Cover Art

Created over 3 years ago by Brian Marsden with 6 comments
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Picture Rick Heinz · Author · edited over 3 years ago · 1 like
Yes. I commissioned my good friend to design my cover during the first round of the contest. You can never underestimate the power of a cover. It’s all you really have to go on in a book store anyway.

So... drop some cash on it. Even if it’s one of your friends and you’ve known them forever. Pay them anyway. It’s their time and their art. Either way, invest in getting something.

If you get quill, you’re on your own. If you get the full boat, you’ll get a cover designer who will do something for you. If you want a truly custom cover with artwork and non-stock imagery or further illustrated work: You’ll also need to pay more for whatever illustrations are done outside of Inskhares that their cover designer will incorporate into their design. 

You generally go through a few rounds of cover design where you get to have feedback and try out different design directions and incorporate elements of them. I’m currently in the thick of it.

If you want to see what it looks like, go here and read my updates:
Cxh300 Christopher Huang · Author · added over 3 years ago
@Richard Slay On the project page, click "EDIT" up in the top right of the screen. Then click "SETTINGS": that will drop down a menu that will enable you to change the cover art.
Userphoto8 original Richard Slay · Author · added over 3 years ago
I just entered the Geek & Sundry contest, but I don’t even see a physical mechanism for uploading cover art.
Picture JF Dubeau · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 4 likes
For Quill projects the author is left to his own devices for the cover. I believe that they will let you know politely if your cover can be improved. 

For Inkshares projects they have a budget for illustration and a designer from Girl Friday Production will work on your cover.

I’m fortunate enough that one of my buddy who is a talented professional illustrator is also a beta reader and absolutely LOVED The Life Engineered. I asked for reader comments and he came back with fan comments, if that makes any sense. So when it came time to decide on cover art I knew I had to hire him because there was no doubt that he understood the book. Also, he gave me a very good price. 

I suggest that people who are funding get a ’striking’ cover above all else but allow themselves leeway after funding. Your goal is to attract attention and get people to read your initial pitch (which should lead to the synopsis which should lead to a pre-order). Focus on making sure your cover is legible and stands out, even as a thumbnail.

Check out my buddy’s art. He’s amazing.

Cxh300 Christopher Huang · Author · edited over 3 years ago · 2 likes
My understanding is that yes, you can keep the same cover. I think they give you a budget for the cover art, and you’re free to hire whoever you like; I think that’s what happened with @JF Dubeau’s "The Life Engineered"  ... I don’t know how much leeway you get with that, though. They might have an option where you let them hire an artist, but you still get a say in how the cover design goes. I know @Richard Heinz was talking in an update about choices in direction for his cover art. He would know more.

If you hire an artist, you’d have to pay them for their work upfront. Sure, it may suck if the work weren’t actually used in the end, but I think most artists would be pretty okay with that as long as they’d been properly paid for their work: you’ve bought it, it’s yours now, and you can do what you like with it.

For myself, a friend volunteered to do my cover for me--I learned later that he does this sort of thing professionally. I’ve offered to pay him, but he said he wouldn’t ask money for something he volunteered to do. The plan is to keep his cover for the final project, but I might demand small changes just so I have an excuse to pay him then.
Lxftacps Brian Marsden · Author · added over 3 years ago
I’ve seen a lot people with some pretty professional looking cover art for their funding projects and I was wondering how they are doing it.
Are you hiring artists?  Drawing your own? Etc.
Plus do you intend to keep this art for the final project if it makes it through the pre-order funding round?

For my project The Dead Wizard, I had some art work that I had done for it a while ago but it really wasn’t as good as what someone with more experience could do. I had considered hiring and artist but worried that if I made it to full funded project, I might have to ditch the art for the published version. I didn’t want to get the artist’s hopes up and then have to tell them "Sorry , we using a different cover now." Mostly this was a thought because some publishers have a cover art style, so to speak. And you can tell their imprints by the art style. I didn’t know if Inkshares had something like that going on.

How did you decide whom to hire and what about if it gets through full funding? Can we keep the cover?