Despite a limited budget as a hindrance, I like to do the most that I can with the resources I have to promote my books. What better way to get readers excited about your work than to produce fantastic art to accompany it? Not only is a great cover necessary, but in the case of science fiction or fantasy, the author has the benefit of a rich tradition of book inspired art. I guess that’s exactly what inspired me to go ahead and invest the time and a pile of limited funds.
Most of the art created was done by myself using software I already owned, taking advantage of free stock photos. Being a photographer, I could shoot stock myself, but wolves aren’t on every corner. Most are behind fences in zoos, or unpredictable in the wild. Also, duta and danava aren’t exactly easy to photograph, being that they’re fictional. I’m not one to be daunted despite such hurdles. You can see some of the work in my deviantArt gallery. I’ve been doing digital art for about a decade now. The skills I’ve learned along the way have served me well.
Still, there are further limitations to what I can do. Thankfully there are artists out there looking for work. Even more thankful am I, that they can often be quite affordable. Certainly its not so affordable that I could have all the books illustrated, as if they were manga, but the artists I’ve worked with have done character sketches (modeling).
What’s great about this is supporting artists and getting unique pieces with which to promote one’s books. It’s tough when you see the same free images being used to promote other people’s work. Although I have done a ton of work on almost all of the images that I use, you can still recognize them as stock photos you’ve seen before. Everyone is getting into the act—regardless of skill level, because they can always pay someone to do promotional items for them on the fly. So much for standing out in the crowd.
Below are the works I hired artists for, and i can guarantee you that no one will be using these to promote their work.