View Full Version : ROAR! Cover artists!

04-13-2009, 02:04 PM
I didn't know where else to put this. I've been searching for HOURS tryingt o find a list of which cover artists work for which comapnies and the like. I'm searching because if at all possible I'd like to eventually do my own (for romance - mostly paranormal).

That being said, I doubt it'll happen anytime soon but I'd love to find who did Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox, as that is almost dead on to what mine look like.

If any of you have comments, I'd love to hear them.

04-13-2009, 03:38 PM
Did you check her website? She has a blog and you could leave a comment asking her who did the cover art for that one.

04-13-2009, 04:43 PM
I believe illustrators work as freelances, so the odds of finding a list of who works where might be tough. You can try the publisher's websites and see if they have any links about illustrators they commonly work with though. I know HarperCollins Children's has a list, but that might be just for their picture book illustrators.

Be aware that a cover is usually created by committee, and while some authors are involved from the start and can give input, others never even see their cover until it's approved. (It varies with the publishing house, and probably editor) The odds of you being able to do your own cover are pretty slim, though if you happen to be a professional level illustrator, you can always ask.

But if you see covers you just love, you can make note of them to tell/show your future editor what you like, as this will guide them in choosing someone for your cover.

04-13-2009, 04:51 PM
Just be advised that most publishers want to work with their own illistrators- just saying-

04-13-2009, 05:41 PM
If you sell to a publisher--your example cover is from Signet, one of the big ones--then you won't have any control over the cover. That's up to the marketing department.

The artists work from a synopsis given to them by the book's editor. They rarely, if ever, even read the book. In some cases they are told NOT to read the book or talk to the writer.

Don't let yourself get hung up on the cover or you will continue to be frustrated, just work at your writing. The marketing people have been at this a long time, and know what works to sell the words.

I was horrified at my first cover. I hated it. Nothing on it had anything to do with the book.

But the book sold, and it's been in print almost constantly for nearly 20 years with various (terrible) covers.

My latest cover, while better, also has NOTHING to do with what's inside the book. It's a concept thing. I don't like it nearly as much as the one I suggested to my editor, but at this point I'm just glad they even bought the book in the first place!

Cautionary tale time: a new writer had all but sold her book to the publisher. A good offer had been made, the contract was on the table, they wanted to buy her words. She was IN!

But--she said she wouldn't sign unless her artist brother did the cover.

The publisher decided she wasn't professional enough to deal with, said thanks but no thanks, and wished her luck elsewhere. There were plenty of other writers not making demands. So far as I know she's still trying to sell her book and brother in the same package. That was some 15 years ago. It's a long time to languish in obscurity on what shouldn't be an issue.

If you absolutely insist on a certain cover, then your only venue as a new unknown writer will be small presses and e-books, which means danged few people will read your words. You have to decide what's more important, getting your words in front a lots of eager readers or a bit of art? People won't remember the art, they will remember the words.

It is a fact of life in publishing that writers have no control over their covers. It's like the guy who says "I'll call you" and then never does. You shrug it off and focus on writing.

Your publisher won't duplicate the Signet cover and will try to avoid doing anything close to it. Copyright infringement.

The Signet cover was likely Photoshopped together from different stock images by a house artist whose work was so important that his or her name wasn't even mentioned inside the book. (Or the artist asked to NOT be credited!)

She was probably told "We need a 19th Century Gothic setting, a guy with a ripped torso, and a full moon, and prelim sketches by Friday."

Artist: What color is the guy's hair? What's the book about?

Marketing: Who cares. Just do it.

Artist: I've got some images I can Photoshop together.

Marketing: Fine, e-mail them over.

The above would be a phone conversation. Chances are good the artist lives across the country and has never visited the house.

Sites that cover this topic:


http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/book_jackets/because_much_more_than_a_books_content_is_prone_to _unoriginality_episode_5_legs_feet_shoes_21044.asp

http://worldoflongmire.com/features/romance_novels/ (beverage alert!)

Urban fantasy cover parade. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxSwr130ptw&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Escifiguy%2Eca%2F2008%2F10% 2Furban%2Dfantasy%2Dparanormal%2Dbook%2Dcover%2Eht ml&feature=player_embedded) The video.

The Blog. (http://www.scifiguy.ca/2008/10/urban-fantasy-paranormal-book-cover.html)

Eric San Juan
04-13-2009, 05:47 PM
I'm searching because if at all possible I'd like to eventually do my own (for romance - mostly paranormal).
Chances are very, very slim that you'll have much say in the cover. Probably none at all.

Honestly, you're far better off not even thinking about the issue and concentrating on your writing. Not only is thinking about cover artists getting way ahead of yourself when you haven't even finished a first draft (according to your sig), it's just going to set you up for frustration when you learn that the vast majority authors -- especially new authors -- have little to no say in their cover artist or design.

Also take note that if when approaching agents you say, "I already have a cover designed for it! Look!" some are likely to dismiss you on the basis of that alone, because you'll look like the sort of eager amateur who hasn't done her homework.

Best of luck to you, and keep writing! It looks like you're making great progress on your manuscripts. Ensure that remains your focus. Good luck!

04-13-2009, 11:10 PM
Well thanks for the advice, guys! Not what I wanted to hear but all knowledge is worth having. I'll leave it in their hands.

05-01-2009, 09:45 PM
I just finished a cover for a sci-fi novel. The assignment was handed to me by a small-time publisher, and I was told NOT to talk to the writer. (which was kind of sad, cause I always like the idea of really having contact with the people that create the ideas that I'm painting).

Like the other posters said, usually through a publisher, there's going to be an intermediary which lessens the communication between you and the artist.

With that said, I've seen sites where people can hire in their own artists or create their own covers and then have the publisher itself simply use that. I think those are more like self-publishing presses, but it's an idea.

05-01-2009, 11:37 PM
With that said, I've seen sites where people can hire in their own artists or create their own covers and then have the publisher itself simply use that. I think those are more like self-publishing presses, but it's an idea.

Most of these are POD presses. They encourage you to design your own cover, or submit to one of their stock image covers (and you designing it saves them the work).