Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way. At this moment, I'm showing you the marketing material I put together for a novel.
Today's Blog: I wrote about the basics of designing a cover yesterday. I'll go into more details today.
The way modern book publishers do covers is they use clip art, designs, and pictures to make the covers. They usually don't contract out artwork. Some writers are artists. My daughter did the dragon and fox symbols for my Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox science fiction. She is a writer and a great artist. Most writers are not and many times really cheesy drawings and artwork gets into indi works.
If you want to appear to be a professional, alway use high quality professional artwork in and for the covers of your novels. That usually means clip art and professional pictures. If you want high qulaity illustrations, you will pay for it. Most artist won't do it for free--they have better use for their time.
So, to develop a cover proposal, imagine the major theme or plot of your novel and pick some pictures or clip art from the Internet that match your ideas, then put them together as I described yesterday. You won't be too far off from what your publisher will do, but your publisher will have a professional cover designer take your ideas and provide one of more cover proposals.
That's my point. You want to be ready when your publisher asks, so make your initial cover proposal right away. This way the proposal also can become part of your marketing materials. You can see at http://www.aksinyanovel.com/, the cover proposal is a part of the marketing website.
You can see many of my proposed covers at http://www.ldalford.com/ under the unpublished novels. You can also see the cover proposals I sent to my publishers under the secrets pages for each published novel.
I'll tell you more about covers tomorrow.