Interview with Thomas Mims from Hawk&Moon

Hi, Thomas. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Hi, Mark. I’ve always been hugely interested in the art of both verbal and visual storytelling. Growing up, I would draw every day-during recess, classes, and in the evenings at home. In college, I studied fine arts and became increasingly interested in the multimedia opportunities software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash offered to artists. These interests have since evolved into a career in digital design and I’ve spent the past twelve years  providing freelance design and development for a variety of creative firms and small businesses. Never failing to keep me on my toes-projects have ranged from print & website design to animation, illustration, and online Flash games.

How did you get into the book-cover design business?
I’ve always been intrigued by allegorical images. The challenge of distilling a larger story into one unique frame seems  to provide the perfect context for inspiration. As a fine arts student, I would usually begin a piece by considering it’s potential as a book or album cover. My early days as a professional designer seemed to naturally focus on commissioned album art, flyers, and posters-all similar to book covers in being a single image meant to encapsulate a larger experience.

When I began contracting for web & flash development, the projects tended to be more about content organization, info design and site architecture-all very interesting, but farther removed from my core source of inspiration. Most recently, I’ve affirmed that visual art is my biggest passion and have returned to pursuing work that is more aligned with my desire to create ….

Do you offer any services other than book designing?
Yes, thanks for asking! Between  my wife Nicole and I, we offer brand identity, print and web design, photography, animation, interactive/game design, illustration, and even audio production.

The main word I hope people would associate our services with is CREATIVE. We’re passionate about producing work which is not only effective and marketable, but also unique and artistic.

What can writers do to prepare for the book  design phase?
One or more of the following:
– Write a brief description of the envisioned cover image (Or better yet, a few).
– Provide an excerpt from a particularly defining moment in your book.
– Send reference imagery: a sketch, a photo, a link to a flikr page or lightbox from a stock photo site.
– Direct us to other book covers out there that you like, and explain what you like about them.

How much do your services cost and how long does it typically take?
We charge  competitive rates between 50-75$/hr, depending on whether it’s time spent researching, photoshopping, drawing, or skydiving over a volcano to get that perfect lava photo. The average book cover costs between 400-700$, with a 10 day average turnaround time.

How can folks get in touch with you?

Helpful things to include:
– Name, contact info, link to work &/or personal site/blog
– Title, general premise & outline of your book.
– Your idea(s) for the cover
– Desired timeline & budget

– Which of the following you need:
– Print cover
– eBook cover
– Wraparound cover
– Inside cover
– Illustrations
– Promo materials, etc.


(Disclosure: Thomas did the cover, trailer, and postcard for my novel, The Book of Margery Kempe, and did a fantastic job!)


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Filed under EBook Marketing Innovations, EBooks and Advertising

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