Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Cover Art

My friend and cover artist Carl Graves at www.extendedimagery.com has about twenty pre-made ebook covers on his website, that he's selling for the bargain price of $200 each.

Cover art fire sale.

One of the things I love about Carl's work is his attention to things that writers normally don't consider. For example, his designs look good as thumbnails, and in greyscale, which is how some readers first see covers. He also pays close attention the chroma, hue, vectors, and a hole bunch of other stuff I don't understand.

Anyway, he's got some good ones, and when they're gone they're gone, so I'd recommend checking them out.

32 comments:

Dave said...

The example cover does look amazing. It's creepy though. Good points about making it look good as a thumbnail and in grayscale. Hey, that rhymed!

Anonymous said...

It seems that most, if not all, of his work is geared toward the adult reader. Does he ever do YA covers? There's a ton of writers and readers in that market; he'd have no trouble selling covers with teens on them.

Brian Drake said...

Carl did the cover for my book "The Rogue Gentleman" and his work has received very warm comments. I notice the current batch is mostly horror related. Since you call this a "fire sale" does this mean he's no longer going to design covers once the current batch is gone?

Andrew Bowen said...

According to Carl's website, he is no longer taking on new clients. Joe, do you have any recommendations for cover artists with the same (or approximate) caliber of skill?

Joe Konrath said...

Unfortunately, no one has the same caliber of skill as Carl.

Anonymous said...

Are there any other book cover designers that you can recommend?

Merrill Heath said...

Check out www.Damonza.com

I really like their covers. They do all genres and non-fiction as well as fiction. They also offer packages that include a POD cover as well as ebook. They also do formatting for ebooks and POD.

Joshua James said...

I worked with Bosa at www.buddhacandy.com and recommend her highly, she's awesome and reasonable rates, too...

Jude Hardin said...

Joe, Ann, anyone else who cares...

As of today, I'm all-in on self-publishing. 100%.

So I'll be looking for a cover artist.

None of these current selections from Carl is a good fit for my books, and apparently he's not taking new clients, so any recommendations for other artists would be appreciated.

DED said...

Try GoOnWrite.com

Merrill Heath said...

Jude Hardin said: As of today, I'm all-in on self-publishing. 100%.

Curious about what happened to affect this change. My recommendation for cover art is above.

Anonymous said...


What makes a painting good?
It's style and composition.

What makes a painting great?
The painting itself tells a story that emotionally moves the audience.

Keep that in mind when you design your covers.

I don't really see any stories in the generic covers. They're all style and flash, but no structure.

And the ones that kind of tell a story don't make sense.

Just take a look at the sample cover in the blog. There is a picture of a scary man being ripped in half and behind is a smaller picture of a woman in a red hue. Why? Is the scary man really a woman in red tint? Is the woman the real villain who looks innocent and is going to tear apart the scary looking man?

I'm scratching my head trying to find the story these pictures tell...

$200 for generic? You guys must be rich to spend that much.

Jude Hardin said...

My recommendation for cover art is above.

Thanks, Merrill. I bookmarked it. Looks like a good one.

Curious about what happened to affect this change.

It always boils down to $. Anyone who says it doesn't is lying.

Joe Konrath said...

The painting itself tells a story that emotionally moves the audience.

Please show me some James Patterson book covers that emotionally move the audience. He's the #1 bestseller of all time, so he must be emotionally moving millions of people.

As for the sample cover, if you can't figure it out, I don't know what to tell you. To me, it's obvious that a woman is on a very bad man's mind. The look on her face and his expression would make this a thriller novel, dark mystery, or possibly horror. This will be an intense, suspenseful read.

It conveys all of that within seconds, while also looking great as a thumbnail and in grayscale.

If you're scratching your head at that, my guess is you have some agenda. Hence posting anonymous.

But thanks for playing. :)

Wickergirl said...

There are lots of sites offering pre-made covers but one of the best that I've found is at www.goonwrite.com

goonwrite

There is a sale at this link. Covers there are only $35 and your title and name can be inserted. And James, the artist, does a very quick turnaround.

He has another site at www.humblenations.com where you can get a cover specially commissioned from $200. Yes, that's for a unique design to your specifications. I think that's unbelievable value.

humblenations.com

I have no relationship with either site or the artist but did order art for projects I'm currently working on.

Wickergirl

wickergirl

Ann Voss Peterson said...

I DO think emotion plays a huge part in a good cover, and Carl's covers carry a huge emotional punch. He's one of the best I've ever seen at delivering emotion.

"This will be an intense, suspenseful read."

Yeah, emotion, Joe. :)

Ann Voss Peterson said...

I should have said conveying, not delivering.

Mike Fook said...

I love Carl's work. However, a friend turned me onto a guy in the philippines that does exceptional covers for $75. If you want his name, write me through my website (MikeFook.com).

Jude Hardin said...

Just heard that the suit against Harlequin was dismissed.

The number of authors who have been screwed by publishers through the years is truly shameful.

As is the number still being screwed today...

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
Please show me some James Patterson book covers that emotionally move the audience. He's the #1 bestseller of all time, so he must be emotionally moving millions of people."

That doesn't logically follow...
Just because he sells millions doesn't mean he's employing the design technique I mentioned. Maybe he would have sold more had he used it? And I'm not familliar with his covers nor do I care enough to try to analyze them all as he has quite a lot of books. Maybe his prodigious output combined with his talent is the reason for his success?


"Joe Konrath said...
As for the sample cover, if you can't figure it out, I don't know what to tell you. To me, it's obvious that a woman is on a very bad man's mind. The look on her face and his expression would make this a thriller novel, dark mystery, or possibly horror. This will be an intense, suspenseful read."

Yes, I can see how that could be one interpretation of the design.

But why is his picture being torn in half?

Is his picture being torn in half so the audience can look into his mind? That doesn't make sense because it is a picture and you can see the paper tears on both sides of the tear. How has tearing someones picture ever symbolised looking into their minds? Maybe there exists that symbolic use of tearing up someone's picture, but an easier and more widely accepted use of tearing up someone's picture means you hate them or have removed them from your life.

Showing the bad guy being torn in half on the cover is anticlimactic.


"Joe Konrath said...
If you're scratching your head at that, my guess is you have some agenda. Hence posting anonymous."

Yes, my agenda is to not promote myself by being anonymous. Hence I post anonymously. :)


"Joe Konrath said...
But thanks for playing. :) "

Your welcome. :)

Mark Edward Hall said...

A good example of a James Patterson style book cover is my novel Apocalypse Island, which happens to be number 1 free on Amazon at the moment. (Although Blake Crouch is knocking at the door at Number 2) The cover was done by Cyrus Wraith Walker and I believe he purposely mimicked the Patterson style. I didn't argue with his logic and the book has done very well. Not a lot of emotion in the artwork but it does hit you in the face.

Alan Spade said...

@Jude : thanks for the news about Harlequin, even if it's not good.

Joe Konrath said...

Yes, my agenda is to not promote myself by being anonymous.

That makes zero sense.

Patterson, and the vast majority of bestselling authors (in fact, all authors) don't have covers that do any of the things you believe they should do.

A good cover should be artistically pleasing (spacing, color, tone, hue, saturation, vectors, thirds, lighting, etc.), easily readable in grayscale and thumbnail, and convey genre. Tell an emotional story that moves the reader with art? On a postage stamp-sized gray pic on someone's Kindle?

You're reaching. Reaching hard.

BTW, the very fact that the sample cover you dismiss has several interpretations points to it telling a story, and being the kind of art you describe.

But, again, thanks for your perspective. It's refreshing to have people disagree with me in my comments.

kathie said...

Thanks for sharing this opportunity, Joe. @JudeHardin, good luck with your venture...did something happen re: a deal or something? I loved your short story, left a review--will read more!

Merrill Heath said...

Patterson and the vast majority of bestselling authors only need their names and the title of the book on the cover. The image in the background doesn't really matter.

Title - big. Name - bigger. That's the formula for Patterson's covers.

In all reality, I think authors are way more concerned with the look of their covers than most readers are - unless it's a bad Photoshop cut-and-paste that looks very amateurish.

Jude Hardin said...

I loved your short story, left a review--will read more!

Thanks!

Hollis Shiloh said...

Thanks, Wickergirl, for the cover art suggestions, since I'm not at the level of affording Joe's cover artist.

Also enjoyed the discussion about what makes cover art good. It's always interesting to hear different opinions on this subject, since I must admit I don't know a lot about it.

Anonymous said...

You're right that what Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than Paul. Last year I launched a new book with free promo. The first review that came in was a 1-star as follows:

I got a new Kindle so that I can listen to audio books as I can't read a book any more because of neck surgery. I am soo disappointed because all the audio books I got (free) are read by a computer and have no punctuation so that it makes no sense!! I can't understand the story because of this. I am used to audio books that have a person reading it. I would not have bought the Kindle if I had known.
I can't afford to BUY a book every time I want to hear one....

Basically the reviewer didn't like the fact that the kindle book was a kindle book and not an audiobook. The review sat, sales decline. I unpublished the book, republished it under a different name and now it's doing great.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

I am the same Anonymous who posted the above post about T, at The Twilight series, at the time 5:46 PM.

I ask that you please delete that post and this one as well.

I do not like to promote such macabre imagery.

And I do not like to promote young girls wanting to become vampires.

Again, please delete that post.

Thank you. :)

Joe Konrath said...

And I do not like to promote young girls wanting to become vampires.

Too late. Because of your post, six girls in my neighborhood became vampires.

Also, don't take things so seriously. :)

Anonymous said...


Please grant my request. :'(

Anonymous said...


Thanks Joe. :)