My visual arts background, such as it is, is entirely self-taught. I learned how to do cover art by doing it, over and over. But my skills aren’t quite to the point where I can market myself as a professional cover artist. Truth is, I don’t know what I don’t know yet. So here’s a challenge to rectify that gap.

I want to study 150 covers in one month. In June, I’ll study 5 coves a night. This will take about half an hour of my time per day. I’ll search through the Amazon bestseller lists for examples of top performing cover art, must be within the top 50, top 20 is better. I will study five genres: science fiction, fantasy, romance, erotica, and mystery. I’ll also study the various sub-genres of those.

I’ll ask the following questions:

1. Title, author, genre?

2. Describe the cover images. What do they convey? Note any photo-editing techniques and special effects. Note number of objects, and which way objects face.

3. Describe the fonts used. Size? Serif/sans-serif? If possible, figure out the specific font name.

4. How many elements? (e.g. author name, title, series name, bestseller status, etc.)

5. Does the cover properly convey the intended genre?

To keep myself honest and on-track, I’ll report back here on the blog with the answers to question #1. If things goes well, I’ll expand this challenge out to July and study 300 covers.

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