So, I thought you might find this interesting.
When I'm studying covers to:
1. See what's selling
2. Get ideas for new ways to do covers
I look at a lot of different things. One of m
y favorites is to look at other countries covers. Have you seen the British Harry Potter covers? I LOVE THEM! More than the American on
American on the left British on the left. Both fit the book - but the American version is more childish - still very well drawn and a beautiful piece of art. The British is classier and more adult. Maybe it's because as an adult it appeals to me more.
That's just one of the many I look at. One series I've seen, American, British, French, Japanese, and German covers for. I find what appeals to me visually then attempt to recreate it in something that is completely my design.
I always remember that the big houses conduct focus groups on books and covers. They know what will sell books. As an eBook cover artist - I see way too many covers that look like everything but the kitchen sink on the cover, and I've done a few that way but I've learned that sometimes Less is More!
It's kind of like what type of image is erotic? Is it a woman or mans bare butt on the cover? Or the hint that if a piece of cloth, or the cover was just a tad longer you'd see more? I've always found that little curve of the pelvic bone in a cut man's abdomen to be incredibly erotic especially when it is seen over the waistband of a pair of unbuttoned jeans. Women? Oh that's easy - the curve of the spine - either at the waist or the base of the next. I've found that I use faces less and less on a cover. The models never look like the character - so why try and force it. Stock images can be a PITA to work with in finding the right model.
Covers change as time marches on. The full oil painted covers of the past have given way to the photo manipulation of today - I don't have a clue what the next trend in covers will be. I do know that I will spend hours in a bookstore looking at covers. Subscribe to magazines like Romantic Times to see what's going on with Romance Covers, magazines that teach me new tricks with Photoshop, and Lynda.com, KelbyTraining and other online video tutorial sites to keep growing and learning. I even have artist that I study their covers and try to figure out how they did them.
So if you are assigned me as a cover artist, or hire me as one - know I'll do my very best at that moment on your cover. Not saying I won't be better 1, 2, 3, or 5 years later cause I plan to be, but you will get the best I can do at that time.