Friday, March 22, 2013

How to Make a Book Cover for Dummies

What’s woody, grasshoppers?

Play the video above to get your groove on while you read the breakdown of Thick 3

This week I unveiled the book cover for In the Thick of Things aka Thick 3…the story itself is only 5 percent done…I’m taking my time with the story because I want THIS one to be special….

…kinda like how you continue to sleep and hoe around until you find the RIGHT person to settle down with

Anyway…I purposely posted the book cover a year before the novel’s release date to motivate me to finish the project

The visual helps out the king with the content of the story…besides the provocative nature of the book covers in the Thick series (half nakedness DOES help), they give me an idea of how I should approach the story…the better the book cover looks to the public, the better I write the story to MATCH the intense beauty of the visual before you pick up a copy

And for the record, I’m NOT the illustrator of the book covers…the artwork is done by Joshua Calloway, straight from the mean "skreets" of cornfields and cheese factories of Wisconsin USA, baby

Check out his work @

I hand picked Joshua to work on the book covers of Thick 2 and 3…I fell out with the illustrator of Thick 1…I was an asshole to Zach, but shit, I play hardball when it comes to projects that need to be done

I can be VERY anal about how I want the book covers to be executed...real rap

Shout out to Zachary Schoenbaum…check out his work @

I emailed Joshua about a one-week book cover project for Thick 3…he agreed, and worked from the material I’d given him…I specifically told him I wanted yellow to dominate the illustration, just like how red dominated Thick 1 and orange dominated Thick 2

Thick 3 is also known as the "yellow book"

Joshua went to work with the first draft of the cover…the watershed style is used right 'chea on some Leonardo da Vinci type shit…I switched things up so the book covers won’t look the same from the other Thick novels as well as other books in today’s market

A week after our initial emails, Joshua hit me off with…

I wasn’t feeling it…the drawing wasn’t wack…it was just…


The illustration didn’t make my dick hard…I told money (Joshua) to make her face smaller, sharpen the nose, make the lips fuller, fix the index finger, and put some red in the illustration to contrast with the yellow

Money headed back to the drawing board with this…

We were right on track, baby!

The wrinkles from the brush strokes of the painting didn’t sit too well with the king…they made shorty look old in the "Jesus is my homeboy" old...I told money to smooth out the lines in the painting and add the background I gave him

He hit me off with…


Actually, Joshua had sent me two versions of the book cover: one with a sun, and one without…I wanted the sun to have an “Oh shit!” facial expression as he’s lookin’ at shorty…Joshua thought that shit was weird…I didn’t give a fuck, I wanted that joint in the painting

I told him to make the size of the sun smaller, add a red strand in the middle of shorty’s hair, and add the book title in the painting for this…

The cover was dope, but I wasn’t wholeheartedly satisfied…I didn’t bust a nut from the illustration

I suggested that money make the woman a little bit smaller, make “In The” that rides the T in THICK look much bigger, and put his own swag to the finished product since we had an extra day until the deadline

I hate using the word “swag,” but I’ll let it ride for once this time

He cooked up the final project in the kitchen and hooked me up with what you now see

I wish I knew how to draw as great as I can write…that'll save me some dough...LOL...straight up...drawing cartoons were my first passion as a shorty standing knee high…I couldn’t draw a lick, so I wrote episodes instead

Every cover of my books are conceived by me…I hire artists to carry out the images I possess in my mind…I’m the conductor in the orchestra of art

Simple as that

There’s actually more to the creative process of this illustration than I’m giving away…the process is tedious; it takes longer than expected…but hey, it’s worth it

I treat book covers like album covers…even if you think the story suck, at least you can’t front on the cover…I want people to buy the book based on the cover ALONE

And also for the cover to become timeless while the clock runs laps around this small, cold world like it’s on crack

Aight, ya’ll…I’m out


Nah’Sun the Great @

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