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The Cover of Your Book (1 Viewer)

Apple Ice

Senior Member
I was lurking about Waterstones the other day judging books by nothing but their cover, If i didn't like the cover I stayed away. The generic war ones entitled stuff like "Osama: The Unknown Son" which have a picture of an exploding helicopter on the front didn't get a second look at. Neither did the countless ones with a Spartan snarling at me. These could be good books for all I know but their covers made sure to tell me to keep away, which ironically could be luring other people in.
The ones I did pick up tended to have either bold colours or understated/pretty covers. Now that I have a novel in my hand the first sentence of the blurb has to be right. "In a world where..." or "One detective, one clue, one city, one murder" is the sort of opening that makes me put it back down and sigh.

I read a lot more than i write, I think about writing a lot and have many ideas but I lack motivation at the moment, something that doesn't worry me in the slightest because it will come. So saying that, I like to think I'm somewhat of a fair judge of these things because being a "writer" hasn't deluded me in thoughts of grandeur (not that I'm saying all writers have).

I was wondering how much you people have thought about the aesthetics of your masterpiece. I'm sure there will be a fair few who don't think about it at all until they've finished. But for those of you romantics who do, how much do you think about?

My whole cover and blurb are going to be the dogs bollocks I often think.
 
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Apple Ice

Senior Member
Ah yes, I didn't think about those who might not want to or be able to do it. I think I know better than anyone else about what will work with my story, certainly in terms of the text that is put on it anyway. As for the cover, I can't draw but I think I know what looks good.

EDIT: One day Gavrushka, one day
 
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OurJud

Senior Member
My whole cover and blurb are going to be the dogs bollocks I often think.

And there's no reason it shouldn't be. I get a real kick doing mock-ups like these. The first is just one example for my current WiP, and the second is for a completely fictitious book.

2rz9oy9.jpg


aa7qlu.jpg
 

Apple Ice

Senior Member
The first one is a lovely cover OJ, not too sure about the review, but the cover itself is something I would pick up and have a gander at. The second one is eye catching, I would expect so much acid in that book. I wish I could do that sort of stuff
 

OurJud

Senior Member
Thanks, Apple. You just need to be ambitious and brave. If you have some photo editing software (Photo Pos Pro is a good free one) just find a suitable image on google, crop or resize it to a rough book size and play about with the software's effects tools. When you get the sort of vibe you're looking for, add some text and play around with different fonts.

Jut be brave and let your imagination surprise you. Do things with the design your brain is telling you not to.
 

Apple Ice

Senior Member
You know, you may have just inspired me to give that a go, there's no way it could hurt, thanks for the software recommendation. I'm also glad to see that someone else has at least thought of their cover, i thought I was on my own for a moment.
 

OurJud

Senior Member
You know, you may have just inspired me to give that a go, there's no way it could hurt, thanks for the software recommendation. I'm also glad to see that someone else has at least thought of their cover, i thought I was on my own for a moment.

Go for it. One tip I'll give you for choosing the colour of the text on the cover, is to use the software's colour picker tool (it will look like an ink dropper). If you look at my Roadside Cafe cover, for instance, I needed a light colour for the title so that it stood out against the dark, so I picked the colour from the brightest spot of the sun, just above the steering wheel. Then for the author's name I also needed something light, but different to the title, so I picked the pink towards the top of the windscreen.

Doing this helps pull it all together :)
 

The Tourist

Senior Member
I designed my cover years ago. It's just three figures.

The central figure is priest or other nondescript shaman, armed to the teeth. Next to one side of him is an ethereal being of light. To his other side is a tall woman of some royal background, attired all in red.

The cover also has a three simple declarative sentences. "He'll fly. He'll die. You'll cry."
 

David Gordon Burke

WF Veterans
I think it'll be someone else's job, and all I hope is that they do it well.

Very smart words. Delegate the responsibility for the cover to someone else. The only way to fly. If you've been doing your job, that is learning the art of writing a story with all the elements needed to captivate your chosen audience, you definitely haven't had time to learn everything that goes into designing a book cover - graphic arts, marketing, high end photoshop type programs, branding etc. etc.

I am hoping to post the cover for my book on my blog today - have to resize it. Will announce if I get it done. Personally, I think my graphics guy did a great job.

David Gordon Burke

Ok...I'm back. It worked. I have debuted my cover at my blog. (while this may seem like blatant self promotion.....oh hell, who am I kidding? it's blatant self promotion but....) if you are interested take a look.

The link is in my signature.

D.G.B.
 
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shadowwalker

WF Veterans
Book cover design is not just a grab-picture-off-internet-and-photoshop proposition. For one thing, there's copyright involved - just because it's on the internet doesn't mean anyone can use it for any reason. For another thing, personal esthetics aside, and as David noted, there's a marketing issue. Just because the author likes something does not mean it's going to appeal to a large audience - and that's the purpose of the book cover, to get a lot of people to pick up the book.

There's a reason trade publishers have professional cover designers and it's the same reason I urge self-publishers to pay for a professional cover designer - they know what they're doing.
 

Apple Ice

Senior Member
I have at no point suggested otherwise, Shadowwalker. I think using an already existing picture for inspiration is no bad thing. There are obvious copyright laws and procedures if you do want to use a picture that isn't your own.

However, this was not what I was asking, everyone seems to be getting bogged down in the mechanics. What I asked, or at least thought I did (perhaps I wasn't very clear at all, sorry if that's the case) is IF you have thought about your cover, how much detail have you gone in to with it. The Tourist's response is the sort of answer I was looking for.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
My response was mainly to the suggestion that one could just google a picture and rework it. That's where the copyright issue comes into play and I felt that needed to be addressed. As to me personally, I've done "covers" for my fanfic but otherwise, I intend to let the professionals do their thing, only opening my mouth if I really don't like the result.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
I agree with Shadowwalker here. Cover design is not simply finding an image that you think will be "good enough". The image has to speak to your book and promote the ideas within very clearly. There's also how to image will look small and large, at a distance, up close, how the colors need to play off of one another to properly reflect the mood of the book, etc. It's not a simple process.

Here's my cover
18209825.jpg

I had a whole different image in my head, that didn't look anything like this. But, a close friend of mine who read the book, offered the cover for me. I must say, it's way cleaner and clearer than the image I had in mind. Far better than anything I would have come up with. This was all I needed to then create the entire full sized cover (spine and all), but without this initial idea, it wouldn't have been as good. The text was my idea but the image with the map and guy was all him.

Of course, if you feel confident if your ability to DIY, go for it. I remember when I on another message board and talked about doing page layouts myself, I was told repeated I couldn't/shouldn't do it because it has to be done by a professional typesetter. Yet, with a few months of work and research, I was able to put it together myself. So, it's all possible. I suggest you take the time to learn some design concepts before risking cover creation by yourself.
 

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