Recently I made a bold decision for my next book, Below: I decided to commission a professional cover. I don’t take this lightly, but the book really demands professional artwork, and I’m hoping that between that and some aggressive marketing (not like spam aggressive, because screw that) this book will really go places.
Searching for an artist is a daunting process. I asked for help online, and checked out a few recommended artists’ sites, only to discover that 1) most recommendations are for artists who do stock compositing for YA-type covers (e.g., a person against a backdrop, highly saturated colors) and 2) many of the recommended artists who did have the chops for it were either beyond my price range or way too busy. And I had to go check out each one individually, and there weren’t that many to look at.
Enter DeviantArt. I’ve been familiar with the site for a long time, and someone suggested I should post a job ad there. So the other night, I did just that. I wrote up a post going into great detail what I wanted, what sort of things I wanted to know about the price and process, and what my goals were for a time frame and cost.
The response was really quite amazing. Within eight hours I was inundated with replies, and within a day I had quite a lot to look through. Of course I still had to look at everyone’s portfolios and make judgement calls as to what their area of expertise was and how well they could fit my target style, but that wasn’t so bad—and I kept notes so I can contact some of them for future projects. I saw quite a few artists I thought would be awesome to keep in mind for later.
Armed with all that information, I’ve finally selected my first artist. What put it over the top was that the artist gave me a breakdown of the process, what she expects in payment and when, and that she wants to be very collaborative. Also, she mentioned having a great affinity for material very similar to the book, so I feel she’ll understand a good bit of where I want to go with it. And of course I think she has what it takes to produce something amazing.
I’m doing the typography myself. I made it optional in my job listing, because I feel I can handle it on my own.
When the cover is ready, you’ll see it here. I’ve started the process going, first payment made, and now comes the part where the artist and I work out concept sketches. It’s super exciting.