Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Educating Book Cover Artists

As an indie author, I want my covers to match the story I wrote.  Thankfully, as an Indie, I get to choose that artist.  The downside is that I have to do the homework or find someone in-the-know, to hire a competent artist to bring my vision to life.  

Keep in mind as you hire an artist, that the relationship should remain on a professional level.  This means your exchanges should focus on the art.

I've been blessed to work with three different book cover artists so far.

I've found that successful cover artists for me are

1) able to take constructive criticism (such as, 'That's good, but I need the light to be brighter,' etc.).
2) send regular updates via email. (so you can add or subtract details as needed)
3) speak and write English because it is the only language I speak.  So, this last one depends on your language skills.
4) finish the cover in a reasonable amount of time. Two or three weeks - if it's a complicated cover, a month at the most.

As an indie author, concept sketches and updates are critical because you are your own business.
If you've explained/drawn a quick sketch, it should suffice to get the free-lance artist started.

In the end, you should be happy with the result.

REMEMBER You need to be professional as well.  Don't keep the artist tied up while you try to decide if you want the character to have eyes or not - that is also unprofessional.

Professionals always do the job they are hired to do whether they agree with it or not.  Yes, you should allow your artist to make suggestions, but, the boss (that's you) always has the last word.

Remember, the artist should not dictate terms once they verbally (or contractually) accept a commission.  It is unethical.  Suggestions are welcome, but the employer is under no obligation to take them.  In the real world, when you begin to tell your employer what you will or won't do, it will get you fired.  As an Indie author, you do not need an artist that is a Prima Donna.

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