Wow. January flew past me. It’s been busy at the Town’s End, but nothing this squirrel can’t handle.
I’ll hop straight to the question of the month, since it’s a topic I’ve been known to obsess over.
IWSG Question of the Month – If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them?
When I first started my publication journey, I heard the same advice over and over again. Don’t make your own cover. Honestly, I can see the reasoning behind this, as we’re often terrible judges of our own work, especially if we don’t know the waters we’re wading into.
But fame and fortune were never my goal with my writing, so I set out on my own journey to create the covers I wanted. I went through several iterations, moving from this to this, then seeking feedback with this, and eventually settling where I am now. And because I want to stay consistent, I created the covers for the whole series, even though I’m still working on book 2.
Are they exceptional covers? No. Will they drive click-bait traffic? Likely not. Will anyone but me understand them? Ha. Are they exactly what I want? Yep.
Symbolic covers aren’t huge sellers. Trends show people connect more when there’s a character to look at. But it wasn’t what called to me for this series. And since my goal wasn’t sales so much as fulfilling my life long dream of completing this series, I was okay with good looking covers, even if they weren’t purchase enticing.
Not to say I’m against character based covers. In fact, I’m fairly proud of my companion novel cover, which I also did myself:
Are there better artists? Sure. Is she missing fingernails? Definitely. But it’s not half-bad for an self-made.
I also went character based with my Cera Chronicles, doing a photoshoot of a friend to make a series of planned novellas.
But I’ve since encountered a problem–I can’t turn what have into what I want.
See, Cera is bronze, like her father.
And I’ve found I can’t edit skin tone worth a darn.
I’ll probably redo them as digital paintings, when I get back around to that series.
Speaking of digital painting, fellow blogger Olga Godim had asked if I had portraits of my characters after last month’s lineup. Beyond my four Book 2 POVs (plethora of those), I don’t. But I hope to remedy that this year. Of course, I kicked off the effort with my main guy Derek.
I went with semi-realism rather than the stylized cartoons this time. I’m trying to find a happy medium between the two. This is a redo of my 2019 version.
Well, this post has gotten unwieldy, though I’m not surprised. I better wrap it up and send you on your way to other blogs for Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
What are your opinions on self-made covers? Do you have suggestions for improvements? Is there a subject you’re passionate about?
About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.
26 thoughts on “Got You Covered #IWSG”
In my dreams, one of tholse legendary deals, and the publishers would
deliver a perfect cover
In a different context, as you said, balancing what I have with what I want.
Life will be so much easier with a tear round water supply.
I think you did a great job with the cover for the series. It’s very consistent.
I like your symbolic covers! And even more, I like your attitude and your goal. 🙂
The series covers are lovely! I love when the look like they are a set but different enough to hold there own. You did that! And you know what? I have been seen a trend toward symbols on covers lately!
You’re the exception to the rule, Loni. Your covers are fascinating and very eye-catching.
Those somewhat abstract covers really work for me . . . and as a ‘brand’ for that series. I think your readers will love them! I also admire your creativity in building character-based covers, something I also tried to follow with my historical fiction. Yes, I love making stuff. You just might inspire me to draw/paint a few portraits of my characters! Have a great month.
Hey, I think if someone has the skills to create a cover, then why shouldn’t they? Your covers are lovely. I’ve always loved the Thanmir War cover. That tree is gorgeous.
I love your covers! Always liked the one for “This World Bites,” too.
You may have already answered this and I’ve just forgotten, but are you going to include your many wonderful illustrations and portraits in your finished books? It would be a nice addition (especially since, unlike me, you actually know what you’re doing!) 😉
Your covers are great. You do good work. Alas, I don’t have that talent. I have to leave that work with others.
I think your covers are great. I’m not talented enough to try designing one.
Didn’t know people like covers with characters better than symbols. I was actually considering moving away from the central figure thing. Thanks for that!
You know, if you think about the advice “Don’t do your own covers because you can’t self judge well” is kina weird. You and I are both artistic, and I don’t know about you, but I am super critical of any art I make. I’ve been getting into doodling and sketching for fun and I keep telling myself to just have fun, but then I pick up a pencil and I’m like “THIS LINE ISN”T RIGHT AND I WILL NOT MOVE ON UNTIL UNTIL IT IS!”
TL;DR artists are overly critical.
With the covers done, it is a prompt to finish the books. What programs do you use? (We use 3D Studio Max, PhotoShop, and a couple others I can’t remember the names of.)
The big books and Cera Chronicles were done in Paint.NET, using different plugins and tutorials to make the stone, metal, and text effects. The digital painted stuff was done in Clip Studio Paint.
I like your covers, so I think you succeeded quite well. Congratulations.
I like those cover examples you presented. They look about as good as any others I’ve seen. And they say you can’t judge a book by its cover (though I do sometimes).
As always, you demonstrate great creativity.
I love those first covers. They’re gorgeous. I pick novels based on the synopsis anyway. Although, a cover might pull me in first. I think the advice against doing your own is for the non arty types. You actually can do art, so you might as well do your own. (I do know of authors who do their own and are quite successful at it. Do what works for you.)
I’ve always been a fan. You may not see it, but I do. You’ve got skills and give great advice. I remember your feedback from way back when. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
I like your symbolic series covers. And I absolutely love your cover for Smelted.
In general, I enjoy covers based on original drawing or painting much more than photographs.
Thank you for posting Derek’s portrait. Such a charmer.
I really liked the covers you created, Loni! They catch my eye. Me, I’d have to hire help!
You definitely have the skills to create covers. All of yours turned out well. I like the symbol covers. Makes me wonder what the significance of each is in the story.
I think you series covers look great and if that is fantasy then right on target fo the market. All you covers look great enjoyed seeing them. I think you have talent.
I love your covers! And I agree 1/12 of 2023 is already gone. It did go so fast. Happy February.
You should definitely make your own covers. Yours are better than a lot of pro covers!
I don’t know if my opinion counts, but I love the covers for your series. Definitely will make me want to click!
The covers for your series are well done and consistent!
Your comment about the fingernails cracked me up.