter

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, we wanted a clear connection to its related series cover ( The Revolving Year ), so we used the same background, same position of the lead character, and same placement of text. Since this is a prequel, this cover has a younger character. However, while the stock image we chose for the field (we wanted to change the seasons to match the story) has a young girl in the image, her hair was too long for the main character. Normally I’ll just photoshop the hair, but it turned out she needed more of a pixie/elfin cut. Now, the story of this goes that I was heading out of town to go visit friends at an anime convention (Naka-Kon… wonderful convention for those of you who like Japanese anime and culture), and while there, I noticed one of my friends had the same hairstyle that I was looking for. I asked if she’d mind me taking a picture of the back of her head for the cover, got permission, and voila! One pixie cut ready to go! I photoshopped the cover to include the new image, thinned the neck a bit to make it fit better for a child’s, and this is the result. Sometimes you’ll find the image you need around you. And it’s helpful to have a camera on hand when you do. 🙂

SBibb - The Anthropologist's Daughter -  Book Cover


SBibb - The Anthropologist's Daughter - Wrap-Around Book Cover
Stock images from Shutterstock and from my own personal stock.


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Behind the Scenes – Taking Chances

This is a book cover for Melange Books.

When working on book covers, some of my clients  ask for suggestions for their book covers, while others come knowing exactly what they want. For this cover, we went with the latter. The author knew they wanted the cover to be in 3 panels, with a good idea of what went in each one. They even had an idea of the stock image they wanted for the skyline (which happened to be from Dreamstime, so that worked perfectly). I put the pieces together and played with color effects to give it the warm, desert glow, then blended everything together.

This is the final result:

SBibb - Taking Chances - Book Cover

SBibb - Taking Chances - Back Cover


Stock images from Dreamstime:





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Behind the Scenes – Nairobi Bloodstar

This is a cover for Melange Books. In my first proof, I gave this more of a historical movie poster look, but upon learning the book had a bit more of an action-thriller bent, I put more of a focus on the train wreck explosion than the scenery and characters. Still, I added texturing to give the cover the historical feeling, and I played with the coloring (we wanted the red highlights for the ruby). After playing with positioning of the title and the hands with the ruby, this is the final result:

SBibb - Nairobi Bloodstar - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:







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