The 20% Solution

An author friend of mine who does her own covers just got her print proof back from CreateSpace. She suffered a shock. What, in eBook, looked great, what came in through the mail was a lot different–namely darker.

Yeah. That happens. Remember: there’s a lightbulb behind the eBook cover, the light that makes your screen glow. There’s no lightbulb sandwiched into the dead-tree cover of your trade paperback or hardcover.

Solution: Raise the levels by 0% to 30%, usually, on average, about 15-20%. Lighter covers require less, dark covers require more. Then, before uploading your cover to CreateSpace, take it down to your local professional print shop and spend $15 to see if it’s how you want it.


New Abstract Graphic Art Available.

If interested, simply contact me via my contact form with link reference: /2016/09/new-abstract-graphic-art-available/ This one is set up for an eBook cover, but can be adjusted to suit. Non exclusive single application use: $30.


Another God’s Eye Nebula Image

Available for single use, non-exclusive purchase for $30 an instance. Single use means that you can use it for a single project like a book, CD, plus for any advertising, but not for ancillary products like cups and t-shirts. If you want to use it for ancillary products, too, then the cost is $100 for non-exclusive use. Contact me if interested and reference this post ID.

eyeofgodnebula_9-24-2016_web6x7


A Free Book Cover for Download

GldBallsCrp2-100No longer available. This image has been claimed.

I was doing some example work-ups for a client. This is one of them, and, since it uses a public domain image, I’m offering the eBook cover for free to the first person to request it. If you want text added, it’s $69, but it’s easy for you to do that yourself to save yourself the cost. The downloadable front cover file is 6 1/8″ (the bleed on the image’s right edge) by 9 1/4″ (1/8th” bleed top and bottom.)  UPDATE: This image has a home and is no longer available.

eyebookcover_bydlkeur_publicdomainfree_weboffer

 


Yesterday’s Art

Did this while waiting for a debugging script to do its work. It’s not my usual, but it suited the U.S. news. I named it Urbane, and, for me, it represents the anger I see throughout urban America.  It loses a lot of its clarity in its compressed, reduced size web version, but that can’t be helped due to the limitations for reasonable load times. Even with judicious compression and size reduction, this file is too large.

urbane_9-8-2016web


Custom Covers & the Professional Graphic Artist

GldBallsCrp2-100As  many of you know, along with being a professional graphic artist and designer, I’m also an author. I’m friends with quite a few authors. Many of these authors now self-publish and often ask me what I think of this or another cover.

Ah….um…….!

It’s a real disadvantage that I don’t lie well. It’s a huge disadvantage that I do art for a living. Both problems get me into difficult predicaments when I’m asked for feedback on self-made or custom-made covers, especially the self-made ones.

For some reason, self-publishing authors want to create their own covers. While they might grudgingly let someone else do it, secretly, they want to create the whole package themselves. As an author, I understand that; as a professional graphic artist, I’m trepidatious. Here’s why:

  • Emotionally, you’re too close to the project;
  • You may not have the necessary skills to effectively pull it off.

There is a bigger problem I face as a professional graphic artist doing book covers for self-publishing authors, and small publishers or micro-presses: The client wants it to look unpolished, less than professional. This might sound nuts, but, as one author pointed out, it has to do with stigma–they don’t want to be associated with traditional publishing, so the covers have to look a little less polished. Okay. And we oblige. Usually, that means changing the font, some balance, adjusting the levels, and moving to a different color palette. And that’s about the only difference. In fact, color palette and skilled use of levels are usually the most significant factors that prove the difference between polished and professional-looking versus amateur.

And, no, sorry, I can’t give you any examples, because that would just get a whole bunch of folks angry at me. Instead, you get one of my abstract gradients. 😀

Trees-in-Fog0213201511bweb