Since I’m busy being super excited about the Cover Art I just revealed for Steel Praetorian, I thought I’d talk about how I picked my cover artist/illustrators. If you haven’t seen the cover art, check here or on Facebook to see it! This is a great article for those NaNoWriMo writers who are on track to finish and publish their novel!
So you want to write a novel, you say. You’ve put in the time and effort. You’ve written the actual book. You’ve even contacted an editor and had some beta readers beat out as many errors as possible with a stick. A large stick.
But no one will buy your book. Oh, you forgot to put up some cover art? Thought your own Photoshop skills are good enough to make a cover? Probably not (Note, if you are a graphic designer or otherwise actually skilled artist, please ignore me here. Skilled being the key word, and used by others to refer to you, not in your own opinion.)
So how do you pick a cover artist? First, look at other novels you like – preferably those by self-published authors or independent writers. You’ll have to do some research online. I was fortunate enough to stumble across Lindsay Buroker’s wonderful page and books earlier in my writing. If you see a cover you really like, email the author to ask who did it. Most authors are exceptionally willing to share I’ve found. After all it means more people supporting the people who support writers – a win-win for everyone.
What else do you need? You need a vision of what you want. Imagery, text style, artwork, all of it impact what people think of your book. If you have a series, think about how you can build upon the first cover in subsequent novels. For me, I really enjoyed the mash of ancient and ‘steampunk-modern’ – one of my inspirations was Behemoth from the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. By finding an artist(s) with a similar style, you can ask them to create something new, but with similar elements or styles. Explore their website/gallery and look for other books or projects they’ve already created. And once you start getting the first drafts, be willing to ask for changes. It is your cover after all.
Hope that helped, and that your NaNoWriMo typing goes well! Remember, Iron Tribune is on sale all November long! Get it now while it’s only $3.99! All my books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or through Apple via Smashwords, and remember to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates throughout NaNoWriMo2016!