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Gandwarf
09-28-2009, 02:54 PM
As some of you know I am writing a couple of fantasy novels and I might self publish them. I still need some cover art though. What is a good place to meet people who do commissions, other than Deviantart?

Steel General
09-28-2009, 02:56 PM
What about ConceptArt.org (http://www.conceptart.org/)?

Gamerprinter
09-28-2009, 03:01 PM
Though there's only a dozen or so artist's posting work at Dementia 5 Publishing, the place I'm doing Kaidan through - all my illustrators are from that site. I got good deals on prices for work, so it might be worth checking out.

Dementia 5 site (http://www.dementia5.com) click on the Community, then visit Art Forum.

GP

torstan
09-28-2009, 03:12 PM
Posting in the http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12 area of concept art is a good way to get a lot of responses.

Equally, you'll get a good response from rpg.net:
http://forum.rpg.net/forumdisplay.php?f=12

It's also worth looking through the guys on the artorder blog and seeing how much they charge - you certainly get a good idea of the skill level from the weekly challenges:
http://artorder.blogspot.com/

Gandwarf
09-28-2009, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the quick responses so far, guys. I will check out all the links.

Ramah
09-28-2009, 03:23 PM
Are you that close to finishing or just thinking ahead? :)

Gandwarf
09-28-2009, 03:45 PM
Are you that close to finishing or just thinking ahead? :)

I finished book 2 today. I was on holiday and did a lot of writing ;)

Anyway, what kind of prices should I expect? I am kinda blundering about here.

torstan
09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Wow, good work! What size? Resolution? Level of detail? Do you want the artist to also do the layout? Will it be a wrap around cover, or just a front cover?

If it's a wrap around then you might be interested in this artorder challenge:
http://artorder.blogspot.com/2009/08/drow-vs-mind-flayer-challenge-part-2.html

As for ballpark prices, it's going to be a couple of hundred dollars at least I'd expect, but I'm not an expert. You can certainly contact a few artists and ask for their rates for the task you are describing - and the more precise you can be, the more accurate their quotes will be. However it's certainly better to have a figure in mind before you go asking. You'll find a lot of quotes will be well above the couple of hundred dollar mark. The trick is in finding someone who wants the experience and is good. ConceptArt is probably a good bet for that as there are lots of art students on there.

Karro
09-28-2009, 04:16 PM
There'd be a lot of garbage to wade through, but a lot of great artists have work up on Elfwood (http://www.elfwood.com/) (I even have a gallery there, but I'm a mediocre artist, at best). If you dig into those that are most favorited or the Mod's Choice there, you'll find some great work, and some of those folks are often open to commissions work.

Karro
09-28-2009, 04:20 PM
I finished book 2 today. I was on holiday and did a lot of writing ;)

Anyway, what kind of prices should I expect? I am kinda blundering about here.

Also... Congrats on getting some writing done. I've recently started getting some preliminary details together, myself, in preparation for the eventual opportunity to write (post grad-school, and post baby-needing-mommy-&-daddy's-every-waking-minute, I suppose), even without a completed map (it's taken me over a year, and while I'll continue on with it, writing is my first and primary love).

I wouldn't give up on traditional publishing outlets, completely. Although, I've heard of some who have found success by self-publishing first, and attracting the attention of mainstream publishers thereby, but it seems like it's a pretty rare story.

philipstephen
09-28-2009, 05:08 PM
i may need to read the details of your post more carefully, but unless you are self-publishing, usually the publishers will choose the cover artist and pay for that, not the author.

how are you going about getting your books printed?

and congrats on finishing your project! that is quite the feat.

I am just starting my novels... and working on the world map has taken longer than i thought it would...

phil

Gandwarf
09-28-2009, 06:09 PM
Well, I haven't given up on a regular publisher. I haven't even sent in a manuscript yet :)
Philipstephen: you are right that in the case I would land a publisher they would want to pick out the cover.

Right now I am looking at a small print run for some friends and family (a private project through Lulu.com, so no one can order the novel from their site, only me - I have done this for book 1 already). I designed the cover myself and I suck at it. I want something better and am willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars on it. This is a hobby for me and I would love to have some professional looking books on my shelf, just so I can pick them up and say: "I wrote them". I never started writing these books because I wanted to reach a large audience, but I will try.

I will start thinking about what kind of cover I want first, before I blunder about :P
Thanks for the pointers Torst-San!

Oh, and for everyone working on their maps: I started writing first and had book 1 finished by the time I started on the first map. A map is great to have but you can spend ages tweaking it and you will get delayed/side-tracked. Watch out for that pitfall :)
(I made the later mistake of mapping lots of the cities in my world :P )

ravells
09-28-2009, 07:45 PM
Why don't you make it a competition here? Might be fun to see what comes up!

Gidde
09-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Oh, and for everyone working on their maps: I started writing first and had book 1 finished by the time I started on the first map. A map is great to have but you can spend ages tweaking it and you will get delayed/side-tracked. Watch out for that pitfall :)

Haha, MUCH too late for that, I'm afraid ;)

Karro
09-29-2009, 10:35 AM
Why don't you make it a competition here? Might be fun to see what comes up!

A competition to see what sorts of maps folks come up with for Gandwarf's world?

Hmm. Interesting; though as a writer I'd find it curious, especially since in my own case I have a fairly specific idea of what the world is supposed to look like, I'd be concerned that something like that wouldn't produce something that fit that vision - though of course I don't know how Gandwarf feels. Though obviously your experience of doing a map for another writer's world was pretty much an unmitigated success, and GP's use of Oten-Jo for a monthly challenges seems to have worked out, so it could be an interesting experiment, and I'd follow that with interest (though obviously with my glacial workpace, could not participate). Anyone want to volunteer?

Steel General
09-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Depending on the parameters of the competition it might just work.

Gandwarf
09-29-2009, 11:11 AM
Actually, I once thought about sponsoring a map competition for my book on the guild... and giving away a cash prize to the winner. I still might, because the map I am using now is still very bland.

However, at the moment I don't need a map, but some cover art.

Gandwarf
09-29-2009, 03:59 PM
I have been looking at Lulu.com and it looks like their service has gone down the drain. Lots of people complaining... I also find it a bit scary you can't delete content once at least one order has been made (even if the order was made by yourself! so you can't delete a private project from their server, which kinda makes me think of them as the evil empire).

So now I am looking for a new way to publish my second book as a private project. Any tips? :)

zenram
09-29-2009, 04:06 PM
Mmm, i heared about some one else, but i can't remember the name just now, wait...


yeha, Lightning Source...

zenram
09-29-2009, 04:10 PM
RPG now has a POD service as well.

torstan
09-29-2009, 05:12 PM
I heard that one bookshelf (enworld store, rpgnow...) will be using lightning source for their POD service for their pdfs.

ravells
10-01-2009, 12:23 PM
A competition to see what sorts of maps folks come up with for Gandwarf's world?

Hmm. Interesting; though as a writer I'd find it curious, especially since in my own case I have a fairly specific idea of what the world is supposed to look like, I'd be concerned that something like that wouldn't produce something that fit that vision - though of course I don't know how Gandwarf feels. Though obviously your experience of doing a map for another writer's world was pretty much an unmitigated success, and GP's use of Oten-Jo for a monthly challenges seems to have worked out, so it could be an interesting experiment, and I'd follow that with interest (though obviously with my glacial workpace, could not participate). Anyone want to volunteer?

No not the maps, Gandwarf can do those himself. I meant the cover art.

Here's an alternative cover I did for Richard Morgan's book 'Black Man' just for fun. Not fantastic or anything but what the hey?

Karro
10-01-2009, 02:00 PM
No not the maps, Gandwarf can do those himself. I meant the cover art.

Here's an alternative cover I did for Richard Morgan's book 'Black Man' just for fun. Not fantastic or anything but what the hey?

Ahh, totally misunderstood. Sorry.

Ascension
10-01-2009, 04:43 PM
Is that a photo or drawn? Looks pretty cool and way awesome if drawn. :)

ravells
10-01-2009, 04:58 PM
It's a photoshopped photo I'm afraid!

Tiana
10-01-2009, 06:37 PM
As some of you know I am writing a couple of fantasy novels and I might self publish them. I still need some cover art though. What is a good place to meet people who do commissions, other than Deviantart?

Here is a perfectly fine place to meet people who do commissions! Nice to meet you! I paint and do occasional commissions. (offers hand) ;) I'm not trying to self-promote, though, I'd like to answer a few of your questions from experience.

Answering your questions regarding what to expect for commissions... well, this is what I often see on DeviantArt.

Price-wise, for a general commission, you're looking at it varying by complexity in your image. You're probably going to look at something like this as an average:

10-20 dollars for a full body pencil sketch of a single character, add on 5 dollars per character.
15-30 dollars for a full body inked drawing of a single character, add on 5-10 dollars per additional character.
20-50 dollars AND UP depending on the skill range of the artist for a CGI/other style of color for a single character, full body, probably looking at an additional 10 dollars per character.

I specify full body because some artists charge less for just portraits or half views.

This of course is probably going to be a picture with no or a very minimally detailed image. Adding on a background depends on the artist, I see prices ranging from 10-a lot for backgrounds. And a lot of artists will charge more for 'commericial use' of their images. An average for quality graphic design for a book or CD cover to be sold would probably be in the 150-300 dollar range. Just commissioning a drawing and putting text on it yourself won't cut it--you need permission from the artist to do that.

Depending on the artist they will or will not work directly with you to show you work in progress images so that you can get what you want. Check their terms of service before hiring. When I do commissions I usually send in a few sketches so I know what they want, then a color draft, and if they're cool with the color draft I do all the detail-work because I basically refuse to edit once I've finished all the detailing. Some people will only send in the sketch. Etc. It depends on the artist.

The last commission I did was a POD CD cover, I charged 30 dollars for the figure, and 30 for the background. I'll be blunt too: I undercharge. I expect people using POD aren't going to turn a profit. If you look particularly among students you'll find more willing to undercharge for their services.

ALSO!

Scamming happens. A lot. Check out http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/ for current commission scammers to make sure you don't get ripped off.

If you're trying to go cheaper be sure to see several examples of the artist's work to make sure they know what they're doing.

If you decide to do it yourself, you can always hit up sxc.hu (a free stock site) and grab a stock photo and put text on it yourself.

As for other methods of printing out your book, I know of two other POD services.
Cafepress.
Createspace (Amazon.)

Lulu is actually a terrible choice due to the astronomical costs of their printing. They have good quality books but the cost is outrageous. Hopefully that answers some of your questions about commissions and gives you a couple more POD options to look at.

Gandwarf
10-02-2009, 07:35 AM
Do you have a site Tiana?

zenram
10-03-2009, 12:57 AM
Cafepress.
Createspace (Amazon.)

Nice to here of some new options. XD

Tiana
10-05-2009, 06:01 PM
Do you have a site Tiana?

Several, but I imagine you want the art porfolio (http://betweenplaces.daportfolio.com/). (If posting the link here is too spammy I will edit it out.)


Nice to here of some new options. XD
Oh, there's tons of options once you get past the two big ones: Lulu and Cafepress. I recommend Createspace for books because it's a lot cheaper than Lulu and you get a free ISBN number and you can sell your book through Amazon if you want. It costs money with Lulu to do that but they throw it in free. I think it's a good addition that makes POD self publishing a bit more viable, since the book is a much more reasonable price than Lulu's and it allows you to sell your book through an already known website, and this is my personal thing, but the ISBN lets you put your book into the library system. I've seen their books and they don't look bad. Lulu's books actually look really nice, they're just way too shiny for me--the two I have get all fingerprinted and it kinda bugs me. Also, they're bigger than a standard paperback which also bugs me. The covers also warp out a bit after some reading, but they do hold up to abuse well.

There's also 360 Digital Books and Print House Express which I've heard decent things about from comic creators. I do believe they're general POD companies and not comic-directed so they might be worth looking into. I've seen pictures of comics printed through 360 and they turned out nice.

If you're printing a graphic novel or photo type book, KaBlam is apparently decent. I'm currently ordering a test floppy from them to see just how well they print my art. Don't use Comixpress. They're cheap but apparently their turnaround time is awful and people ordering comics from them sometimes never receive them. Just figured I'd pitch that warning in if you started hunting for smaller POD companies.

That's the thing with Lulu, Createspace and Cafepress: they're bigger and there's enough reviews so that you can confidently know you'll get your book and you can look online and find pictures of the quality. They come with their disadvantages, like Lulu eating souls and stuff... but at least you know you'll get a good quality book. I'll still recommend Lulu to people because the quality is solid, I just don't plan on using it myself again.