Erotic Science Fiction Stories, Volume I, by Nobilis Reed
“Nobilis Reed presents six stories gathered from the length and breadth of his career.” View the extended description of this anthology on Smashwords here. (Warning: Mature content. Please be 18+. NSFW.)
You guys. Seriously. This cover came out SO nicely.
I have such a wide variety of authors I design for, but I have to admit, designing for Nobilis Reed always presents some unique challenges. I never considered, when I started freelancing, that I’d end up with files titled “sexbot.psd” on my computer. And yet, there it is.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for this particular cover until Nobilis pointed me to a video talking about how using a male on the cover of an erotic fiction book affects the audience. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. This, coupled with there being nothing more sci-fi than a robot/android, and I was off and running. I did a Google image search for “science fiction erotic book cover” to firm up the rest of the concept, and after a few bouts of roaring laughter at some of the titles/covers (seriously, go take a look, there’s far more bad than good), I settled on a take on the classic pulp novel look.
Far and away the element I spent the most time on was Mr. Sexbot here. He is one of the most complex elements I’ve ever created for a cover. All those sections of the body that look like separate pieces? They are. After removing all blemishes from the model’s skin (including the navel, as he’s a robot you know), I desaturated the image then added a color wash over top with a touch of blue to give it an artificial look. Then came the task of cutting this guy into pieces based on the lines of his muscles and joints (I think it ended up being just under 30 pieces in the end). I had to displace each piece to create the gaps you see between the segments. Once this was complete, I added a layer underneath it all in black to fill in the empty space so they weren’t floating. Lastly, I had to use a bevel & emboss layer setting on each individual segment, adjusting each for variations in light reflections. One of the last things I did was put together the glowing texture for the skivvies, then used blending modes to get the right illusion of light. When a friend of mine saw this, she insisted I Photoshop some sparkly undies on a picture of her too. No lie. Of course I did it, cackling the whole time and thinking what awesome, hilarious friends I have. But I digress…
This one is another first of a series where the color scheme will change from volume to volume. As they go live, I may add the other volumes to this post so you can see how I change them.
The best thing about this job is the endless variety of work I get to do. Each cover I design is different than the last. I wonder what will land in my email next? :)