Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Cover Story - David Drazul

I started a discussion on the topic of book covers on this blog eight years ago. I was disappointed that many indie authors were put in the position to sell their stories with sub-par book covers. Budgets tend to be tight unless the author's household income makes covering living expenses a breeze. Finding an affordable cover of decent quality can be tough. I asked several indie authors what route they took to get their covers and presented their stories here. I dug up affordable book cover designers and shared them with readers of this blog.

Today, I'm sharing my story. I'll try to keep it short.

When I finally gave up on traditional publishing as an avenue for my first novel, I searched for affordable graphic designers but couldn't find any. I was looking at $2,000—a non-starter. The pre-made covers available at the time didn't convey anything relatable to the story. I posted to an RPG messageboard I was active on at the time and found a guy who was eager to jumpstart his illustrator career. I got what I wanted for one-tenth the price.

original book cover for Armistice Day
I loved it when it was made, but I'll admit that, a decade later, it looks dated. Image design and editing software has improved so much. Textures and lighting are more realistic. You name it: It's improved.

As I've struggled to finish writing the sequel, I hoped that redoing the cover for Armistice Day might light a fire under my ass. Spoiler alert: It hasn't. Even beyond the pandemic, the rioting, and toxic politics, I've had my share of personal tragedy which has weighed heavily upon me. I decided to find a new cover anyway.

I've seen a ton of wonderful art on Pinterest and DeviantArt. I didn't want to commission a new piece, but rather wanted to pay someone for their existing art. Again, working with a somewhat limited budget. I approached one artist but was ignored. I looked through Shutterstock to see if I could find some images to purchase for a graphic designer to synthesize into something greater than the sum of its parts. No dice there. But one day while perusing through the pre-designed images over at goonwrite.com, I found it.

new book cover for Armistice Day
The original artwork is by Tithi Luadthong and was posted to Shutterstock. And the full image has been utilized as a wraparound design on the print version. It was great working with James again (He did the cover for my short story collection). I've got that old feeling of cover love again! I mean, what's not to love about a fully licensed piece of fabulous original artwork as the cover for my book?


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