I love art. The above painting is one I purchased from one of my favorite artists that I knew while in college, Stephen Wysocki. (He is a working artist you can connect with on FB.)
I’m showing it to you because I have books to sell as a self publisher and now I need to choose art for the cover.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
I learned to do covers using stock photos and graphics but frankly I think the covers using this method look cheap. If you do this method and it works for you, then good for you, but it doesn’t work for me, call me an elitist.
(I’m proud of my art degree, I worked hard to get one and I know how to create, critique, curate, conserve, and show.)
Cover art is a strange thing. I admit I’ve rejected a book based on bad art and read mediocre books because of the great covers. I’m not going to name names because I live in this business, and taste is subjective. Just because I’m an educated artist doesn’t mean everyone enjoys what I do.
So that brings me to my dilemma.
I can’t just put my favorite artists on my covers.
I need to shop for a good deal because I’m a struggling writer. I also need it to stand out from the other books that are competing for the readers attention. Then I need to make sure the cover matches the content. Something that looks YA can’t turn out to be Erotica, people will get pissed.
That brings me to a second point.
In perusing artists on Amazon I open the e-book, look for the artist name, and then I can’t help but read the blurbs, the reviews, and of course a few pages of the novel.
I’ve come to several conclusion but one stands out. There are a lot of authors who could use some lessons in writing. And I’m not just talking from a taste perspective.
Weak openings. No description. No setting. Bad typesetting. Absence of editing. Nothing to keep me engaged to the next page.
I know it’s hard to grab someone in one chapter but when you’re self published you HAVE to learn to do this. A good writer does this from page one and all the way through to the end.
Best selling authors often don’t do anything other than have a good editor, good premise, a good cover, and technically good writing skills.
What’s contained within those pages can be filled with plot holes, over used tropes, incomplete threads, and madness, but the general reading population will eat it up like popcorn if they can understand the structure.
Art was easier for me, writing has been a challenge.
Back to the cover art search.