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Book cover ideas for Survivalist Series

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I need covers for books for a series related to survivalism. The photos should be vertical rather than horizontal and contain enough space to insert the title and author if possible.

The story is about a family that live on a ranch outside Santa Fe, along with their friends and family that live nearby.

Subject matter that could provide ideas for covers include:

A tall man with hair that continually gets in his steel-gray eyes. The man drives a large gray pickup. He regularly tosses the hair aside by jerking his head sideways. This reveals his steel-gray eyes with various expressions such as angry, sardonic, grinning, etc.

A small (5'2") man with a jacked-up pickup painted in do-it-yourself camouflage paint. The man wears a tee shirt with a skull and crossbones (holes in the shirt), jeans, and size six cowboy boots. Backgrounds would include a large vegetable garden, field with cows or horses, pulled up behind a pickup truck, etc. Just remember, the setting is a ranch in Santa Fe, so watch the backgrounds.

Anything having to do with hyperinflation, and rising gas prices. Since it's for a book cover, it's best not to have the exact prices of gas (it's much higher in the book), or any text. I've used a burning dollar bill for the most recent cover.

Disaster in San Francisco. Fires, looting, people with guns, etc.

Fourteen year old girl in fringed cowgirl outfit. Trick riding or other horse-type photos. Be sure to remember the Santa Fe ranch background. No big city, or obviously inappropriate backgrounds - i.e. it should not look like it's in North Carolina or Maine or...

Ok, those are a few of my ideas. The scenario is a slow degrading of the economy, high unemployment, prices rising, oil scarcity, grocery store shelves poorly stocked, later on to include rioting, looting, hunger and lots of violence. I need a photo for each new installment every four weeks so I'll continue to provide scenarios to use for photos.

Posted: 11/19/2012, 14:30:49 PM
There are various other dark images in my portfolio, but would something like this work?

Canon Body, Sigma Glass, Canon Strobes, Adobe Creative Cloud
Edited: 11/26/2012, 08:20:29 AM by Admin
Deadline? I may be able to give you something if I can shoot it over Thanksgiving weekend. And I might even be able to have a real New Mexico background.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 11/19/2012, 15:31:35 PM
Ok, Nospmisk first. The background in black is good, although the photo is not what I'm looking for. As far as the vertical orientation and the amount of background space for insertion of the title and author, it's excellent.

By the way, the woman would work for one of the characters. Karryn, the woman in the story, recently moved from San Francisco to be with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is the guy with the hair in his eyes. If you have access to the model in your photo, I may have a use for photos of her in the future. In the story, the woman is a "ditzy brunette" that spends most of her time shopping for shoes. Unbeknown to the other characters, she's actually a survivalist best dressed in Camo and training guard dogs.

Wisconsinart - my next episode will be published in about four weeks. I just published episode four today and the series is taking off quite nicely. I'll continue the series as long as it has a following, with a new episode about every four weeks.

The New Mexico background would be great, too. The ranch in the story has one of those gates of telephone poles, with iron cutouts of horses and cows overhead. I'm visualizing the ranch as being sparsely forested with low-growing piñon pines in the six to eight foot tall range. The ranch house is a hundred and fifty year old adobe with two stories and a courtyard in front.

And finally, TMarchev, thanks for the post. Although I don't have any use for something of that sort I wanted to acknowledge that I saw your post :)

Have a great day everyone and thanks for the replies.
Posted: 11/19/2012, 16:25:22 PM
The woman is no problem, just don't own any camo. :)
I'll see what I can come up with.
Canon Body, Sigma Glass, Canon Strobes, Adobe Creative Cloud
Posted: 11/19/2012, 16:45:13 PM
I can give you a man, truck, and New Mexico, but not a ranch.

Please be aware there are many constraints and limitations unless we hire a crew and go on location. Hopefully I will have something come Sunday.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 11/19/2012, 16:47:47 PM
Wisconsinart, I understand, believe me. I'm not the least bit worried about what you can't provide, I'm just giving you the scenario so you may be able to come up with something that's near to my needs.

My only problem is the scenes I've already published. I have to match those, but the ones I haven't published I can always rewrite a little. For example, the woman has to be brunette. The man has to have hair that falls in his eyes, but it doesn't matter what color his hair is as long as it looks ok with the steel-gray eyes.

The man is not exactly the main character, but he's the one everyone loves best. He's a zany character with lots of silly quirks. I picture him of a similar age as the woman in Nosppmisks photo.

Nospmisk, she doesn't always wear camo so that's not a major problem. She's a wonderful organic gardener too. I'll have other scenes she'll be in later on, so I'll let you know what you might be able to accomplish.

One final note, this is Amazon Kindle stuff that sells for very small money so I definitely can't pay a lot for crews and stuff. I normally buy the photos in the medium or the large size that cost me 15 credits. As a result, please don't go to any large expense to get me the photos.

Thanks :)

Posted: 11/19/2012, 17:43:50 PM
I have one vector book pending... when it will pass I will pot it here.
Photography I use Nikon 105mm F2.8G, Nikon 35mm F1.8G, Nikon crop body...
Posted: 11/20/2012, 01:54:08 AM
Update... I'll work on this for you over the weekend. I'll have to dig out my New Mexico pictures but I had a few on the hard drive I could look at. One is a door of an old adobe building. Actually have a ranch but that's made of wood. And some landscapes.

It will be a challenge with the photo editing so no promises. I will shoot with a book cover design type style. One idea is to have a closeup of the man with the background without trying to drop the man into the picture. Constraints will dictate what happens in the end.

Do you want the man mean looking? Smiling? Knife tucked in jeans? Looking at or away from camera?

I will probably do a sampling of all of the above if you're offline and don't get back.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 11/20/2012, 12:37:39 PM
Wisconsinart, thanks for the input. What kind of a description for the man? If you have a guy that would pass for the one with hair in his eyes, a big...pigsticker...knife on his belt would be awesome. Even in his hands with him examining in like he might want to stick someone is cool.

If it's just any guy, a kind of a neutral expression might be good. If you have a field with some cows, desert New Mexico, not lush green, he could be looking at them and away from the camera. The barn could be made of wood, by the way, and he could stand in front of it with a rake...shovel...just looking in the distance or something.

Posted: 11/20/2012, 14:02:42 PM
Would you be willing to show us the images or the covers your have already used? This might help us in providing images that have a similar feel/style.
Posted: 11/20/2012, 18:54:15 PM
I'm not exactly an artist, but these are several that I've used thus far:

 Money Burning in Flames 

 Peaceful Gathering 

 Golden Gate Bridge 

Hopefully these tags will show up.

Edited by Admin: They do now. :)
Edited: 06/23/2013, 15:29:30 PM by Admin
Oh well, maybe you can see them using those links. It's the best I can do since I can't figure out how to get the actual book covers off my computer.
Posted: 11/20/2012, 23:29:26 PM
Below are two images that are approved and available. I have two more in the queue and can ask for a priority review in order to get them quickly online. And I can produce more where I can drop the pickup truck into the scene.

The danger here is whether the images match the picture you have in your mind. You see that a lot in the Request forum, "Please take that image and change the shirt on the model to red." ARGH

Hopefully the character I created is in line with what you're looking for. If yes, let me know how many more images you might need for your series. It would be great if you provided input such as look at/away from camera, smiling, angry, etc.

Either way, it was fun thinking through the process of doing something I normally wouldn't have tried. All the images I can create for this will have a real New Mexico scene. My images are from the Colfax County region of the state. Can't get any more real than that for the budget we're working with. :-)

 Image not available or id is incorrect. 

 Image not available or id is incorrect. 
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Edited: 11/23/2012, 06:47:49 AM
Hello Wisconsinart,

Actually, you've done very well. I never expected you to get that close to what I was thinking of. To be honest, the man is great except he's not actually quite as old as I was visualizing. I think, however, that I can deal with it. The hair thing is perfect.

In the story, the man is a blogger, and has lived next door to the main character for about 12 years. That would put him at least in his mid-thirties.

Although the model in your photos appears to be in his twenties, I suppose he could conceivably be that old.

The barn in the first photo is great. I had no real description of the barn, so it could pretty much look like that with no problem. I love the photo on the bottom, but I don't think it will work. I absolutely adore the lizard, though.

Let me ask you this: What color is the pickup in question?

This guy has a big gray pickup, so any other color would just be wrong.

Next, don't go out of your way to rush things. I still have several weeks before the next episode is due to be published, so there's no problem with time. I'm not even sure if I'll use that photo for the coming episode. I may just get the photo and wait till the episode is a good fit for the photo.

Thanks again for working on this and I'm looking forward to seeing what else you've managed to do.
Posted: 11/23/2012, 16:16:36 PM
I have a little secret for you... the model is 54 years old. I think being slim and the hair makes him look younger.

The pickup truck is gray; I will need to shoot it and then drop it into a few images so that will take some work but it appears there is time for that to happen.

I have a some images in the queue that are similar to the first image, I'll ask for a priority review and have them posted fairly soon if they pass the technical/quality restrictions. So hopefully you'll have a set of images to choose from though they may be rather generic.

And I'll get to work on the others, these will have a couple of "ranch" scenes when I get them in.

Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Edited: 11/23/2012, 17:37:33 PM
Ha! "The model in your photos appears to be in his twenties."I bet you are eating that one up! Nice work.
Posted: 11/24/2012, 10:42:35 AM

Originally posted by Red:
Quoted Message: Ha! "The model in your photos appears to be in his twenties."I bet you are eating that one up! Nice work.

The more you suck in the gut the younger you get.......
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 11/24/2012, 11:08:45 AM
Below are some more ideas. I have images in the queue with a pickup truck so stay tuned...

Let me know if there are any questions... Thanks

 Man With Long Hair Standing Adobe Building Doorway 
 Image not available or id is incorrect. 
 Man Outdoors in Wild Sit in Nature Mountain Meadow 
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 11/26/2012, 06:38:14 AM
Aha! Wisconsinart, I think you've done very well indeed. Your model is growing on me. I'm actually visualizing my character in that body. One question, can he smile?

First, though. I definitely like the one with the barn, except the expression is a little, um, belligerent. I may actually wait till I get a scene in one of the episodes that would put him in that type of a mood.

Now, the last photo, with the dead tree is wonderful. He has a sort of a faraway expression, thoughtful if you will. I'm planning on at least getting those two and placing them in reserve for later use.

But, if this is someone (even you?) that could be photographed again without too much effort, I'd like you to consider the expression. Rick (the character) is normally happy and even a little devilish. I see the expression as a smile with a little wicked thought behind it.

He's not actually even the main character of the series. He's the best friend of the protagonist. He has a habit of bursting through the door into Darrell's house with a sort of electric energy. And..he tends to find Darrell and his wife in some sort of a clinch. They tend to be kissing or hugging when Rick bursts through the door. You get my drift? He's the best-loved and most interesting character of the series, but not actually the main character.

I'm waiting to see what else you come up with before I make a purchase, but I know I'll want those two photos. Keep up the good work!
Posted: 11/26/2012, 10:46:45 AM
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