Thursday, June 26, 2014

SOON my pretties!

Hey all,

  Just a heads up. Sorry it's been awhile but I got uber busy and then I had some issues in real time to deal with and yada yada yada...There should be an update coming very soon though!

In the meantime, check out my personal blog if you're bored!

Later gators!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Steampunk Covers: What's not to love?

You know, when Lisa, the wonderful owner of The Novel Approach Reviews said, “Hey, cover reviews are cool. Go right ahead,” I got really lucky. Not only does she let me rattle on in my dubious wisdom, but she allows me freedom to write about things outside just the covers that I fall in love with; which, in turn, lets me write about covers that are outside the M/M genre we all know and love.

The reason I do wander off the beaten path on occasion is that I wander the web A LOT and in doing so, I stumble over many beautiful things. Covers, fonts, the relationships between the artists that are hired and the authors that do the hiring, and the end results that can make all of us swoon with desire, smile with glee, or keep us moving right past a masterpiece in the making.

And I love her for that. Hear that, Lisa? I LOVE YOU, SWEETIE!!! (In a purely platonic, friendly way, of course). *cheeky grin*

So yep, yesterday I was looking for books for a Typography class, which I found out that I had taken before and no longer needed the book, but by happy accident I stumbled over these beauties. How the hell I went from a book on Color Management to this I’ll never know, but there you have it. I seem to navigate the web much like I speak, all haphazard and messily but usually finding a hidden gem somewhere. And while these might not necessarily be hidden gems to others to me they are.

So we’re going to discuss, got it? *grins*


To say I am so very, very in love with these covers would be an understatement. Seriously, Romeo has nothin’ on my amour! The illustrations, the fonts, the colors, the whole complete package. *falls over dizzily* Stunning.

Anybody who knows me well knows I’m a huge history buff, and that extends to art, architecture, fashion, etc. Pretty much anything that has any historical interest, I am your Johnny on the Spot! So that right there should let you know that I’m going to love the whole Victorian/steam punk genre.

While I’ve known of the steam punk books out there, I’ve never actually went looking for them or their covers, which is kinda weird seeing that it mixes two of my passions: historical based stories and reading. Anyhow, now I’m kicking myself in the ass ’cause while I don’t know about the stories inside, the covers certainly make me itch to buy, and these covers are seriously the next level. These covers, much like Miss Dante’s and Miss Chase’s covers, are what I’m aspiring to. What all newbie and fledgling cover artists should aspire to – pure undiluted wow factor.

First off lets talk about the choice of colors.

You’ll notice that the orange/blue theme is quite prevelant in both the Dream Eaters covers, and it carries over to the Whitechaple Gods cover even though it’s more subtle. It’s no less dramatic, just more understated. This color combination is a good representation of one set of complimentary tones on the color wheel , so they naturally look superb together. Throw in a little black here, a little white there to add depth and drama, and you’ve got a magical cover. It especially works well on the Dream Eaters books, volumes one and two, though the burning effect in the chest of the man on WG’s cover is really cool and definitly has flair.

As for the fonts, the font on the Dream Eaters covers is just what I’d imagine to fit the time period that they are representing, ie: the industrial period. They’re fancy but not overly so. The font is easy to read also and with fancy fonts that’s hard to do. They tend to get to busy and either thoroughly distract from the cover, or they’re incredibly difficult to read. Plus, the artist threw in the interesting wave effect with the framing around the whole of the wording. But you still see the picture in the background. Nor are you overwhelmed by a hideous font that just does not match. We EBook cover artists (and authors that try to do their own covers) are very susceptible to this, especially when we’re first starting out. So watch that! Personally, I’m guilty of occasionally leaning towards too boring in my font choices, but the fonts you’re seeing here? These are not boring at all! They’re wonderful and exciting and look like their own art. Which Typography actually is.

And this actually brings me to the Whitechapel Gods title font. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the illustration. Oh my God, it’s perfection! And does anyone else think it looks like something Anne Cain would make? It didn’t have an illustrator credited, so anyone, please ask Miss Cain if she did this? ’Cause I’d kinda like to bathe in her gloriousness for a moment, if she did. *laughs*

However, back to the font.

It’s so close. Like REALLY close, but it’s missing something. I actually love a clean font, and this has classic lines, the texture is cool, and the color rich and tasteful, but the picture is so fantastic it makes the poor title look plain. *pouts* I hate that. For me the titles are what take the longest because it has to match, and it’s almost a gut feeling that you get when you see the right one, but sometimes you just get frustrated (after the millionth font) and you just say, “Okay, this is the best I can do.” Dammit. I usually close my file for the night and come back the next day at that point ’cause it’s just a lost cause.

But yeah, this is one of those titles that just needs something. Do I have any clue what? Nope, not a one, though I am thinking a fancy little framey effect to house it in might be nice. Hmmmm….
What do you guys think? Is it boring? Is it just right? Or do you hate it?

 I could probably prattle on for another hour about these covers but I’m already closing in on page three so I’ll just leave you with a few more that I loved.

 Until next time, have a great day and may all the good books be with you! A.J.



All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Check me out on: Facebook or my newly minted art/personal blog: Seeing Static. Say hi if you’re so inclined, I’ll even answer.


This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cover Review: S.E. Jakes art by L.C. Chase


Today I have come to the momentous decision that I am selling my soul. Yup, me… soul free baby, just call ol’ Scratch on up and we’ll hammer out a deal. I’m ready and willing to bargain!

*shakes a hastily scrabbled together list of things willing to trade that includes in no particular order: Left hand, left foot, other hind leg of old cat, old cat herself, boyfriend’s Star Wars collection/X Men collection/Transformers collection….erases old cat*

Why am I willing to sell my used goods like a freakin’ fire sale, you ask? Well, have you seen L.C. Chase’s latest cover? Have you? Seriously, it’s enough to make me cry like Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This cover for Daylight Again, written by SE Jakes, with the cover art by L.C. Chase, is divoon…

The talent, the sheer lickable-tasty talent that she has, it’s damn impressive is what it is. This is why I’m willing to sell something off that I probably don’t use anyhow. Not if you believe what my ex-husband says.
I just want to know, L.C., will you PLEASE give me lessons, or pointers, or post-its? Hell, you can throw Alpha-Bits at me and make me guess what they spell, if you’d tell me your secret. How the heck did you get so good at doing covers?

And that right there, folks, is why I’m here, to praise the undeniable talent of the wonderful L.C. Chase. Not only does this cover make me want to buy the damn book, but it seriously has me contemplating and eyeballing the previous two. Do I have any damn time to read, you ask? With a cover this good, I’m willing to make the time, I’m thinking.

My first question, though, and I honestly hope L.C. will answer this, is how long did it take you to make it? Did you draw the design on his arm yourself? How long did that take?

Now, I’m not sure why the guy’s eye socket is blue, I really need to read the books, but I love it in contrast with the skin tones and the tribal art. This literally looks like something someone would get tattooed on themselves. I’m going to say that she probably drew this herself, but I’m not sure because it’s darn hard to tell sometimes, and Google is so damn exact in its image search. I have the Fu but Google was having none of it!

It looks like the whole cover is drawn but again, it could be a photo (the guy himself) and then painting overlay to give it such a nice even look. It’s something I’ve been playing around with myself, though not to this level of capability.

I love the balance on this cover. The font is bright and eye popping, (and almost the exact shade I had my little ’72 VW Bug painted 6 months ago, so I might be a bit biased), it’s clear, it’s easy to read, and yet it doesn’t detract from the tattoo, which I’m gonna guess is supposed to be the main focus. With the way the cover is set up, it certainly got my focus.

The most beautiful thing about this cover is how it complements the rest of the series.

See? Isn’t that pretty? I thought so too. And it never loses its look from book to book. This is actually harder than you’d think, especially if you have three different pictures all with different lighting. It’s a lot of playing around with shading to get them right, and then you have to mess with the colors to make sure the skin tones stay similar, unless, of course, you’re doing a blue Martian, a green toad guy, and a pink bunny or something like that. Even then, you have to be in the same color spectrum ’cause if you use a blue-green Martian and a yellow-green toad guy, it just clashes. And yep, I can hear you snoring from here, so I’m just gonna end today’s mindless meandering on this final note.

L.C. Chase, art goddess extraordinaire, I will be hunting you down at GRL as well! Hope I have enough cash for bribing lessons out of you!

Well, in the meantime I’ll keep hunting for my coin purse, waiting for my invite to Hogwarts to arrive, and enjoy gazing on the mastery that is L.C. Chase’s art.

Have a good one guys! And may all the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Check me out on: Facebook or my newly minted art/personal blog: Seeing Static. Say hi if you’re so inclined, I’ll even answer.


This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Well, it’s another one of those nights where I’m sitting here flailing for something to review. Honestly, I have the attention span of a very small, one celled organism. Some days it’s all I can do to not have my cranium crammed chock full of pretty book covers I want to talk about, and some days I look at those same covers and feel ambivalent. I’ll blame today’s ambivalence on having to write a report on architecture during the Industrial Era. Which is really interesting (I know I’m odd), but I think my clever repartee account is now overdrawn.

Anyhow, enough grumping over my lack of witty turnings of a phrase, let’s talk about something.

How about how to find inspiration for covers so you don’t end up doing the same damn cover (or variation of it) over and over again? That’ll work. This can be applied liberally to authors as well.

Finding inspiration is a valuable tool that can help you not only be more creative, but it helps you preserve the little hair you may have left after stressing for a week over a cover or a story you just can’t get a handle on. And let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We’ve all felt the mind numbing doldrums overcome us and basically blank our minds out to the point where the blank page just makes us want to cry and curl up in a little ball under our desks. You know, the point where you start to question your ability to ever start, let alone finish, a project. Yeah, that point.

You must remember, however, in those most grey of times that there is light somewhere at the end of the tunnel. Or, if all else fails, you may prefer utilizing the very important rule as set forth by Pablo Picasso: good artists copy, great artists steal! That will work too. *wink*

I personally have not indulged in this rule, as I’m of the mind that my work should be my own and no one else’s, but I would say that I’ve borrowed heavily from genres and looks that I love. After all sometimes you just want a specific look, and there’s a reason for that. Something…dare I say it? Inspired? Yep, you guessed it, that’s why it’s called inspiration. After all, cavemen drew on caves inspired by nature, who are we to be any different?

So, now you’re wondering what I’m running off at the mouth about yet again, aren’t you? Well, I’m going to show you what I mean with a book cover I did inspired by one of the many genres I adore.

I have a thing for pulp fiction type of covers. Yes, I’m admitting it. No, I’m not speaking of John Travolta and Samuel L. layin’ the smack down on a motherfucker for stealin’ their soul in a case. I’m talking about those overly saturated, overly dramatized, once upon a time, buy it for a dime covers that people hid under their mattresses. You know, like this one:


It looks like it came right off the pages of early Playboy. Hell, maybe it did, I have no clue. All I know is that this hipster doesn’t look anything like today’s hipster! For one thing, it’s lacking the black eyeglasses and the skinny jeans. But look at the lines of it, the bold saturated colors, the ARTWORK! Can’t you just imagine that shock of something being brought down across your own heated skin, the tantalizingly heated swell of pain that dulls back to a sweet throb? (Maybe I should write some bad porn, huh?) Oh, but uh… now that I look at it, I think it’s a broom handle and that’s a little too much reality with my morning toast, thanks. Plus…ouch.

However, my point still stands: it’s a damn hot cover.

But why the hell did they use a broom handle?

Sorry, I digress.

Now, while I may not be going for this kind of look directly, ’cause let’s face it, Amazon would have a conniption, I do draw on the idea of it. It makes me think of forbidden passion, heated, faceless exchanges, and the need to find redemption with another person in not so conventional ways. And all those ideas help me create something smoky, something a bit naughty, something shocking but still titillating, something intriguing, something like this:


This particular cover is actually a murder mystery. Sue Brown, the author, wanted something like a dime store mystery book kind of look. Something kinda well worn but hard boiled, and this is what I made for her—that she loved—by drawing from the pulp fiction styles of yesteryear. If it’s at the original size you can see the roughness of texture on the whole picture a lot better, but even at this size it still has the essential feel I was going after and that Sue was looking for.

Unfortunately, Amazon did have a conniption about this one and she wasn’t allowed to use it, but it serves its purpose here well enough.

And this is why sometimes inspiring items are needed. Not only to stay true to the essence of what you are creating but just to have something to give you that nudge in the right direction.

The best part is that inspiration can come from anywhere; music, movies, TV, other books, anywhere. One suggestion that I wholeheartedly stand behind if you’re looking for something to get the giddy up in your hop along going is to make inspirational folders. Folders stuffed to the brim with anything and everything that you think might get your mind out of the wallowing mire of blahness that can be the true bane of any writers/artists existence.

I know that there are authors that use pics of models and locations for their inspiration and so should an artist, but why stop there? I have over 75 folders chock full of everything under the sun. You name it and I probably have a version of it somewhere. I squirrel away everything from movie posters to public domain pictures that I love the feel or color or just simply the idea of.

Different eras, different textures, different fonts, different everything gets thrown into my files if they catch my eye and they make me stop and contemplate them.

If you’re completely lost as to what sorts of things I’m speaking about here just a few examples of what I have in my treasure trove of inspiration.






See? I told you, everything.

So today’s suggestion is easy, start an inspiration collection. Start a bunch! They’re fun, they’re simple, and they really help when you’re just at a total complete loss and that blank white page is staring you in the face. This works for authors as well, ’cause we all know that damn blinky cursor is NOT going away!

That’s all for me this week. I hope you all have a wonderful day and may all the good books be with you!


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All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn. And help this artist grow and learn as well!


This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)

Reese Dante...Love

Reese Dante, I want in your creative, talented head RIGHT NOW!!! Just so I can soak up the awesome that is your artistic bent. *sighs* This cover makes me so sad. SO very, very sad because I know that I will never be this good. Oh sure, I might be good at another type of look, but I cannot…can…NOT…do soft. I’ve tried. I suck. So, I will go lay prone on the altar of sacrificial meat to the God’s for even a smidgen of the gift that Reese Dante has.

In case you didn’t get that, Reese Dante did this cover. Insert cheeky grin here.

In case you’re wondering what I mean when I say soft, I’m speaking of the whole kind of emotional appeal: tender, warm, mysterious, beautiful, touchable, approachable, etc. etc. It’s so touchably soft that damn creepy little Snuggle bear is contemplating hari kari right this moment over this cover.

Now, before you think I’m just full of fangirl butt kissing and major cow dung, let me get something straight. First of all, I don’t do that. It bites me in the proverbial hoo-ha sometimes because I’m so very very bad at posterior puckering, but I’m a horrible liar. I’m one of those people that just can’t do it well. Needless to say that on Christmas day around my house, it’s not any surprise what I’m getting anyone.

That being said, let me tell you what I love about this cover.

First of all, Reese is really good at making a cover background that has pretty much nothing in it, look interesting. It’s all about texture for this lady, and she wields that weapon well!

If you’re thinking that doing a plain (well mostly, in the case) background is easy, guess again, my friends. It’s really not. Not only do you have to make the very pretty man pop, but it can’t be boring either. I’m unsure how Reese accomplishes her backgrounds, but for me, if I do a plain background, there are so many textures on it to make it look interesting it’s not even funny. Think of it like nude makeup, you pile a bunch on just to look like you have none on, and that takes time and effort, doesn’t it? Same premise for the plain background.

What I love in particular about this one is the hint of the font that looks almost like its part of the foggy background right behind the title. Yeah…didn’t notice that, did you? Neither did I till I sat my butt down and really looked. I’m so tickled to see this because I used to do it in my fandom manipping days (shhhhhhh…no one knows about that!), and I really wasn’t sure how that would look on a more professional cover. This is subtlety at its best. Just the barest hint, the smallest touch and it adds just the right dash of mystery.
And then there’s the man that I’m guessing, and I could be totally wrong, but I’m guessing that his beard was an addition, along with the tattoo? I tried to find the base photo via Google but my Fu was apparently out to lunch. Not that it matters that much, except if it was an addition it looks great! Making something out of nothing and then actually making it look good? Thumbs up…way up! And the tattoo? I can do tattoos decently, depending on the color of the tattoo, but I’m always impressed when someone else does them because it takes patience and talent. You are either hand drawing it yourself and then painting it on, or you’re finding it elsewhere and then cutting it, pasting it, matching all the shadows and skin tones correctly, and still keeping the integrity of the tattoo at the same time. It takes talent. The tattoo on our man here is not only beautiful but still manages to keep with the colors of the cover.

It’s the blending of the colors that Reese so effortlessly does that impresses the hell out of me! And the textures, because that right there is a talent! Reese has a look that everyone recognizes, and this is a prime example of that look. Understated but stunning. You SEE the model. You SEE the title. It’s not busy! It’s not overdone! It looks like one complete piece of work, from the fonts to the tats. My color pallet is very different from Reese’s, as I tend to lean more towards jewel tones, but I would sell my 3 legged cats other back leg to be able to do more pastel work and actually like what I did. (I wouldn’t really sell her leg, I kinda like that leg! :D)

So yeah, I loved this cover. What more can I say without having to get a drool cup out? Not a hell of a lot except that I hope Reese doesn’t mind when I pick her brain at GRL about her technique, ‘cause believe me it is so ON!

Anyhow, that is my take this week, and just FYI my posts will be bi-weekly for awhile as school and work is making it tough for me to finish everything, but I wanted to keep up with this so there you have it.

It’s my birthday today, so I’m gonna go do absolutely nothing but wish all of you a great day, and may all the good books be with you!

Be sure and check out the rest of Reese’s beautiful covers at her website!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Check me and my work out on Facebook

This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)

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Cover Review: When All the World Sleeps

This week’s cover of the week is…bum bum bum…When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock artwork by Amber Shah.

I see a lot of covers every week, as we all do. On Facebook, on Google, on my Photoshop, but they don’t all stand out. In fact, a lot of them are just typical. I kinda love that this one is not “typical”.

The first thing you see when you look at this cover, in big or small size, is the title. Bold, bright, easy to read, but oddly enough, even though it’s very prominent, the title doesn’t overpower the picture. I like the texture too. It looks like rough concrete, or even an earthen texture, which goes well with the ground it’s superimposed over and also goes well with the almost pre-tornado like feel of the cover.

I have no clue what the story is about. I know, I know, I really need to read some of the books I review covers for. It’s probably a good thing I don’t review the books, isn’t it?

As I said, I have no clue what the story is about, but it reminds me of either a house that is waiting for a tornado to come or a fire to consume it; the calm before the storm so to speak. I love the juxtaposition of the gold/red sky with the blue/green grass. Is some tragedy coming to claim this house? Are the men waiting on the porch because whatever is coming is going to consume them, so why run? Or is it the cold, empty world around them that is coming to overtake their warm hearth? Not…a…clue.

But I want to find out. If it’s a fire, I really want to run over there with my hands waving and warn those guys, “Get off the damn porch, you’re gonna be barbeque.” Then again, on closer inspection, the house has an empty feel to it, so perhaps I’m seeing a vision of the past. A secret love affair, perhaps, that has long since died but has never been forgotten?

All I know for sure is that based on this cover, this does not look like a story that will let me avoid the Kleenex box. Just sayin’. Dramatic, possibly romantic, yes, but there’s some pain in there. I can just feel it emanating off the cover as I write.

I would hazard a guess that the men were put onto the house and the house put onto the background. I can’t be sure, but if that’s the case, it’s well done. The shading/highlights look great, the colors all complement one another, and the gradients on both the ground and the background are compelling and shocking in the stark contrast.

I love that the house seems small in a vast space, without it being small on the cover at all. This is one of the things that vexes me sometimes when I do cover. (Yes, I said vex, and no I am not your grandmother writing this article. I promise!) I have the toughest time with placement: how big is too big, and how small is too small. That sounds like a joke I once heard, but um…we’ll keep it PC, shall we? But really, it’s tough sometimes to judge. That, and just figuring out the very placement of the pictures can be equally as hard. It’s just like drawing a picture: you get an idea into your head, you get all excited go to execute, and bam… a big ol’ overlapping mess. You try to make it smaller and you lose the guys on the porch. You try to make it bigger and you lose the leaf bare trees and part of the sky. But this cover manages all that and more. I’m really quite taken.

Anyhow, guys and gals, I’m lacking in the chatter this week for some reason, so instead of bending your ears and eyeballs, I’ll just leave you with a sampling of the beautiful covers by Amber Shah from her website Book Beautiful . I can only aspire to make book covers as stunning as these someday.

The last one is actually a pre-made but still…pretty. *sighs wistfully*

That’s me, signing off.

Have a great day and may all the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.
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This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)

Book Covers: All Shapes...All Sizes

Book covers come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and textures. Book covers are a window into the author’s soul, a little glimpse of what is to come, and the artist who creates the cover is just the mouthpiece of the author.

Book covers can be paintings, drawings, photographs, collage, and most often these days, photo manipulated, or Photoshopped, for the laymen. It pretty much depends on what the author wants done, what their personal vision is. More often than not, the authors don’t tend to have a set vision for the cover because their mindset is more about the broad strokes of a full story. A cover artist certainly takes the entire story into consideration but tries to narrow that focus to one specific idea. Let me tell you, it’s really hard sometimes to do that. Trying to distill 300 plus pages of detail into one cover without overcrowding or muddying up the works takes talent and skill.

I feel for the authors out there, though. Thinking and eventually accomplishing your goal of writing a book, then actually moving on to publishing a book is a feat in itself, but then…gah, the cover? What sort of cover do you want? If you’re a lucky author going with a publishing company, generally you get assigned an artist. Tthey show you three or so mockups, you choose and bam, you can relax your brain. Freelance authors aren’t so lucky. Their choices are: ask a family member or friend (if they’re lucky enough), doing it themselves, or going out into the world and finding an artist.

If you choose to do the latter, that’s when the real fun begins. It’s a lot like finding a new dentist, painful in every way. First you go to Google, then you type in book cover artist, and then you get buried beneath the virtual onslaught of artists there are. As I said before all shapes and all sizes.

One such type is Collage:


It’s the same exact setup as your everyday craft store collage. Find pics that fit and slap them together. Well, you’d think that, wouldn’t you? But any person that does collage knows that you can’t do that at all. You have to have an eye for color, for shape, and mainly for form, otherwise you just get a huge ol’ mess that turns people off rather than encouraging them to buy. Both of these covers for Paul Alan Fahey were done by J.M.Snyder and are great examples of the collage feel. Both covers are clean, concise, and a unique melding of pictures. Especially Bomber’s Moon, which definitely has more of a cut out quality to it but manages to be interesting without looking like a 7th grader cut out a photo that they liked and stuck it on a cover. Even the lighting that hits each picture in a different way still manages to look cool and to convey a really different, distinctive feel. It somehow, to me anyways, makes it almost feel three dimensional, especially with the black sky.

3D Modeling is another route an author can go, and this cover done by Zathyn Priest is a perfect example of 3-dimensional artwork. Lots of color and motion fill the entire cover. You can practically feel the warmth that must be coming off the dragon’s skin. Did I mention I’m a huge fan of the dragon? 3D really gives the impression that both the man and beast are going to wander off the cover and nip you right in the tender regions, doesn’t it? I’m pretty much digging it myself. Especially since I can’t even begin to tell you how much time goes into creating 3D art. I took a class in it when I was getting my A.A., and it was not what I would call even in the realm of easy. Hell, I had a bitch of a time getting a ball to look right, let alone a dragon and a man. I honestly can’t recall if I’ve seen any other artists out there doing 3D work on book covers, but if this is the sort of art that gets you excited, we know of at least one artist now, don’t we?


Then of course there is photography. The saying that a picture can speak a thousand words is too true, even if it’s only the opening gambit on a 1000 page treatise about the mating cycle of a cricket. You can learn so much from one photograph if you just take the time to look. Especially if they are used such as they have been on this cover. Look at the subject closely: doesn’t his face speak to you of a life fully lived? He wears his time on this earth in the creases on his cheeks and the pinched line of his mouth. Don’t his eyes convey a certain curiosity mixed with inherent knowledge that brings about a clarity of view from living that life? (And yep I just used up all my 20 dollar words for the day) Doesn’t that make you curious also?


Painting is another way to go. Whether it’s a full line sketch, airbrushed into full blooming beauty such as The Wolf and His Diva written by Chris T. Kat artwork by Paul Richmond, or a combination of photography plus airbrushing, such as the cover done by Rayven for Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel. Painted covers can be stunning and beautiful and can make you just want to jump into that cover and travel to that world. They can make you yearn to meet the man looking so sweetly at the squirrel, or the fiery redhead half covered in dragon scales. The beauty of an artist that can paint/sketch/or combine either element with photography? They can pretty much make anything your little heart could desire.


The question is, though, as an author, how do you choose? And there’s no easy answer for that. You have to go with what your gut tells you, but always, always remember that what you love may not be what the masses will respond to. Your covers are the first introduction to your buying public, and it is absolutely imperative that you take them into consideration. If you have a cover that no one cares for, who’s going to buy the book? So be wary, gentle authors, and don’t skimp on quality. The only one that you will hurt in the end is yourself.

Have a great day and may the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

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This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)