Cover Art by Aisha Akeju
Book Covers and Artists!
I’m so very excited about this month and perhaps into March. We are getting back answers from artists and publishers to our questionnaire on Book Covers and Book Artists. We asked how they came to work on covers, what they thought about the current state of book covers, their inspirations, role models, and even the process the authors went through so see covers for their stories. So many questions to help us get insight into an aspect of our stories we love and that, frankly, fascinates us, me especially.
We have sent out our questionnaires to many of our favorites artists and publishers who have been gracious enough to answer back so our Sundays will be full this month and probably into March with answers and insights from everyone from Garrett Leigh, Reese Dante, NineStar Press, Riptide Publishing, Meredith Russell, Dreamspinner Press, and more. I can hardly wait myself.
For me, even before I could read, it was the cover that grabbed my attention, made me want to reach out for it. Want to know what was inside… Just as it was for so many others. Book covers draw us to the story inside. It makes us want to ask that question “what is that book about”? Even before we read the blurb or are old enough to know what a blurb is. It’s the cover that tells a story, catches our eye, “says Read Us!”. If the artist does their job. That is.
For those great covers? One glance and you’re hooked! My eye slides by, boom and back it goes. I need to examine that cover and book closer. I pick it up, turn it over, look at it, and often buy the story. Job done. It’s always been that way. Gothic, fantasy, science fiction, name the genre…I still have the books and can go fish out the story and the cover artist that hooked me.
I can still remember the great Anne Cain cover’s for the first edition of J.L. Langley’s My Fair Captain. Hot damn as they say. It may have been the first of the half naked torso covers but to this day for me, it’s still one of the hottest. *fans self* All others have been just pale reproductions in my mind next to that one. Fair? No, but that is the power of that first impression.
Anne Cain has left a lot of those!
So have all the artists who has participated in Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words first venture into insights on Book Covers , Artists, and, their current role in Publishing. We hope you enjoy it.
First up in our artist spotlight is someone I have long admired. I found Aisha Akeju through the many stories of Megan Derr, Mell Eight, and other authors at Less Than Three Press. They are unfailingly fantastical, highly artistic, incredibly imaginative,and always, always, make me look closer. I just love her works.
You probably have seen her covers if you have read a Megan Derr story. I have included the link to her website. Please check out her covers there, also on the LT3 website as well. They always have a section on the cover artist for each book you buy. I love that about them! I have included a link to Less Than Three Press as well. Gp and check out all their new releases as well as the covers!
This Week’s Spotlight Artist: Aisha Akeju
Megan Derr at Less Than Three Press forwarded me your email with questions for cover artists and while I can’t answer all the questions for lack of time, I’ve answered some of them below. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about something I love and I hope my answers are helpful!
- How much of your covers are original art and how much do you rely on using content purchased elsewhere?
I’d say about 90% of my covers are comprised of stock material, and about 10% are elements I’ve had to create for the covers. Because sometimes a request is so unique you can’t quite find what you’re looking for.
- How much input comes from the author and/or storyline?
Pretty much all of it, I’d say. I work off of a cover request sent to me from the publisher. I wouldn’t know where to start without it. The cover request includes the book title, author, number in a series if applicable, and what the author would like to see on the cover. It also includes a brief blurb describing what the book is about. I’ll then do my best to fulfill the cover request.
- How did you get to become a cover artist?
About eight years ago, a friend who I’d done some art for suggested I reach out to Less Than Three Press and offer my services as a cover artist. So I emailed, fingers crossed, and I was lucky enough to be picked up as a contractor. The rest, as they say, is history.
- Do you have a favorite cover you have done?
I have quite a few favorites! Too many, probably. I quite like Dust on the Wing by Parker Foye, Hellbeasts by Katya Harris, A Honeyed Light by Freddie Milano, and The Neighbor by Bernadette Chapman. But I find I’m most proud of the covers that requires me to flex my graphic design muscles a bit. A few are: Pyre at the Eyreholme Trust by Lynn Darrow, The Devil You Know by Camilla Quinn, Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde, and The Show Must Go On by Buggy Brooks.
- Do you have a favorite cover artist yourself?
Natasha Snow! She creates stunning covers and I’m honestly in awe of her talent.
- Did you look at book covers or were influenced by book covers as a child?
Oh, absolutely! I always gravitated towards the books that had covers I found appealing. I think it’s just natural when it comes to books. It’s perfectly fine to judge a book by its cover. You’re putting a lot of trust into a product you’re not sure about beyond a blurb. It certainly helps if the packaging is nice to look at.
- What or how do you see the role of the Book Cover?
I think the book cover is integral to selling books. It’s the packaging that’s responsible for catching a reader’s eye and hinting at the story within.
About Aisha Akeju
A New Yorker born and raised, creativity has always been a part of Aisha’s life and is, in fact, in her blood. The daughter of an artist and museum director, Aisha picked up a pencil before she learned her ABCs, learning to draw at her mother’s knee and “borrowing” art supplies from her mother’s drafting table when she grew tall enough to reach. Her love of art has only been matched by her love of books, becoming a voracious reader at an early age after falling in love with the written word after her first taste of Green Eggs and Ham, and becoming a published author by the time she was nine years old. Her passion for art and books helped shape Aisha into the illustrator and graphic designer she is today. Her love of fantasy and pop culture weaves itself into her life and her work.
Aisha graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Illustration, and prides herself on her unique style in all her endeavors. With several years of experience under her belt, Aisha currently works as a freelance designer, creating book covers and promotional images for independent presses, publishing houses, and self-published authors. In her spare time, Aisha illustrates for fun and profit, crochets gifts for friends and family, plays mom to a slightly evil and completely ridiculous cat, enjoys table-top gaming, and is a harcore kpop fan.
To learn more about what Aisha can do for you, please see her offered services and read testimonials from satisfied customers.
That’s our Artist of the Week. I hope you enjoyed it. Next week we have Garrett Leigh, who is both an artist and an author. Let me know if you have any questions for our artists in advance!
Meanwhile check out the covers below for the upcoming reviews. How do they strike you? Do they tell you a story? What are they saying? And then check out what our reviewer has to has say about the covers and their relation to the story they are reviewing. Interesting stuff!
Meanwhile have a great week! Stay warm if you are caught up in the polar vortex! And always happy reading and listening!
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, February 3:
- Book Covers and Artists! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- This Week’s Spotlight Artist: Aisha Akeju
- A Barb Review His First Family by Victoria Sue
Monday, February 4:
- HARMONY INK PROMO Andrew Demcak 2emails
- DSP PROMO Sean Michael on Educating the Professor
- Alisa Review: Omega Teacher’s Secret (Men of Meadowfall #5) by Anna Wineheart
- A MelanieM Review: Gage (Trenton Security #3) by J.M. Dabney
- A Jeri Review Rewind by Rowan Shaw
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams and John Solo (Narrator)
Tuesday, February 5:
- Release Week Blitz Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke
- BLITZ Diamond Heart by M.A. Hinkle
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Educating the Professor by Sean Michael
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rebuild My Heart (Lexington Lovers #4) by Ariel Tachna
- A Lucy Review: Bubbly (Uncorked #1) by Shea Balik
- A Lila Review: Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1) by Jenn Burke
Wednesday, February 6:
- Series Blitz – The Knights Club Series – CJ Baty
- Review Tour Marina Vivancos – Rat Park
- DSP PROMO Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga on Syncopation
- An Alisa Review: In the Lion’s Den by Abigail Kade
- A Stella Review: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Inside Out by Aimee Nicole Walker
Thursday, February 7:
- Release Day – JJ Harper – Gage (Redemption Series
- Release Blitz – My Anti-Valentine Collection – DJ Jamison
- DSP PROMO M.D. Grimm on Eye of the Beholder
- A Caryn Review No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez
- A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ruff Trouble by Sharon Maria Bidwell
- A Lila Audio Review A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)
Friday, February 8:
- Gage, Trenton Security Book 3, by JM Dabney Blog Tour
- Review Tour – The Other Book – Roe Horvat
- Release Blitz – TL Travis – Forgive Me Father
- An Alisa Audio Review From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review Hexhunter (Hexworld #4) by Jordan L. Hawk
- A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Eye of the Beholder by MD Grimm
- An Ali Review : The Other Book by Roe Horvat
Saturday, February 9:
- Joe Cosentino on Drama Castle (A Nicky and Noah Mystery Story)
- Series Review Tour – NASU and ENRAI (Blood Sealed Book 1 and 2)