Tag Archives: H. Paul Doucette

Behind the Scenes – Red Sun Over Mexico

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to stick with the same theme as the first book in the series, Red Sun Over Panama. I kept most of the same imagery, including quite a bit of the retouching I’d already done, and inserted an image symbolic of Mexico.

To figure out which image to use, I emailed the author about symbolism relevant in the book. Other than the Japanese Red Sun, pulled from the first cover to give this a historical touch, he mentioned the temples as a landmark. So that’s what we went with.

The publisher repurchased a licence for each of the images we used a second time, as well as picked up the new image we needed.

Keeping with the first cover, I hid part of the title behind the landmark. In this one, more of the title is hid than in the first, but I was careful to make sure that the title was still legible.

This is the end result:

SBibb - Red Sun Over Mexico - Book Cover

SBibb - Red Sun Over Mexico - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime and Dollar Photo Club.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Covers

Behind the Scenes – Red Sun Over Panama

This is a cover for Melange Books.

The novel is an espionage/mystery novel with a historical setting, and based on the art form, I pictured a setting or rising sun over the ocean with the WWII Japanese flag behind it. I had a few questions based on what I’d read on the form, though, so I sent an email to the author before creating anything to clarify a few points in the story. I’d thought about having some sort of era based aircraft in the background, but I wasn’t sure what would be appropriate to the story. Turns out there weren’t any references strong enough to warrant having it on the cover. However, in corresponding with the author, he mentioned an idea for the cover that sounded very similar to what I had in mind. So I went ahead and created a proof based on a combination of both those ideas, and in the end, this is the result.

SBibb - Red Sun Over Panama - Book Cover

In the case of the flag, I used the stock image for the basis, then extended the suns rays so that they would bleed off the edge of the cover. Another thing I found that may be useful to keep in mind is that deep reds don’t seem to want to translate well from sRGB to CMYK for the print version. As a result, I found that curves adjustments and color balance adjustments can be rather useful in trying to match the CMYK print version of the cover to the RGB ebook version.

Stock images from Dreamstime:




Leave a comment

Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Cover Reveal – Unfinished Business

This is the cover for Unfinished Business, from Melange Books.

SBibb - Unfinished Business Cover

Stock Used:


For this one, the cover turned out to be relatively simple to do. It’s a suspense/thriller. For this, since it is supposed to have a noir feel to it, I used a dark blue primary color, as well as a grunge tinge. Originally there was a thumbtack on Paris (in the stock photo), but at the request of the author, I placed a syringe over Marseilles, where part of the story takes place. I also looked for French coins as part of the cover texture.

The point of doing this is to give readers a sense of what the story is about, and small nuances can make a world of difference in how a cover looks, and whether or not it is picked up by readers. Not only that, but if it’s picked up by the right readers. A cover can get a lot of attention, but if your cover looks like a paranormal romance, and the book is hard-sci, it’s not going to get the correct attention, and may even get negative reviews because the readers didn’t get what they expected.

Something to keep in mind when creating concepts for book covers. 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration