I believe it was Louis L’Amour who said that he began to understand the process of writing after fifty years or so. He might as well just have been talking about book cover design. Me, I started out as a graphic designer prior to becoming a software engineer, so I had experience in art and some education, too. Didn’t matter. Designing a book cover is a whole different animal.
I started doing the covers for my Calasade series about four years ago. It’s something I worked at. And worked at. And worked at. Until yesterday I was displeased with what I’d done. Oh, there were some hits/good things along the way, but they were surrounded by endless miles of bad road. Some of the bad was a bump in the roads; others fricking craters. Part of the problem was I couldn’t hire models or photographers to shoot my covers. No guarantee I’d be able to hire the same models for those characters that reappear or that the same models would maintain the same physical characteristics. What occurs within a certain timeline in Calasade could take me five to ten years to write.
Lots of stories to tell, see.
Neither did I want to go with an illustration or painting. I wanted the people to look real, in 3D, and possess artistic qualities, but with that route…There I ran the risk of swerving into the uncanny valley—that nefarious region concerning CGI characters some find revolting. In addition to this issue was melding backgrounds with the CGI model, a font that would contribute to the overall artistic value rather than simply inform readers of the title and author. Color schemes. Emotional charge. A thousand different things go into a cover. Great covers do these things well. Average covers only some of them and the truly awful shit (like what you see at http://www.lousybookcovers.com) don’t do any of them.
When I first started, I was solidly in the louse book cover area. Months later I graduated to average where I remained stuck for three solid years. Right up until this weekend. Finally, through the help of other professional cover artists, I was able to pull it all together and create a cover that is on par with those covers of traditionally published books from major publishing houses.
Thus, I present to you the new cover style that Calasade books will feature. Here below are the covers for Indomita (upcoming release, preview available at Amazon) and Sanguinem Isle, also available at Amazon. As of this post, Amazon hasn’t yet updated the covers on their website, but it shouldn’t take them long.