Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Cover Art Blues

Okay, here’s a pretty problem, especially for folks like me who self-publish. How do you handle getting cover art for your books? Who are your favorite artists, if any? Given it can cost $50 just to get a sketch from a good furry artist, what do you consider a reasonable price for color artwork and cover designs?

For myself, over the years I’ve been pretty damned lucky. My first (non-furry) cover art was courtesy of Peta Hewitt who provided basically for free since she was happy that the story was inspired by some of her previous art.

The covers for Captive of the Red Vixen and Shadow of the Red Vixen were courtesy of Meg Syverud. Shadow was a commission, and Captive was again a gift, because she thought my Photoshopped first effort was so crappy it annoyed her enough that she gave me something better. I used to be able to hire her for $50 (or the occasional LoZ hoodie) since she was in her starving college student days, but she’s since moved on to be a professional storyboard artist for Warner Brothers Animation and is well out of my price range now ($500 minimum, when last year all my books made a grand total of $378)

More recently I’ve been using the services of Naziha Zahed who like Meg allows me to pay her well below what she’s worth, out of a combination of friendship with a side order of smuggling. [1]

So how do you handle getting cover art?

[1] You can’t just use regular Amazon shipping to send Sunstone comics to Saudi Arabia. Go figure…

You might consider a pre-made cover. This gallery is from an artist who is not a furry, but is furry adjacent: https://selfpubbookcovers.com/Viergacht If none of those work, there are plenty of places online to pay to license an image.

You can also contact a furry artist directly if you find an image in their gallery that you like and ask if you can license it for a book cover. Some artists are open to that sort of thing.

I’d never actually considered that, especially given the look of my usual characters (spacefaring Edwardian foxes) is so ridiculously specific custom always seemed the way to go. Have to poke around FA I suppose.

Maybe you could borrow some concepts of the pre-made covers though, no?

My romance publisher recently told me that one of their other authors picks out covers first and then writes the story to go with them. I don’t think I could do that, but that’s one way to go, I guess!

That’s one way to get inspiration, lol! I wonder how well that works. It would be an interesting exercise at least. “Here’s a cover, write the story.”