Genesis of a cover – Ghosts Of War Issue #1

idea

Every book has a cover. That’s easy, right? But your book, the one you get mad at writing, should have a great cover! But even the greatest artist of all time cannot understand what the Hell you want if you’re not able to deliver the right message. It’s a different way to sell your work, isn’t it? What you have to do is sell the basic idea of your book to another person, the artist, to help him/her to maximize his/her efforts. Is it easy? It should be, because you’re a goddamn author / publisher and that’s a part of your work.

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Author/Publisher – You Need A Good Cover

There’s an old say: “You can’t judge a book by the cover”, it’s a good thing to remember as a metaphore and for sure it’s a good advice when it comes to read a book. There’s a little problem to consider too, in terms of marketing this say is wrong.

As an author/publisher you need the best cover available for your works. The very first thing potential customers will see about your ebooks is the cover and first impression matters a lot for the most part of readers when they browse on Amazon, looking for new stuff to load on their Kindle devices.

So what you have to do is to get a good cover, that have to be considered when you set up your budget unless you’re an artist on your own. What do you need in a good cover? Of course your name (or pseudonym), the title of your book, the name of your publisher (*); this is the minimum set of information that have to be displayed on it. If your book is a part of a series you’ve to add that piece of information too (i.e. Part two of the Steel saga).

Stone-Cold-Company

[a good cover sample, artist Luca Morandi]

Then you have to consider two different formats; the first is 300×300 for the preview, the second is 1200×1200 for the real cover. A good image in the latter format usually looks good in the first too but you have to check this out before using it for your book.  Now it’s time to consider background and lettering colors. The information on your cover have to be readable, so avoid using over-complicated fonts and focus on the composition: the information blocks (the aforementioned name-title-publisher) have to be spaced well enough to leave room for the image (or the images) to be seen.

For the background and lettering colors, it’s a matter of common sense and tradition. The two colors do not have to clash, nor they can be too much alike. For the tradition aspect you have to think about the books you have in your house; a lot of thriller/noir books got a black background, many science fiction books got a blue background, quite a number of romance books got a white or pink background and so on. Of course the lettering colour to use is to be readable of that background.

How about to rent an artist for your book cover? It could be a good investment for your project and a nice way to find a distinctive trademark for your works. Try at Deviant Art, there you’ll find thousands of good pros from a lot of countries, many of them well experienced in the field. If you got many contacts in the Net you can try to hold a little competition about that, using the money from your budget to set a good prize. Please remember that any e-book of yours will be on the market forever if you don’t recall it. So every cover will speak for your name as an author/publisher.

(*) A publisher? But I’m an author/publisher on my own! That’s true but it’s a matter of public image. If you stick on your cover the name of a firm, then you’re giving to the potential customers something that resemble the usual stuff he/she’s buying.

Twenty Years After – la cover

La cosa bella di progetti come questo è vedere come il concetto che hai in testa può essere concretizzato da altre persone. Questo può assumere aspetti spettacolari nel caso delle copertine o dell’artwork ed è successo anche per questo saggio.

Mitvisier mi ha proposto questa immagine, ditemi voi se a questo punto non sono obbligato moralmente a fare un lavoro migliore.

20Yafter

Con un incoraggiamento del genere, devo solo rimettermi sotto. 🙂

Una bella scoperta

Leggevo oggi questo post su Strategie Evolutive e la copertina del libro recensito (The First Quarry di Max Allan Collins) mi ha colpito moltissimo, cosa che non mi accade di frequente. Sarà l’età, sarà la mia formazione o il mio vecchio amore per le immagini disegnate / dipinte ma la scelta della Hard Case (la casa editrice) di utilizzare quel tipo di cover mi ha fatto chiudere una serie di circuiti.

Sto parlando di questa immagine:

Pochi minuti per accedere al sito della Hard Case e bearmi di una serie di ottime copertine, realizzare che alcune potevano essere ricondotte alla stessa mano e trovare finalmente il nome dell’artista: Ken Laager.

Per me era un perfetto sconosciuto, confesso la mia ignoranza in merito. Si tratta di un illustratore che è passato con il tempo alla pittura, a quanto pare con un buon successo. Il sito vale la pena visitarlo con calma, anche per rendersi conto che un artista che a suo dire si è specializzato in soggetti tipo western ha ampie possibilità di esprimersi anche in altri settori.

Qui un altro esempio di cover realizzato per la Hard Case:

Qui uno dei suoi soggetti western: