Monday, April 25, 2011

How a Novel Cover is Made

Ever wonder what goes into creating a novel cover?

I do all the time! Here is a sneak peek. It shows a speed version of Graphic Design Artist Lauren Panepito making the cover for author Gail Carriger BLAMELESS.

It is super interesting and really worth your two minutes. Notice how she has to remove the Eiffle Tower at the end when they realized it didn't exist at the time of the book!




The question I have is ... with the growth of e readers (which do not sport covers)...is this a disappearing art? What are your thoughts on that?

21 comments:

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Actually, my Kindle shows covers all the time. I don't think covers are a dying art. It would be sad if they were! I've designed covers for a few authors for ebooks only. Also, since book trailers are big these days, I think authors still want a cover for marketing purposes - or at least art having to do with the book.

I've watched that you tube video before. Really fun to see! If only it really went that fast. Hehe. :)

Martin Willoughby said...

Ebooks do have covers, it's just that you don't automaticaaly see them.

Covers are not going to die out even with the advent of electronic publishing because we all need to see a picture. The cover attracts us in a way a description or a title won't.

By the way, I loved Blameless. It was a very funny book.

Tess said...

Michelle and Martin: they do? I don't own a kindle or nook but my friends do and every time I go to look at them there is just the title page and novel...no cover. Well, maybe when you purchase the book there is but not when you regularly access it?? I even have a hard time finding the copyright page on those e readers and am one who likes to see who the publisher is, date etc..

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Tess, on mine I have to push the back page button a few times. Most ebooks automatically start at the cover page, not the copyright page or cover. Some ebooks don't have a cover at all. It depends on the publisher. Still, you've gotta have a cover for Goodreads. ;)

Solvang Sherrie said...

The iBookstore shows the covers on your bookshelf so I still get to admire their beauty :) And thank goodness because I'm also a graphic designer. I would hate to think it's becoming a lost art!!

Solvang Sherrie said...

BTW -- very cool video!!

Kathryn said...

Fascinating! I've wondered the same thing myself. Do you happen to know if those images Ms. Panepito used were from her own personal collection? It looked at some points like she was doing an image search, and I was wondering what kind of copyright issues there'd be in case she needed a picture she found on, say, Google Images.

To answer your question, I don't think it's a disappearing art at all. We know we shouldn't judge books by their covers, but it definitely has some sway over whether or not I check it out or not (and to think it was just a metaphor!). And some eReaders seem to allow for cover art. I definitely don't want to see it disappear!

Thanks for the video, Tess! :)

Angie said...

That was interesting. I think e-books need covers. I'm contemplating putting out a novella e-book, and I want it to have a cover.

Tess said...

Michelle: thanks for the info..I'll try that. Still, will it be a changed medium even if it doesn't disappear?

Sherrie: you are? what do you enjoy doing most? now I'm curious!

Kathryn: some may be stock photos...most are paid a fee for using. But, for us poor authors, you can find free images all over the internet...just google "public domain" first. My favorite collections of free/pub domain images can be found at morguefile.com

Angie: would you create the cover yourself or solicit help? this is such an interesting (and cool) concept to me.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

What do you mean by changed medium?

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

The cover is what first attracts me to a book. So it would be sad if the art disappeared on them. I don't have an ereader though. I'll have to ask my daughter about the books she's downloaded on her iphone.

Mary Aalgaard said...

That was super cool! And, fast. It is an artform of its own. I heard a speaker who was a cover designer. I found her talk fascinating. She showed us all the rejects before she got it "just right." Many of the rejects were good, but her eye for detail made the final one - "just right." No, it won't die. We won't let it.

Tess said...

Michelle: I mean that it won't be as prominent in a books distribution. I am under the belief that they likely paid my cover illustrator more than they paid me for the novel. That's fine...he's established, super talented and the cover is so important for that shelf grab. I'm a newbie who needs a lot of work. But...if ebooks become the primary distribution source..will they pay for an illustrator? Or will covers become be more streamlined and simple (in process..not look)? I know real books will always be available but will publishers keep investing the kind of money they do if more and more books are e? I'd love your thoughts on this.

Sharon: will you ask her and report back? I'm curious if an average teen getting a book on her iphone ever sees the cover???

Mary: I would love seeing a presentation like that! And, I recall saying albums and then cd's would never go away but now all my music is individual tracks on napster and I never ever pay attention to the album covers (that used to be a major selling point in the old record stores). The music is still there but the way we get it and the importance of that cover art has definitely changed.

Kathryn said...

Gotcha. Good to know. Thanks, Tess! :)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Oh, I hope it's not a disappearing art. I love covers. The industry will have to figure out a way to Save the Cover! :) Even if it's just a thumbnail on a website, it's good to have a "visual" to introduce the reader to the book.

Amy

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Tess, I think many publishers probably put less money into ebook-only books for the reasons you state. My publisher puts a lot of money into their print copy books. Now they're doing an ebook only line, but I don't know what those covers will be like yet. I can't imagine they'd be any less quality than their print books. Still, they might spend less, I don't know.

Jen Daiker said...

I sure hope it's not a dying art. I adore cover art. It's the one thing I look to the most when trying to find someone new! I can't wait to get my very own book cover with my name.... Ooo I'm giddy just thinking about it!

Martin Willoughby said...

On the kindle, you can select a button to see the cover (if the book has one). Normally it goes straight to the first page of text though.

By the way, did you know that you can get the kindle software for pc and it's free?

MG Higgins said...

What an incredibly cool video! Thank you for sharing it. I'm a huge e-book fan and still attracted by beautiful and intriguing covers. I don't think the art form will disappear.

Heidi Willis said...

Holy cow that's some mad editing skills!!! I need to watch that in slow motion! I used to follow the blog of a cover designer who blogged about the process of design. It was fascinating.

I love the Eiffel tower thing.I recently read a defense by a cover artist who put the wrong era helicopter on a war book. She knew it was historically wrong, but she liked the picture. She got a bit lambasted for it by one person.

Tess said...

AL: yes..save them!!

Jen: I can't wait to see your cover either!!

Martin: I did know about that pc software..at least, I think. It's just a download feature, right?

MG: I hope it doesn't. What ereader is your preference?

Heidi: I know! cool, huh? Now this helicopter story is an interesting one...too bad someone got all worked up over it but I know that happens and it is one of my worries writing historical fiction...I checked all my facts but who knows?