Covers: Week of December 1, 2019

Update 01/21/2020
Since SelfPubBookCovers announced on January 21, 2020, they would be increasing their percentage from 30% to 40% while continuing to slam cover designers with fees and doing fuckall to actually sell covers, I gave the requisite 30 days’ notice for my covers to be removed from their site.

It turns out I continue to lack the energy and will for daily blogging (to the surprise of no one), so we’re going to try instead a digest of each week’s covers that have been approved before the vendor takes off for the weekend. My new Gallery page is updated with new covers as soon as I finish them, and they’re linked to the seller after they’re listed for sale. You can also bookmark my “Gallery of Art” there to check what’s available whenever the mood/need strikes you.

This will be a long entry, since it includes covers I had to sit on over the break for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Click the images to go to the vendor if interested.

Up first is my ginger friend (I call him Gordon), who is ready to either embark on a quest for vengeance or whack that crow for defiling graves.

A bearded man (white) regards a gravestone with mountains and dragons in the background

Next, a cover that gives me Blade Runner vibes a little bit. That orb might be magic or malignant tech or an alien artifact, but it’s sure to cause nothing but trouble.

Young man (East Asian) holding a glowing orb on a neon-drenched city street

This cover was inspired by the woman’s “Reader, there was only one bed” expression. They’re begging for some snow-induced forced proximity, I think.

Plus-size woman and man (both white) against a snowy backdrop with cabins

I’ve loved sky pirates since Final Fantasy XII and heroic criminals since… forever. Seems like they’re always related to the real bad guys and rebelled by choosing crime over evil.

Woman (white) in pirate garb on the deck of her airship with dirigibles in the background

This Mad Hatter cover is bananapants even with the omission of the doll-headed scorpion I wanted to include. (Here’s the original of that real-life Cheshire Cat‘s face to prove I didn’t alter anything but the eye color.) Thoroughly unsellable due to its specific weirdness, but it would be great for a dark Wonderland-themed anthology.

Mad Hatter tea party with poison, cupcakes, skulls, an octopus tentacle wielding a sword, and a grinning cat

After spending a day on something thoroughly unsellable, it’s wise to turn to more marketable projects, which often involve smooching (or close to it).

Man and woman (both white) nuzzling on the hood of a car

And the last usable contemporary couple in my romance file at the time. These covers need extra room around the edges for “bleed” (the allowance for imprecision when covers are cut for paper books), so photos of people chopped off on the top and either side are often unusable because their important parts aren’t in the safe zone. Dude here was missing just the very top of his head, so he’ll have a face even if he gets cropped later.

Woman and man (both white) wearing winter coats with a city background

I had some fantasy romance stock saved for myself, but since I’m no longer writing things I don’t get paid for while I’m doing the work, no sense letting it go to waste! I like this delicate-looking pink queen with a will of iron better against an outer space background, anyway.

Pensive woman in pink gown against a backdrop of a futuristic city and red sky

Rogues, thieves, and assassins tend to fall under the same heading as sky pirates and thus have my affection. I just don’t know if the wolves are guarding her or the fortress.

Fantasy rogue with wolves approaching a fortress

The last two covers were rejected by the vendor for reasons I have no intention of changing. Click the images to visit their gallery pages for information about buying directly from me. Both covers have been sold.

You would not believe how many photos of couples are eliminated upon closer inspection because they have not-so-subtle “honey, erectile dysfunction happens to everyone” energy. During a photo shoot for stock, nobody knows for what purpose a future buyer will want those images, so they’re just as likely to project “pharmaceutical intervention required” or “we need couples counseling” as the warmth and intimacy I prefer to see on a romance cover. This one picture from a series of this couple made the cut.

A man and woman (both white) smooching on the side of a bed


I had a different photo of this model (in color, with purply-red hair) set aside but thought this black-and-white would be a fun painting project instead. Uncolored tattoos always give me coloring-book urges.

Tattooed woman cover has sold


That’s it for this week (and a half). I’m maintaining/exceeding my personal cover-a-day challenge. We’ll see if I can manufacture motivation to continue through the end of the year.

10 thoughts on “Covers: Week of December 1, 2019”


      The reason given (same for both) didn’t apply to four other covers in this post and thousands of others on the site, so it’s *almost* as if the reason given isn’t the real reason. I can speculate (and someone with more experience here has told me my top three speculations aren’t wrong), but what I’m not going to do is throw more shit on perfectly market-appropriate covers to appease criteria that aren’t uniformly applied. I listed them in the usual more-work-for-me place, and they’ll be sold in a week. Their loss.

      1. I spent 2 minutes looking at that site. There’s literally a picture of a squirrel with TITLE and AUTHOR slapped over it for $69, and they’re rejecting your stuff? You don’t belong there.

        1. I don’t belong anywhere. My last custom cover customer seriously didn’t understand why I can’t flip an image and show the model’s back, which is not a dissimilar experience from at least half the customers there. I can no longer deal with that every day without setting something on fire, so “design and done” sounded appealing. Like most things that sound too good to be true, it’s not living up to the hype, but I haven’t lost anything but time. I can always pull these covers from that site and go back to the old way with small, therapeutic fires as needed.

  1. I assume they take a cut of the covers they sell, so it’s in their own best financial interests to showcase the best stuff on their site. Not everything on their site is hot garbage. So wtf is their twitter person doing?

    1. Yeah, um, this is a project I definitely should have talked to some people about before undertaking. Theories and credible gossip abound. It’s sure not the way I’d run a business, but let’s say it’s run consistently with most other self-pub-related businesses.

Insert comments below. By submitting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with this site's privacy policy, as stated on the Info page. All links go to moderation; non-spammy ones will be approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.