Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hire Melissa Oyler For Your Cover Art

There are people you run into in the writing industry that really make this career a joy. My cover artist, Melissa Oyler is one such person. Her pricing is VERY affordable, and I don't say that to mean she's cheap or a good "alternative" to use. I say that upfront because I know as an indie author, every penny counts. Melissa also works with authors for a payment plan, too. For my first cover, CANCELLED, which had custom design elements AND photography, I paid in three installments.

So now that you know you can afford her, here's why you must hire her: she is experimental, creative with an eye towards sales, and fun to work with. It isn't easy to design a cover that translates well large or small, looks fabulous in black and white, and gets a reader to click on the link. And she LISTENS to you, but won't steer you wrong. At one point, I wanted cell phones on my covers to show how "modern" they are. She rightly pointed out what happens in 10 years when we're receiving calls on chips in our heads? Ugh, it'd make my covers like a bad 80s or early 90s movie! Here's how working with Melissa Oyler looks like.

I sent her this:

This is my attempt as a hand made cover with free stock photography. Hey, look, I managed to change the border around the image to look kinda like a stone tile (I added a bevel). I get points for that, right?

I get back this:

It looks like a movie poster to me! It's beautiful. It makes me want to know more. That is one VERY intriguing cherry, and the image is a stark contrast to the title (and a play on the way cherries are called stones, soft of the outside, hard as a rock on the inside). Symbolism is who I am. I have 4 tattoos, all symbols. I have a compass with a W (for my last name), a fleur-de-lis, a Tudor Rose, and an hour glass. 

I will be honest, I honestly thought for a novella, I could do a little graphics magic. I am put to shame. I know which cover looks like a "self-published" author to me, and which one looks like a "professionally published" title. 

But feel free to weigh in. 

BTW, Melissa sent me more than 8 different variations to choose from, and there was a hard choice between this cover and another equally fabulous one. I'd share it, BUT, there is a good chance elements of that cover will be used on a future project, and I can't ruin THAT surprise.

STONE: Coming March 2012.

RUN, do not walk to Melissa's website: And if you need another reason to hire Melissa? I always get my proofs early. :) And I do not receive a kick back or anything for business I send to her. But I am selfish enough that I have a ten year career planned. I need help keeping my cover artist employed and available that whole time, please. :)

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords WIP: STONE Single mother Melanie Stone has a creep to remove from her life, with a shot gun.


  1. Thank you for such a wonderful, wonderful compliment. I absolutely love working with you. You're a designer's dream! And a freakin' good writer, too.

  2. Thanks Melissa! I am SO proud of my covers! It's very difficult to achieve is simple design aesthetic AND have the cover be interesting for a reader.

    Equally impressive is that although STONE and CANCELLED are not part of the same series, they look like they are by the same author. And that is VERY tough to accomplish!