"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: If I have to read anything other than the title to know what genre, mood, and age group your book is targeting, it's a bad cover.

Friday, May 20, 2016

If I have to read anything other than the title to know what genre, mood, and age group your book is targeting, it's a bad cover.

Trends ... Some trends drive me absolutely batty. If I have to read anything other than the title to know what genre, mood, and age group your book is targeting, it's a bad cover.

Original art-Digital painting.
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?
I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
4RV Publishing
“Digital books, contrary to some past predictions, have not replaced print books and are not likely to do so in the foreseeable future,” said Beat Barblan, Director of Identifier Services at Bowker. “Instead, they have become another choice for the reader who wants and expects to be able to access content in a variety of ways with no loss in quality.”

Barblan noted that “From the reader’s perspective, all content, regardless of whether it is in print or electronic format, should be of equally high quality. My colleagues and I believe this shows that professional eBook conversion has never been more important, and the publishers agree. In their responses, they have indicated less concern for the cost of conversion over the last year and more concern for quality.”

“Self-publishing continues to mature,” says Gross. “At the same time, both authors who self-publish and firms of all sizes who produce digital content recognize the need for maintaining high quality throughout the publishing process, and thus are choosing to seek out experienced vendors so they don’t have to go it alone.” (Bowker.com/news/2015/New/Publishing-Industry-Trends)

Original art-Digital painting. 
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?

I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
KnightLandBooks
Do you know what that tells me? That your book cover, whether it's hardcover, paperback, or ebook, is still your number one, most important marketing tool. So please explain to me why so many book covers, regardless of whether they're traditionally or indie published, insist on slapping almost any 'captivating image', even if it does NOT CORRELATE with the main character as described in the book, the general plot or even the genre?

I get that paying less than $50 in stock imagery (if that), and less than $250 to pay a designer to put is all together (if they even bother hiring someone) is an attractive way to cut expenses compared to paying a cover artist for original artwork that ensures your book will not only attract readers who read your genre, and is more likely to convey the content readers will find within, but will also help it to stand out in hopes of capturing the shopper's eye among the sea of books it's competing with.

Again, I get it ...

Custom, multi-medium design. 
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?

I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
(See, I don't HATE purely 'design' covers,
but they must represent the story.)
But there's a trend I find myself ranting about more and more. Because 'designers' (and don't get me wrong, here, I trained in design, too) are taking the roles formerly given to 'cover artists' (people who draw or paint an original artwork to create the 'face' of a book) the majority of the time for the last decade or so, and cover artists have been compelled to learn at least the basics of design just to keep their brushed in the book business or go back to the gallery, boardwalk, or classroom (teaching art), most covers today, even if beautiful images, are manipulated stock, at best. 

A vast majority of designers are simply not trained as fine artists. And even though a lot of people don't consider a commercial work as 'fine art', the same training and skill-sets needed for a fine artwork are needed for a compelling, original art book cover. Actually, a book cover takes, even more, skills than a framed artwork does. More has to be considered (where's the designer most likely to put the title and byline, am I using the right colors and medium and style to reach the market the book is targeting, and so much more than a gallery artist has to consider).

Original art-Digital painting. 
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?

I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
Worlds of  Ross
Although I know there are other factors, too (like changes in technology, giving people more entertainment options than reading, etc.), I blame part of the decline in book-buying on covers becoming more and more generic, cookie-cutter, and less interesting than when I first fell in love with books. As a matter of fact, while I'm writing this post, I'm having a chat with one of my tweeps (twitter peeps); and when I praised her for publishing her latest book with hand-painted cover art rather than following the 'beautiful-yet-vague stock image' trend, she said, "I wanted it to stand out and I love art, I doodle a little so I'd rather pay an actual artist! Ya know?" (Chantay @urmylovely1)

And I do know. I'm hearing it more these days, too, from authors in almost every genre. When I gave her the, "I blame it on ..." line above, her response was, "You're completely right, I love seeing a cover that will attract a reader and draw them in. We have to bring book covers back to the hands of the artist. I didn't want models or a stock image, I wanted an original work of art."

How do I know it's not just wishful thinking? Because my income has been steadily on the rise for the last few years. No. I'm not getting rich (I am an artist, after all, isn't there a rule against that until I'm dead, at least? lol), but the bills are getting paid, the kid is getting clothed and fed, and people who hire me all want the same thing ... Original book cover art that's unique to their stories and characters while still catering to the marketing and genre PTB (Powers That Be -- Angel fans know all about the PTB).

Picture
Original art-Digital painting. 
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?

I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
4RV Publishing
Do you remember the first time you realized you love to read? Do you remember the book's cover art? I do. It was my first "grown-up" book set. My mom had given me the entire 50's/60's, painted cover artworks, Nancy Drew series, in hardback. The artwork was laminated directly onto the covers itself. No jackets. The backings were all a muted yellow. I was about seven or eight. And the books were old and used (I think she bought the entire set at a flea market or garage sale). I'd just sit on the floor beside my very own bookshelf (my little brother wasn't allowed to put his crummy stuff on it) and gaze at one of the covers, trying to see every detail of the scene I already knew most of the words too inside its pages. I KNEW Nancy. I wanted to grow up to be Nancy. I even tried to get my hair to flip up on the end the way hers did. lol. 

How many times has a book's cover art engrained itself so well into your head that you can still recall how you loved that book, over 30 years later? I can name maybe a dozen, maybe. And I love books and cover art so much I went to art school with the specific goal in mind to become a book cover artist and designer. I didn't just fall into it because I needed a job and the only skills I have are art. I chose this. And I can only think of maybe a dozen covers and their books off the top of my head. Oh, like most people, if you showed me a book cover, I'd likely know what book it belongs to if it was a bestseller. But just pluck them out of my head? Not as many as I'd like. To me, that's a sad, sad thing.

Original art-Digital painting. 
Can you guess the genre by the cover
before reading the blurb?
Can you tell who the target reader/market is?

I hope so. If not, tell me what I did wrong.
4RV Publishing
But I've gone astray, as most rants have a habit of doing, so back to the main topic ... Vague, generic covers ...

Yes ... You're likely to pay more than $250 for one of my covers (or any original artwork, for that matter). But do some research. According to the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, the standard rate for a book cover (original art or design) across the industry will range from $250-$2500 for one book cover. 

Spend some real time deciding what you want for your book. Do some research about your genre and how you'd like your book to both represent the genre and stand above the rest.

Don't just accept a design because 'it will attract readers, even if it isn't accurate to the book' or accept an 'over-used stock image' because it's cheap. If you value your book enough to invest in it, others will too.

Maybe this link will help get you started: AuthorEarnings.com/report/may-2015








Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher.


No comments:

:a   :b   :c   :d   :e   :f   :g   :h   :i   :j   :k   :l   :m   :n   :o   :p   :q   :r   :s   :t Add smileys to Blogger +

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and adding your appreciated comments.