Author Topic: Question for cover designers: How important is using the same model for a series  (Read 1915 times)

keithsoares

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[Posted this on *that other board* earlier and got no responses. Wondering if I'll fare better here...!]

Although I have a degree in applied design and worked as a graphic designer for many years, I don't usually do my own covers. You gotta know your own limitations, right? So for my big series, I pay for covers, and I think that shows.

For smaller works, I go ahead and do my own covers because sometimes the costs don't make sense. I recently launched a new series (YA UF) and decided that I wanted to be able to move quickly - shorter length, crowd-editing (I know, that sounds scary), and self-designed covers.

My question for all the cover designers on these boards is this: How important is it to find a single model for the main character and stick with that model? Particularly when using stock, it isn't terribly easy to get a wide range of usable shots with the same model. I feel like I'd be lucky to get 3, total. Have you mixed models for the main character, and just done some touching up to make them look reasonably the same? Especially when some series go past 10 books, I have no idea how to make a character visually consistent.

Thanks
K.

PS This is the first in my new series: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L23Y6MM

PPS I know that one of my reviews mentions typos. That is a beta reader review, from before corrections, so hopefully most of those were caught in the process.
 

Denise

I think if your model is supposed to represent your protagonist, then it should be the same mode. That said, in your cover you can't see much of your face, so perhaps you could have a similar looking model.

Some series sometimes depict other characters, so that's another option. Another option is to to maybe vary the position. and maybe have backward shots if the branding allows for that. Another  suggestion is to do head swaps with different bodies and re-use the same face with different poses. So there are many options. I think the most important for a series is branding, so that it's clear they are the same books. If the model is supposed to represent the protagonist, it would be weird to see someone completely different, but it it's similar enough, I think it's fine.

Maggie Ann

The four Regan books in my sig are all the same model but she looks very different in each shot because all four books are a different phase of her story. If I remember correctly, there were nearly 100 shots of this particular model. I think the consistency is in the typography and series numbering.

I'm working on another cover now where there are multiple poses of the same model; at least a dozen.

Models with multiple poses are out there. You just have to keep looking.
           
 

Crystal

If the series follows one main character, keep the same model on every cover. People connect with the main character, and thus with the model. If they suddenly see a different model on a cover, they'll get confused, and wonder if you have a new MC.

People make judgments on covers in an instant. They aren't always going to notice nuances, but they will get a feel for the thumbnail.
 
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Maggie Ann

Here's one I found with 17 different poses.

https://depositphotos.com/serie/48113773.html
           
 

keithsoares

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Thanks for the feedback.

I am able to find sets using the same model, but so far I haven't found any that are more than say 20 images, most of which are so much the same that it would be pointless to make multiple covers from them. I'll keep up the hunt.

I've made my work more challenging based on story-driven wardrobe concerns. As seen in my first cover, the MC often wears a hoodie (she also is noted as wearing gloves several times). This is because she is an "electromagician" - a group of people with special abilities centered around harnessing electricity. And since this is a modern, urban tale, she, of course, has a phone that she does everything with, but has to worry that touching the phone with her bare skin might zap it to death. So yeah, searching for 'young woman hoodie' reduces my options by a lot. My fault.  :icon_eek:

K.
 

Writer

I think it's important to keep the same model, if her face is going to be showing. That said, you've got some options. You could use images facing away or images with the face cropped out. You could shop the same head onto different bodies (though it takes skill to get the lighting and details right) or hide the face behind the shadows of the hood. In general, though, it's easiest to find a model with lots of poses.

When searching, you can also change up your phrases to "girl hood" or "girl cloak", etc to get more choices.
 

valeriec80

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I have yes. But never when the face is the focal point. Couple examples.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/series/B07BRYQNQ9?ref=series_aw_dp_link
The model with the black bra is not the same as the one with the white bra.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/series/B0198B5OAM?ref=series_aw_dp_link
These are all the backs of heads. None of the models are the same. None of them even have red hair for that matter
 

OfficialEthanJ

For financial reasons (read: cheapness), I use stock photos. This makes repeat models challenging but not impossible. I've decided to choose photos with models that either look like the MC circa the time period in the book, or body type if the face isn't visible.