Tag Archives: photo illustration

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 – Tangled Roots

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. I’ve created the cover for her Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and this is a New Adult companion novel. Unlike the previous covers, this one uses primarily stock images. We tinkered a lot with finding the right font for the book. I also played a lot with creating the right mood for the cover. I ended up finding a decent tutorial on how to turn a day shot into night (see the end of the post for a link).  I also used a bit of digital illustration to get everything blended right and to add the roots around the girl on the cover.

Tangled Roots - Book Cover


SBibb - Tangled Roots - Wrap-Around Cover

And this is a promo piece (a rack card) I did for this book:

SBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack CardSBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack Card


You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Roots-Rebekkah-Ford-ebook/dp/B00NH84NNW/ref=la_B00896OMB0_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414362849&sr=1-1


Stock images from iStock:


Useful tutorial for making a day image look like night: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/how-to-turn-your-day-shot-into-night-with-photoshop-14852


Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Cover Reveal – Slip Sliding Away

This is a wrap around cover I did for Barking Rain Press.

(You can find the book here: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-product/slip-sliding-away/ ).

SBibb - Slip Sliding Away

(See a larger version on my Deviant Art Account: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/Slip-Sliding-Away-Cover-394872911 )

For this particular cover, I actually did a photoshoot (three, to get the angle and items right) of my own. The publisher wanted a desk with the drink on it and the photos, and when I first started trying to put it together with stock, I realized I’d have a much easier time if I just set the shoot up myself (especially since we’d just finished that dresser…. which worked well for a desk setting). I set up the glass, notepad, and alarm clock, as well as used an empty picture frame and two gift cards to hold the place for the photos. (Note to self: Next time someone has the stock photos they want used already picked out, just print them off and put directly in the image… it’ll save editing time later). I also changed the card reflections to that of the stock photos (from Shutterstock). For the alarm clock, I quickly discovered the numbers weren’t going to appear on their own (same reason you can’t have your shutter speed faster than 1/200 or you get a black line through your image). We had considered using a digital font for the numbers on the clock, but I found the LEDs just faintly showed in the image, had so I used the overlay tools to bring out the parts I needed.

I also changed the color of the overall image so it’d look more like night (I played with in-camera color settings, but found Photoshop was a bit more versatile for me). I did try to angle the lights (Alien Bees) so they’d look more like a lamp or low window.


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Cover Reveal – The Lone Werewolf

SBibb - The Lone Werewolf


This is a book cover I did for an upcoming book, The Lone Werewolf, from Melange Books.  The stock images used are from Dreamstime: (http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-angry-wolf-image18076302 and http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-heritage-days-image2981113). All other images are my own. 🙂


I used Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.0.

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The Socks Project: Ashes Cover Reveal

As I get closer to self-publishing “Ashes,” I thought it might be nice to do a cover reveal. So here it is, the cover to “Ashes.” It’s got some similar treatment done to it to resemble “Socks,” but it has a different color scheme to match the themes in the story itself. As an interesting little side note, I believe this is actually the same picture I used in “Socks,” but done differently enough that it shouldn’t be noticable. (Except that I pointed out, but anyway).

As a side note, I was debating on whether or not to include a blurb on the cover mentioning that it was a short story or prequel. After some discussion on Absolute Write, I decided not to include it. Why? Because the same information will be mentioned on the web page where it can be bought/downloaded. Also, because hopefully it will resemble the cover of “Socks” close enough that a connection will be made. Granted, this is experimentation on my part, but that’s kind of the point of doing this. 🙂

Without further ado, the new cover!

SBibb - Ashes Cover - Blog

Also, as a quick note, I found this article and thought those of you interested in doing your own cover creation might like reading it. It’s about font choice. 🙂



Filed under Book Covers, Photo Illustration, Writing

Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – Socks

The last “1000 Words” short story, Socks, is now available on Smashwords. It’s young adult themed, mostly sci-fi romance with a hint of a dystopian background. I say a hint because they’re never actually in a dystopian society, but it was in the back of my mind when I wrote it. Needless to say, I had an interesting time working on the cover. It didn’t like me.

First of all, I wanted a pair of socks on the cover, one of the elements in the story. So I decided to make it plain and simple, aiming for something like the cover of Matched. Only, if you think about it, that cover isn’t really simple. Clean, yes. Not simple. (Awesome book, by the way, if you like dystopias and romance).

So I did up a pair of socks to look like the ones in the story, threw it on a white background, used a grungy text in watermelon pink to match the coloring. Too plain (as you can see below).

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

So then I decide to do a soft background, one with an industrial or city look and a grungy texture over it. Ah-ha! Awesome! I showed it to a few people… who pointed out that socks would do nothing to sell the story, especially considering that it was pink… and looked nothing like a dystopia. (Nevermind that at this point I realized the story isn’t dystopia. It’s sci-fi, maybe post-apocalyptic, but not dystopia). I was disappointed, since I thought the cover was well done… until someone else pointed out that it looked like a children’s book.

Well… rats.

As you can see below… it doesn’t fit the market.

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

So I tried again. Borrowed from the background, grabbed a couple pictures of people, did some more tweaking… and hated the cover. Didn’t look right, wasn’t going well at all, and I needed to be formatting the print version of “1000 Words,” not fiddling with covers.

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

Finally, I tried again. I borrowed the original background and softened it. Found a picture of a girl in my stock, tried to give it that sci-fi dystopia look. Made it kind of ambiguous. Image was kind of soft, so I played with that more in my favor. Added text… no socks this time, and didn’t make it pink. Played on the gray, grungy look. Liked the title being center, and added a bar running behind it.

 SBibb - Socks Cover

I actually like this cover. Now the only problem is that it looks military sci-fi/dystopian… when the story is sci-fi romance (in a post-apocalyptic world). *Sigh.* Well, it works for the point of showing cover art, but if I had more time, I’d try again. Maybe a couple teens laying back on a grassy hill, overlooking the destruction of the city. A nice, opening scene. And in the gray sky, “Socks” would be written in the clouds.

Why didn’t I think of this three days ago? Now I know I need to get more couple stock photos.

So there you have it. The process behind the cover art for Socks. What did I learn? You can make a cover you like, but if it doesn’t look the genre, you’re still going to have problems.

Read Sockfor free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154150

Up next: I’m working on revamping sbibbphoto.com, where I’ll split it into two sections. One will be for “real world” photography, while the other will be for book covers and illustrations. Also, I’ll soon be announcing the release date for the print version of “1000 Words,” and I’m currently in the process of formatting it for an eBook.

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – The Hunt

I’m trying to get these done faster as I get closer to the deadline with which I need to order this book. For those of you just now joining in, “1000 Words is my Honors College Project. The plan is to write ten short stories, each 1000 words in length (because “a picture’s worth a thousand words”) , accompanied by a book cover I design. I’m hoping to go into book cover design, so I’m trying to create a portfolio that I can use to promote my work.


SBibb - "The Hunt" Book Cover


Anyways, the latest short story I’ve completed (and published on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151461) is called “The Hunt.” It’s a short story about a young hunter defending herself against an intelligent cougar  stalking her family’s village. This one is meant to be young adult/adult, and adventure themed.
As an update on the previously published stories, Snow Witch is standing the same in statistics, The Carrier now has 70 downloads and one review, while Shafted Dreams has only 12 downloads. Though there’s only been a few days of having Shafted Dreams self-published, it has far fewer downloads than The Carrier did. I suspect it may have something to do with an uninteresting blurb, or the difference in being published late at night versus early morning (though the fact The Carrier is still getting downloads make me think this should be a mute point).

Anyways, I have two more stories currently written that need to be edited, one story that needs to have edits finalized (which also needs adjustments to the typography on the cover), then three more stories/covers to complete. I also need to create a cover for the anthology itself. And this really should be ordered next week. Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to procrastinate. Especially when it comes to editing.

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – Shafted Dreams

Another update, as the due date for completing this project draws closer… 

I have removed Snow Witch from Kindle (though it may still show as the system processes this), and made it free on Smashwords. There have been two additional downloads since then. It did recieve one review on Smashwords, which was two stars, but said it was worth the read.

The Carrier has 64 downloads since I uploaded it. There have not been any reviews as of this time.

I have just now uploaded the next short story, Shafted Dreams. Unlike the other short stories, it is a political commentary, and more on the literary side of genres. It is also told in three short points of view. I’m curious to see if it gets downloaded more or less, or has a difference in tendency to be reviewed. It is also a story I feel has a stronger cover, so I’m curious to see how that goes. Of course, I have uploaded it as free.

As a side note, I am noticing a theme starting to develop in this project, loosely themed around family. With that in mind, I’ll pay attention to that in other stories. 🙂

Anyways, the statistics of the project is as follows:

3 Stories completed.
4 Stories written but not edited.
3 Stories still need to be written.
5 Book Covers completed. 

1 Book Cover nearing completion.
4 Book Covers still need to be designed.

Anthology Cover still needs to be designed.

Let me know if you guys have any questions or anything you want me to go into more detail about with this project. 🙂


Shafted Dreams: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151067


SBibb - Shafted Dreams Cover

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Western Victorian Photoshoot – Alexandra

These were shot with Alexandra, and I ended up with so many pictures from this shoot, there’s still more I’d love to edit. Including ones that I bought props for (a suitcase and book). But this is what I have so far, including a sneak peak at one of the 1000 Words cover, as well as portfolio shots. I shot this in studio, using large softboxes and a beauty dish.

Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157629413083186/show/

SBibb - Western Victorian Photoshoot

SBibb - Western Victorian Photoshoot

SBibb - Western Victorian Photoshoot

SBibb - Western Victorian Photoshoot


Filed under Photo Illustration

Secret Agent Photoshoot – Jake

This is a photoshoot I did with Jake, intending to create images that would work well for an FBI/CIA/Secret Agent look. While I ended up steering away from that, I did get the image for one of my stronger Honors College Project book covers. Part of the the agreement with Jake was that I’d also do a few potrait ones, so that’s also included. Of course… I had fun transforming one portrait into that of seafolk. 🙂

This was done using my alien bee studio lights.

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157629734197803/show/

SBibb - Secret Agent Photoshoot

SBibb - Secret Agent Photoshoot

SBibb - Secret Agent Photoshoot

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