Saturday, May 11, 2013

Where To Find Cover Artists

Where To Find Cover Artists

It's difficult to overestimate the importance of a great cover.

Striking professional looking covers help sell books.

The cover is the first impression a reader will have of your work, and humans place a lot of importance on first impressions.

We want readers to fall in love with our book on first sight.

Think of it this way, you dress up to go about your day-to-day activities. You put on nicer clothes, you fix your hair, and so on.

Why? Because we know that how we look matters to other people. Even if you couldn't care less how others look you know that folks treat you differently depending on the clothes you wear, the way you arrange your hair, the perfume/cologne you choose.

Now think: What if you weren't just going to a business meeting, or a PTA get-together, or a  baseball mixer. What if you were going to the Academy Awards or some other gala affair?

My female friends would spend most of the morning and all of the afternoon getting their hair, nails and face done. And I cringe to think how much they'd spend on clothes.

What about your book?

It's going out into the world to be judged. It's like a child in the sense that it's an extension of you, something you created. And, unlike children who have their own ideas about what sort of clothes to wear, what color of hair to have, and so on, you control every single facet of your book's launch, including the cover. (That is, if you self publish. If you traditionally publish you probably won't have any say over the cover.)

Granted, most of us can't design the cover, we don't have those skills, but a talented artist can work with you to give you a look you want.

Which brings me, circuitously, to the topic of today's post: How to find the right cover artist for your book.


How To Find A Cover Artist For Your Book


A couple of days ago Passive Guy posted the following:
Passive Guy received a simple question from Amey:
Where does an indie author find cover illustrators online?
She knows about DeviantArt, but finds it too complicated and believes there aren’t a lot of real artists there.
So, what’s the answer to Amey’s question? 
A lot of wonderful folks wrote in with wonderful answers, but I found myself getting overwhelmed by the information as I scrolled through the replies. That's when I got the idea for this post.

In the following I've taken the information given and provided links when I could track them down. I've also provided links to the original replies so you can read those for yourself.

By including a name in the following I'm not recommending that person. Similarly, if I haven't included a name in the following I don't mean to imply they wouldn't be a great choice.


List Of Book Cover Artists


In some cases, the link is in the name.

Extended Imagery

This is the designer Joe Konrath uses for his books. Carl sells predesigned book covers for about $200.

DD Graphix

From Kboards.com:
Robin Nuttall, freelance graphic designer with 20+ years experience. US based, responsive, quick turn-around. I listen to my clients and help them achieve success. Very reasonable prices as I begin to build my digital publishing portfolio.

Digital and print book cover design, interior design/formatting.

Cover Bistro

From Kboards.com
Custom covers starting as low as $35, Premades starting at $15, and Book Jacket/Ebook cover combos starting at $50.  3d Boxed sets starting at $25 if created from an existing book cover, and $45 if a new cover is required.

Indie-Spired Design

From Kboards.com
Your cover is your I.D. Be inspired.

Specializing in YA and Fantasy premade book covers, I offer premade covers as well as custom designs, ereader renders and custom advertisements.

Littera Designs

From Kboards.com
Name: Rachel Cole

Beautiful, eye-catching, professional-looking book cover design.

Pre-made covers start at $30
Custom ebook covers start at $65
Custom print covers start at $100

99Designs.com

Carolyn McCray writes:
99designs.com lets you receive up to 99 spec designs. The designers only get paid if you pick them. A great resource to get a lot of different professional (okay, some are a little grade school but usually you get several pros per project) covers to choose from. It is where I got my cover artist.

Kit Foster

I read Joel Friedlander’s e-Book Cover Design Awards every month, and through that, I found Kit Foster. If you see a designer whose work you like, you’ll have to google the name to find their website. (Russell Phillips)

Steward Williams, Rebecca Swift, Peter Ratcliffe

These artists were recommended by Rob Siders.

Here are the artists my shop recommends most frequently (aside for Jeroen ten Berge, who is closed to new clients until after June):

Stewart Williams at http://www.stewartwilliamsdesign.com/
Rebecca Swift at http://www.rebeccaswiftartwork.com/
Peter Ratcliffe at http://bit.ly/pDnfHo

Streetlight Graphics

Nicholas Taylor writes:
DA [Deviant Art] has a lot of very talented artists, but if you are looking for a service that does a great job and specializes in publishing, I would recommend Streetlight Graphics. They did the art on my last book and are wonderful. They also do amazing work on eBook and print interior layouts. To get your cover, print layout, ebook layout and another graphic (like a business card or bookmark) it will run you $460. Their site is http://streetlightgraphics.com and you can’t go wrong with them.

Dreamup

India Drummond writes:
Dreamup is run by deviant art, I do believe, but it’s a curated list: http://dreamup.com/find/artists/ For custom artwork and illustrations, this is where I would start.
India also recommended An Authors Art.

Firefly Covers

Christine Leov Lealand writes:
I found my cover artist when I met a traveling young German man whose hobby was graphic design. He went home after making a few covers for us – learning the basics from us and what we and Createspace/KDP needed and set up http://fireflycovers.com/

 Nils is great at communication and good at cover design and has a network of other artists who will put together a cover for you of altered photographs or drawn art or a combo of both.

Jared Rackler Designs

Kat Sheridan writes:
I’ll toss in Jared Rackler. He’s done workj for friends. Fast, inexpensive (generally under $100), good looking: https://jaredrackler.wordpress.com/gallery-of-works/

Tibbs Design

Sue Quint writes:
I found my graphic designer/cover artist through my epublisher, and love her covers. She works with stock art photo, so is much more reasonably priced than many other cover designers. She also works freelance, so she’s available for other projects at http://www.tibbsdesign.com/covers-2/.

Jeroen ten Berge

R.E. McDermott writes:
There are a lot of very talented cover artists out there, but when I first started to self publish, I looked around and chose Jeroen ten Berge. He’s definitely not the cheapest, but I don’t think he really wants to be. What he is, is reasonably priced, very approachable, and a consummate professional. Choosing Jeroen was one of my better business decisions and I recommend him without reservation. His website is: http://jeroentenberge.com/.

Robin Ludwig

Vicki writes:
May I recommend my awesome artist – Robin Ludwig. She has a real gift.
http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/
This list only scratches the service of the skilled artists available to help with your covers, I didn't include all the information given--that would have taken way too long!--so do look at the responses for yourself. That link again is: Where do you find cover artists?


Tip For Finding A Cover Artist


Maria Zannini writes:
I’m a professional cover artist and most of my work has come from referrals.

The very best way to find a cover artist is to collect the cover art you find most appealing, then email the author or the publisher and asked who designed that cover.

Take into consideration not only price, but turnaround, and a detailed account of what you’re getting for the fee.

If your questions aren’t answered to your satisfaction in writing, go somewhere else.
If you'd like to recommend a cover artist please post their information below. (If you include a URL use the aristname (dot) website (dot) com formatting otherwise blogger might see it as spam.)

Other resources:

- Kindle Boards yellowpages for authors
- Goodreads: Book cover artists and illustrators

Other articles you might like:

- 10 Tips For Proofreading Your Manuscript
- Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge: Smashing Sub-Genres
- How To Write A Terrific Review

Photo credit: "Spring Nights" by martinak15 under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

10 comments:

  1. I forgot to add John Ward to this list. I was concentrating on artists on PG's list and he completely slipped my mind!

    John is all booked up at the moment, but here's a link to his website: http://jlwardart.com/.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I second Rob Siders's recommendation of Peter Ratcliffe at http://bit.ly/pDnfHo.

    I first used Peter to do the cover for _Heart of Stone_. Elapsed time from first contact to finished cover, including two revisions: 13 days.

    Peter does outstanding covers at a fair price.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Super helpful post.... Thanks, Karen! (And thanks to Passive Guy and all who replied to his original post.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've decided on extended imagery for my first cover when I start to publish. I've been impressed with their stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an extensive list! It's great to see some options for indies looking for a professional cover. I wonder if you had thought of doing a similar post for editors in the future?

    I was lucky that my sister is a graphic artist, and was able to design my cover for me.

    Rinelle Grey

    ReplyDelete
  6. Antares, thanks for the recommendation. 13 days with 2 revisions, wow.

    Joshua, glad you liked it! Yes, I love Passive Guy's posts. So useful.

    RD Meyer, thanks for the recommendation. I love that name, "Extended Imagery."

    Rinelle, yes, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of skilled and affordable artists. And thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another one: DesignCrowd, at http://bookcover.designcrowd.com/.

    The summary:

    "Describe your book cover design concept

    Get 50 to 100+ designs from around the world

    Give feedback & improve your results

    Choose a winner!"


    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks so much for this article; it was very helpful and very well explained!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Karen,
    I would like to request inclusion of our book cover design service in the resources list:
    http://www.expertsubjects.com/covers/

    ReplyDelete

Because of the number of bots leaving spam I had to prevent anonymous posting. My apologies to anyone this inconveniences, I wish I didn't have to do it. I do appreciate each and every comment.