Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Hello fans and followers of Brook Cottage Books. I'm Tamian Wood, Book Cover Artist and Graphic Designer with Beyond Design International.
As I’m sure will be obvious, I’m not a writer/author, so apologies ahead of time for any grammatical errors, typos, rambling, run on sentences, incorrect punctuation usage, etc.. I like to think of them as part of my charm. But, I’ll do my best not to sound like a bore or a bumbling idiot.
I design book covers and other related marketing materials, for independent authors and publishers around the world, in a variety of genres.
(Wait – UG, that was boring)
Here… have a look at this:
I had an astrologist client tell me, based on my charts and such, that my purpose (dharma?) in life is to make others shine. Wow! What a lovely purpose! I love that I get to create beautiful - and sometimes purposefully NOT beautiful - things that make others shine.
It is my joy - and my dharma - to bring to life the words of others and make their work sparkle! But I also do all kinds of other print work including bookmarks, promotional materials, trade show banners (for book signings… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) and even billboards (for when my clients get really famous!)
(There. That sounded much better!)
I am considered a photographic illustrator, so as you can see, I use stock photography to blend and compile images into a “gotta have that book” cover! Can you tell how many images are used in each one of those covers?
Most of the authors I work with are self-published, indie authors or small press publishers. I have some great clients who are doing phenomenal work!
How does the process work, you ask?
I start with a cover design questionnaire. It helps the author to think about things like, genre, target audience, and mood. We figure out the author’s likes and dislikes and their vision for the cover. We explore the key points of the story, descriptions of characters, titles, sub titles, and the technical stuff, like trim size, page count, etc.
Then I come up with 2-3 design concepts using all the information at hand, and some research into what’s out on the market in that genre, and selling well. When the winning design is chosen, I create a complimentary back cover.
I put it all together using Adobe Creative Suite products, Photoshop and InDesign, and within a couple weeks (sometimes less, depending on my workload), Bob’s your Uncle! We have a knock ‘em dead cover!
Where does my inspiration come from? I’m so glad you asked!
At first, as I mentioned, I start with a synopsis or description from the author (and all the other answers on the questionnaire), but if that’s not getting things flowing, I’ll read selected sections to get further info. In the case of “The Inheritance” by Christopher Stires, I had to read nearly every last word to finally get to a description of the “monster”
And sometimes, it just comes to me. I know that sounds all woowoo, but really, it happens! With “Beyond The Tempest Gate” by Jeff Suwak, the author wasn’t sure what he wanted. He gave a description of a wall of lightening, storm clouds, etc. I later clarified that the ship should have a single mast. That was it.
When I finally read the first page of the “See Inside” section on Amazon, (months later) I nearly fell out of my chair. See for yourself (but don’t’ forget to come back here):BUY THE BOOK
A similar thing happened with a redesign for “Love Abideth Still”, by Scott Rezer. I read a couple pages from the “See Inside” section while I was waiting for the cover design questionnaire, and this cover came together like it was divinely inspired.
If you are interested in this Civil War love story you can find it here: BUY THE BOOK
Pardon the shameless plugs for my authors. I’m so proud of them!
New and noteworthy: I’m working on setting up a new section on my web site for Pre-made covers. (Truth be told, I’ve been working on that for a while… so don’t hold your breath. Oh, the covers are for sale, I’m just not sure when the sale page will actually make it to my web site. I’m not a web designer either so, these things take an exorbitant amount of time to accomplish.) Here… have a look at these Pre-Made covers:
If any of them strike your fancy, or fit your story to a T, feel free to contact me.
If you need a custom design, that’s my specialty. Let’s chat. I offer multi-cover discounts for sequels, referral discounts, and, as a thank you to Brook Cottage Books for featuring my guest post, (and to you, fair reader, for making it this far…) if you mention this post, I’ll arrange a discount for you too.
Now for the cliché, but true, bits…
Your cover is your most important marketing tool. It either sells, or repels. Having a drop dead gorgeous cover is priceless.
Is your masterpiece worth it?
How can I help?
Beyond Design International
Video Trailer: http://bit.ly/1k4NppT