Cover for Eyes

Paige asked about the cover for Eyes in a comment, and I’m moving it into its own post because it seems roomier to talk about it here. This is what she asked:

“Who is the cover artist for your book Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold? I really like the cover because it’s so different from what I usually find on the romance covers nowadays. I bought Eyes in ebook but I’m gonna order the paperback because I think it will look great on my bookself.”

Thanks, Paige, because I am the artist, so to speak. The cover is a combination of images I used a Photoshop light program to put together. Before you buy the paperback for the cover, though, be sure to look at the larger version of both the paperback and ebook images because they aren’t quite the same. The version that appears here in the sidebar of this blog is the ebook version.

The reason for the difference is that when I first put the book out, I published it only as an ebook. Since it’s long, I knew it would have to cost quite a lot as a trade paperback (I’d already done Rottweiler Rescue by then and had a sense of how you have to price POD books), and I really didn’t think enough people would be willing to pay for a trade paperback romance by an unknown author for it to be worthwhile to put out a paperback. When quite a few people told me they didn’t have ereaders and would like to be able to buy a paperback, I changed my mind and published the paperback some months after the ebook.

That delay is what accounts for the differences in the covers. The cover consists of three images: the sunset, the man leaning against the shed, and the woman. The sunset is an image purchased from istock. The man against the shed is an istock image, but the original was a photo of the man with a modern woman in jeans and an ugly fence in the background. Also, while the figures were shadowed, they weren’t as much silhouettes as they are now. For the woman, I took an image of a woman with more appropriate 1880’s dress and hairstyle from a book I have on clothing from that era, cut it out, colored it black, scanned it and finagled her into the picture.

The differences between the 2 covers come because when I did the one only for the ebook, I only needed a smaller image with lesser resolution, so that’s what I did. When I decided to do the paperback, I needed a much bigger image, much higher resolution. I repurchased the images in larger sizes, but the sunset didn’t come as large as I needed, so I had to use the image twice, seamed together and even at that, the resolution was less, which didn’t make it unusable since it’s a sunset, but it did make the colors more dilute and a different part of the sunset picture is behind the man and woman.

I had to start from scratch again to clean up the picture of the man against the shed the way I wanted it, to take out the woman, except for her hand on his shoulder, and the fence. I’m glad to hear some people really like the cover because for me there’s something about that guy leaning against the shed….

I no longer had my first cutout of the woman, so I had to make a new one and decided that Anne should be thinner, which I’m not sure was smart, but I did it at the time. And of course since a book cover goes around the spine to the back, I had to do some adjustments on the line of the ground to bring it around to the back cover.

After all this, I learned my lesson. I’ll always do my covers large and in high resolution for a paperback in the future right from the get go. My plan with Sing My Name is to put it out in paperback right away, although it’s longer than Eyes and what it’s going to have to cost bothers me. I actually make half as much on a paperback sale of Eyes as on an ebook sale because of Amazon’s generous ebook royalties and the high cost of the POD paperback to start with, and I shudder to think what the price of Sing is going to have to be.


10 Responses to Cover for Eyes

  1. mesadallas says:

    I’m so glad this queston was asked because I was also wondering about the cover- and I agree with you, Ellen. There’s something SO sexy about a cowboy leaning against a wall or a fence! Sigh…..

  2. Christina says:

    I hope that you paperback vesion of Sing My Name will not be as expensive as those of Penelope Wiliamson. I cannot even afford her EBooks. I just looked at one that was $ 14.95 for the Kindle Version. It is a shame that good authors price themselves out of the pocketbooks of potentiel readers.

  3. Hi Christina,

    It’s good to hear from you. I noticed that about Penelope Williamson’s books too – they’re an outstanding example of attempted highway robbery, aren’t they? In her case she has nothing to do with it, it’s all her publisher that’s being an idiot. I don’t know about your solution, but mine is the library, so by not setting a reasonable price, they get nothing at all.

    I’m not sure what will happen with a paperback for Sing My Name. I am going to put one out, and the cost per book is related to the number of pages. Eyes is 118,000 words and right now Sing is 138,000. I don’t want to make the font smaller, but I’m wondering how many pages would be saved if I went to the next size trade paperback. That would be going from 8.5 x 5.5 to 9 x 6, which wouldn’t be that much bigger, but might save enough pages to keep the price down a bit. No use worrying about it until I have a final book to start formatting.

  4. Paige says:

    Thank you so much for letting your fans know how the cover for Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold came about. It makes me love the book even more knowing that not only did you write the book but you created the cover as well. I think you should think about entering your cover in a contest I would vote for you. Great work Ellen and thanks again for the information.

  5. mesadallas says:

    I took a peek at this website and there are about 30 entries. There are only about one or two that I think could give Eyes a run for the money. I hope you will consider it, Ellen. I. too, am very impressed that you did the cover. There really is something about it that stands out from most other book covers.Somehow you were able to capture your characters in form as well as as words- I almost expect the cover to start moving and speaking.

  6. Christina says:

    Glad to know I have been missed, Ellen. My father died on 10/2 from lung cancer. I am the executor of his estate and have found myself incredibly busy. I have not been online much since that date and still have lots more to do.

    I know of several authors who have gone to the trade paperback size. That might be a good recourse for you. Whatever you do I will buy Sing My Name as soon as it is available.

  7. I’m so sorry about your father, Christina. I wish we could all go gently in our sleep. Losing parents is IMO one of the great divides of life.

  8. Thanks, ladies. You’re making me feel good. I like my covers but spend a lot of time worrying that they look too indie-ish. It’s one more thing I don’t think you can judge for yourself when you’ve worked to produce it.

    mesadallas – I read what they said on that cover site a little differently. They only have 30 covers up each month, but if they get more than 30, they roll the extra to the next month. That says to me they may have a long queue. But you and Paige have inspired me and I’ll dig out a version of the Eyes covers that meets their specs and send it in. What the heck. They don’t seem to have any voting for hated covers or anything.

  9. Christina says:

    I voted. I grab any opportunity to let me voice be heard. Hopefully Ellen will win in the near future.

  10. mesadallas says:

    Oops, sorry! I guess I should have spent a little more time on the site. Overlooked how many covers had/have been entered.

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