This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author already had an idea of what image he wanted used for both the front and back. However, the stock image we looked at initially was marked “editorial only,” so that one wasn’t available. However, we did find a similar photograph on the Library of Congress website that didn’t have any known restrictions, in part due to its age.
So, though it was black and white, I retouched the image and filled it in with color, along with sharpening the picture. (Ironically, while I retouched the back cover image as well, I removed the color from that one). We also found a free font that resembled the baseball logo of the referenced team. This was the result:
I changed the border a bit for the front and back of the print covers, due to the trim lines.
Primary stock images from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/91725980
We had a modern-day image we considered using, but couldn’t due to licencing restrictions.
Post Card Border from The Dollar Photo Club (Now Closed)
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-quinn-abbey-image18602883 – Churchyard
A cover for Melange Books.
For this one, the author and publisher already had a few of the stock images chosen that they wanted to use for the cover. I took what they had, tweaked the placement, added the title information, tinkered with coloring to give it the spooky graveyard look, then did the retouching.
Since they already had the model chosen, and already had the full-sized stock image, I went ahead and did the major retouches on the proof image. It saved time in the long run, especially since I made that image into a smart object so that I could easily move it around.
The author later found the background he liked, which I retouched and manipulated (removing the lampposts) to fit better with the graveyard in the story. We played with the idea of adding headstones in the background, but they proved to be too distracting on the near-final, so we removed those. Sometimes less is better, especially when you’re trying to design a cover that will catch the eye and not make the potential reader sit there trying to figure out what a particular element is. (Unless you want that particular surreal effect, then go for it).
For the back cover, the author requested we use one of my first proofs for the background, only edited to work as the back.
This is the result:
Stock images from Dreamstime:
See the previous books in this series: Spirits of the Pirate House and Roberto’s Return
I got an email today from the author of Roberto’s Return, (sold by Melange Books, LLC), and he informed me that he got his latest book into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Gift Store’s Bookshop. The below are a couple pictures he sent me. I thought it was cool and decided to share (with his permission in regards to posting the photos).
Just goes to show that it helps to keep your target audience in mind while marketing. In this case, Paul Ferrante’s story centers around a famous baseball player, and h e was able to get a bookstore that focuses on baseball to carry it.
Awesome, right? 🙂
This is a cover for Melange Books, the next in the T.J. Jackson Mysteries.
For this cover, the author already had a pretty good idea of what he wanted, and he even had images of the park he wanted used for the background. However, since it was a recognizable building, I did have the author check on the need for a property release. (Just like models, many buildings and areas require property releases. It’s a good idea to check before shooting in an area to see if you’ll need one). The author was able to get permission, and so we were able to proceed with that image.
I also ended up doing a bit of digital illustration (Photoshop CS6) to piece everything together. Since we wanted a very specific pose, and the author had the outfit necessary, he had a friend model for him and shoot the image, and then I picked out the stock images of the man’s head to best fit the character. I added in a different sky, since we wanted sunset, and we tried to mimic the baseball text for the title itself.
Side note: Since most of these covers have been revealed by the time I post them, and since I usually try to post behind the scenes information when I reveal the covers on my blog, I’m going to start calling these posts “Behind the Scenes” instead of “Cover Reveal.” Sorry for any confusion. 🙂
Stock Photos from Dreamstime:
All other images provided by author. Photograph of Doubleday Field used with permission.
This is another cover for Melange Books.
Putting this cover together was a doozy. While many of my previous covers have been 2-4 stock images, plus textures, this is an example of using digital manipulation to create an entirely different character. Take a look at the different stock images used, then look at the final product. The palm tree was shorter, the pirate consists of several different stock images, a bit of photoshop to make him look angrier, plus doing the color changes and removing the trinkets in the hair. Plus changing lighting. So if you like seeing how you can piece-part an image together, this is the one to look at.
Overall, though difficult to make sure everything was placed as desired, this was a nice review to photomanipulation for creating a new image. 🙂