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Thread: Alright! A cover question never asked before


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Permlink Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2017 11:57 AM Last Post By: Joseph M Erhardt
Dave Casey

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Registered: 03/03/16
Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 4:34 AM
 
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I am in the process of buying a piece of art from a deviantart artist for use on one of my novels. It is a great picture of a young lady, on a full-moon night, standing sideways and looking to the left. I'm thinking it will look better if she is looking to the right, so I may flip the image. The question is, is there any kind of standard or theoretical basis to have a character on the cover looking one way over the other?
Joseph M Erhardt

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Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 5:17 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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It may have to do with the left-right read order of the book's language, which is better. What I'd do is a quick sampling of similar books' covers, especially those of the traditional publishers.

BTW, did you buy the cover art as a work for hire, or are you going to have to keep track of copies sold? WFH is better, even if you pay more up front.
Cynthia E. Hurst

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Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 7:25 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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When I laid out newspaper pages, we were always told to have a person in a photograph looking toward the center of the paper, not off the page, if at all possible. However on a book cover, as on the front page of a newspaper, that doesn't really apply. Your question intrigued me, so I looked through my bookshelves and found it was roughly 50:50. So I'd go with whichever way you feel looks best.
Ward Rogers

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Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 7:37 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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If your figure is at an edge, it should be looking across the cover, not peering over the edge. Before you flip the image, check your contract. You may have purchased rights to use the image, but not the right to make modifications. Even to artists willing to sell their souls for a few pennies, artistic integrity can be an important issue.
Dave Casey

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Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 8:52 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
It may have to do with the left-right read order of the book's language, which is better. What I'd do is a quick sampling of similar books' covers, especially those of the traditional publishers.

BTW, did you buy the cover art as a work for hire, or are you going to have to keep track of copies sold? WFH is better, even if you pay more up front.


I went to Deviantart.com and looked in the forums for artists looking to sell their works as covers for ebooks and books and found a great work of art from one of the artists there. I emailed him about the piece, told him what I wanted to use it for and we came to an agreement on price. Because I am on a strict budget, I couldn't pay his initial offer, so my counter was to pay him $XX and pay him the rest when the book sells it's first 100 copies. That's the only number I need to keep track of and will gladly pay him the extra amount when the time comes. I'll probably just pay him when I get some spare cash, long before I reach the 100 mark, just because he's been a pleasure to work with. As for the Work For Hire thing, this was a piece that he already had listed in his gallery and I could see its potential as a cover for my novel I hope to have published within the next couple of weeks.
Dave Casey

Posts: 391
Registered: 03/03/16
Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 9:02 AM   in response to: Ward Rogers in response to: Ward Rogers
 
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Ward Rogers wrote:
If your figure is at an edge, it should be looking across the cover, not peering over the edge. Before you flip the image, check your contract. You may have purchased rights to use the image, but not the right to make modifications. Even to artists willing to sell their souls for a few pennies, artistic integrity can be an important issue.

Actually, it's a bigger piece of art than I will need for the cover. I can put the figure anywhere on the cover. I will most likely flip it, facing the figure to the right, thus putting her back towards the spine of the book.

As for the right to make modifications, in my initial email to the artist, I told him that I would only do a small bit of airbrush to remove a tattoo from the figure's arm, because it wouldn't fit with the theme of the book. I also said I would be cropping it to fit the cover. The artist is down with those two ideas and is happy to see his work going out into the world. Not to mention, he will be getting Cover Illustration by: on the back cover and the same thing with his name and website address on one of the inside pages.
T M Small

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Registered: 10/12/15
Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 10:09 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
 
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My preference is looking to the right unless looking at someone else on the cover. I have also flipped images for this very purpose.

In that sense, it probably has been asked before.
Joseph M Erhardt

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Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Alright! A cover question never asked before
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 11:57 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
 
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For an existing work, I guess that's good. Keep all agreement correspondence in one convenient place. Print out any relevant e-mails.

Best of luck.
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