People always say not to judge a book by its cover, but I’m sure if we’re all honest, we’ve bought books just because of the shiny artwork wrapped around the words inside. One of the most recent times I’ve fallen for this is Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan. The cover is a knight riding on the back of a t-rex or something. It’s pretty metal. I saw it and I immediately thought I had to read that. If you’re an aspiring author or just someone curious about the craft, I imagine you’ve asked yourself: how do novels get the awesome artwork that entices and enthralls the prospective reader into picking up a book? I’m sure there are a lot of ways people can go about it, but today I’d like to share the process I’ve gone through and show off the amazing artwork bringing Lion-Blade Saga: The Waking to life. The first step is to have an idea of what you want on the cover of your novel. I’m a bit partial to choosing a specific scene from the book and then trying to figure out how to visual portray that scene in the limited scope of a book cover. One thing to keep in mind is that since book covers are in portrait orientation, up and down, narrow pictures, you can’t have a massive sweeping landscape for a cover. It just won’t fit. After I remember that, I’ll make some sketches and try to draw out what I think the cover design could look like. Here is an example of one of the sketches I made when I was thinking up a cover idea for The Waking.
As you can undoubtedly see, I am not gifted at visual art. It’s time to find a professional to bring your vision to life. I started out by surfing through Pinterest and Instagram to find some artwork that I liked the style of. After searching through those sites, I was eventually able to find out who some of the artists were that created those pieces. After you find out who made the pieces you like, you can usually find their contact information on their website or through sites like Patreon or ArtStation. I found my cover artist Laslo Ludrovan through ArtStation. I sent him an email telling him how much I enjoyed his artwork and asked if he’d be interested in working with me. I told him about the novels and some of the ideas I had. He thought the story sounded cool and that the ideas were in his wheelhouse so we started working on the designs together. I like to share as much as I can with Laslo during the process so I’ll give him my sketches, share chapters from the book and give him detailed descriptions of what I’m thinking about for the art along with references images pulled from Google searches and other sources. After looking over my sketches, concepts, and chapters, Laslo makes a handful of sketches for me and then I take a look at them and decide which one I like best. Here are the sketches Laslo made for The Waking.
After selecting my favorite, he’ll start refining and adding details to the artwork step-by-step until we finally end up with an amazing final product.
After the artwork is finished, the team at GenZ adds the title and other text to the cover and we have a finished product ready to go on the shelves.
I hope you enjoyed this view inside the process and Laslo’s incredible artwork. If you’re interested in his work, you can find out more about him here: https://www.artstation.com/laslolf The Lion-Blade Saga: The Waking is slated to be released in Fall 2020. Keep your eyes here and on my Twitter page @omnustechni for more updates coming soon!