Saturday, March 10, 2018

What Am I Reading?

Nuthin'. Well, not nuthin', but nuthin' that bears blogging about. A bit of this, and a bit of that. I'm much more of a grazer these days because I'm sinking myself into writing at a much more professional level of output, and I'm also killing it in cover art. I've made 120 covers this year alone (including all the Brazen Premade covers I've done).

So I thought I'd focus on one of the other reasons I'm not reading a lot. I've been watching and learning.

One of my cover art clients added me to a group on Facebook, so I could see first hand the comments that were being made on the cover mockup I'd made him. It's a group that's run by Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula. Through that group, I noticed there was an actual course being run for cover art.

Now, I've been working as a professional in the book cover art scene since 2009. I've made well in excess of 1,000 covers. Possibly even getting closer to 2,000, though I have no time to go back and count them all. Some of the covers have ended up in Amazon's Top 100. Some have made it onto the USA Today and even New York Times bestseller lists.

But all that notwithstanding, I figured the only time we stop learning is when we die. (I assume we stop learning then). And the course is being run by a bloke who's made covers for George R.R. Martin and Stephen King, though trad publishers. So I figured it couldn't hurt to get a gander at the whole beast.

I've done some of the preliminary stages, and so far it's all only been theory. I've looked at the subject matter that's coming up and I see it's covering things I already know how to do. But...what if the way I'm doing it is taking twice as long as some other way? That's the kind of question that occurs to me daily.

After all, I'm almost entirely self-taught when it comes to design. I have an eye for balance, and I've worked with Photoshop and Illustrator since the very early 1990s, and that's all good grounding. But I've developed techniques of my own for tricky things such as cutting a human out of a background, and keeping all their flying hair intact. I've never been taught the fine parts of that, but through logic and reasoning have developed my own little refinements. I have no doubt many others have found similar ways to do it, or have even developed exactly the same technique.

So, as I move through the course, I hope to find either validation for the ways I do things...or improvements on those same things.

And maybe, just maybe, I can get even faster at churning out these babies!


  1. I like doing covers myself and like you have done all my covers but to create thousands, that's amazing. What I've found that's really fun is creating Twitter ad images to push my smut. With an ad you don't have to push a specific story theme, just let your mind be free.

    1. One thing I know for certain...I am my own worst client. For whatever reason I find it easier to make covers for others than to make my own. Except with short smut under my new pen name. Those covers I'm not struggling with!

  2. Its always good to know where to find original cover art. :)


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