And it was great for me because several months ago when I asked if anyone needed some help with covers for their books to let me know, he was the first to ask.
I know I've talked about covers some in the past, and I don't really want to go all goofy talking about them again. The goal of any cover is to make someone pick up your book (or click on it) after they get that first glance.
That's it. Sometimes an ass ugly cover is perfect if it makes you pick it up and look at the book. I've been known to take pictures of books when I fall in love with the cover (I could look them up online, but it's easier for me to just snap a pic with my phone - then I don't have to do anything else later to try to remember).
A quick yes and I was off to brainstorm. I initially thought I would do the cover using a photo of an existing house - so I ran out one morning just as the sun was coming up and took a few photos and fired this off to Andrew, asking what he thought of something like this:
|Clicking makes it bigger|
Now, I was surprised at how easily the concept seemed to come. In fact, at the time I did that I was thinking this whole cover art thing was such a breeze that I might be able to crank out 3 or 4 a day. I told him I would find a house that fit the descriptions inside the book a bit more closely and we'd go from there.
And that's where the problems started, I had some difficulty finding the right house. I was unhappy with them, all of them. I had issues with finding the right place to stand to take the photos, with the lighting, and once, when I was more than a mile from my car, walking through neighborhoods and looking for the perfect photo I got caught in an unexpected rainstorm that came down with more ferocity than any I'd seen in recent memory. It was a very long walk back to my car after that.
This went on for some time, I spent hours and hours looking for just that right house and I couldn't do it. I had nothing. So I made a reluctant decision.
I would paint it.
I thought of that from the very beginning, but rejected the idea right off the bat as too time consuming. But at this point I had already spent many hours with nothing to show for it. Andrew had mentioned before that the house was based off the real home that belonged to his Grandparents when he was young so I asked him if he had a photo. He sent me the Google street view and it was there. That was the house.
So, using that picture as a reference, I was able to paint (digitally, btw) what eventually became the final cover.
There is still a thousand little tales here, decisions made, or rejected, about fonts, sizes, clouds, trees, colors. Each one was agonized over, all in the hope that somewhere, somebody will see the above, shrunk down to the size of a postage stamp, and click on it.