Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author

Confessions of a Cover Artist – Char Adlesperger


Char Adlesperger was recommended by a few authors on KindleBoards. Her site, Wicked Cover Designs, is truly wicked. I love her use of color, tones and her ability to manipulate a common stock photo into something totally unique.  Please welcome Char to Confessions of a Cover Artist, and if you like what you see, check out more of her Wicked Designs at her website.

TW: Why do you design cover art? How did you first get started?

A: I started out designing my own book covers first when I was 13 for my own books, now 5 years later I do it because not only do I enjoy it, but I provide a cheaper service than what I ever found. It give authors a good deal as well as a professional and great looking cover for their books.

 TW: What have you learned along the way?

A: I learned alot of things as I’ve gone along. I found there is a style to each genre and you can’t just do any cover for a book. A cover for Fantasy won’t really fit a Historical Romance, I think, haha.

TW: What mistakes, if any, did you make early on when designing covers?

A: They were the wrong size, I used to do 6×10 before I found out I have to use 5×8 or 6×9.

 TW: List in order, the five most important elements of a good cover. 

  •  1) The image, its what draws in the reader. Something cheap looking at a higher price is not going to sell well.
  • 2) The font, you cover font MUST go with the cover design, it has to fit like a glove otherwise the wrong font can suggesst a whole different meaning then you want.
  • 3) Color, your color theme should match the mood of the book.
  • 4) Where you put your text, you wouldn’t want to cover up the most important part of your cover images, or make it look unpro. Placement is just as important as the words.
  • 5) Overall look, it has to look beautiful big AND in thumbnail.

TW: What are common mistakes indie authors make when designing their own covers?

A: They (most) just take any picture and slap some words on it. Cover is much more than that. You need the right image and you have to pay for it if you want to publish your book. Anything that drives me crazy if picking a font that looks beter in crayon on paper. Using pro font saves you alot of trouble, and never, NEVER use a color that blends right in or in an opposite color to the cover theme. Stick to the light colors in themes of whites with a tint of the color you want. Dropshadows behind the text on a cover will save your cover’s life!

TW: What advice would you give to the indie author trying to design cover art?

A: I would suggesst it unless you have experince and go to college (or just classes) for it like many of us had. I have years behind me even though I’m just 18 and some of the first years weren’t my best. I didn’t start selling covers and making them until I was in my first year over college at 17 with a few months of classes to teach me enough.

Go to a pro like me or one of the others. Some of us have prices for the selfpub author so you can afford it! We do this for a reason! My prices are between $35 and $75 unless you want a cover package which includes a lot more then just the cover. A friend of mine who has been a designer for over 10+ years charges anywhere between $450 to $1000.

Go to someone who does it for a living and who you can afford. Never do a cover yourself if you don’t have the skills, you will kill you book sales.

TW: What’s your average turn-around time for cover art?

A: My average cover turn around the last few years has been 3-5 days at max, unless issues come up with the cover or author.

TW: What software do you use to create covers? Where do you go for images?

A: I use the newest verisons of PhotoShop CS, the past year I have been working in CS5 which is a program all professional designers use. If you can’t afford the good stuff like you need the quliaty for your products takes a serious hit.

TW: Before you get started on a cover, what information do you need from the author?

A: I always ask for:

  • Book Title:
  • Author Name:
  • Tagline(s):
  • Subtitle:
  • Summary:
  • Cover Idea:
  • And we disscuss what they would like to see.

TW: If you suddenly lost your skilz, who would you hire to design your cover art?

A: Another one of Jimmy Thomas’s great designers! I have worked with him since January and love him and I love some of his great designers. I think Cesena Emilia (Cora) is one of my faves!

TW: Why do you enjoy working with indie authors?

A: Most of the ones I work with are so friendly! Something as an artist we get caught in crossfires over things that they would like done, but they are so nice and relaxed if we have a problem and things go better for it. Plus they have a sense of humor normal people just don’t and thats fun as well!

TW: Do you also write? If so, what genres? Do you think being an author makes you a better artist? How so?

A: Yes, I also write books. I have written 9 books so far (one soon to be published!) and I tend to hop for YA Fantasy, to Historical Romance, and even just Romance 😉 I think it helps some of the times, but when it come to doing a cover you get picky about everything being just right! Everything can always improve!

Please check out Char’s amazing covers at: http://www.wicked-art.wix.com/wicked-cover-designs


Author: tarawestauthor

A former Texas high school teacher, Tara enjoyed coaching her writing team and even the hectic deadlines that came with running the school publications. After taking a break to raise her baby girl, Tara now works from home as a cover artist. In her spare time, Tara loves to read, exercise and spend time with her family and friends. She contributes the cover art for her own novels and has designed covers for over 500 other books. She’d love for you to visit her at www.tarawest.com where you can check out her Whispers series and sample her artwork.

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Cover Artist – Char Adlesperger

  1. Great interview! And I love the covers!

  2. Fantastic cover art and wonderful interview. Definitely will keep this site in mind. 🙂

  3. Very nice interview. Thank you for using my cover in your interview Char and thanks for the talent behind it. You.

  4. Awesome interview! Thanks for using the cover to my book, POSER. Amazing talent! = )

  5. This was a surprise pop on Google Alerts. 😀 Nice to see the awesome cover Char made for me over there. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get the book out soon too.

    She’s a great cover artist!

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