Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Choosing a Book Cover

One of the perks of self-publishing is that I get to choose my own book covers. I'm not a marketing expert or a graphic artist and it probably shows, but there is a lot of satisfaction in coming up with a design and putting it together myself.

Let's say I am going to write a third Towers of Dust book called The Next Generation. Kind of like Star Trek, but not in space. The first thing I do is scour the internet for books that are similar to mine in genre and subgenre. What is popular? What are all the cool books wearing this season? After I have chosen a few ideas, I search for photos or graphics that I can use to put the cover together. I use either my own, those in public domain or those that are out of copyright. If I am very lucky, I can find one photo that says it all.

Then I begin. Here is one of the pictures I chose for this cover. I wanted it to be dark and dangerous.

Next I fill in the background.

Get rid of some of the photo so that I have a place to put the title.

Add another image, a road going somewhere to illustrate the idea that we are on a journey.

Get rid of the pretty sunshine.

Make the road a little more blue and a little less orange.

Make the road a little darker.

Then I add another photo. This one illustrates the crumbling city that is the idea behind the name of my book, Towers of Dust.

Get rid of the white and uncover the road beneath.

Add some vines creeping toward the city to illustrate the takeover of civilization by the natural world.

And finally add the title and my name to the cover after trying out a lot of different fonts.

Of course, this cover is for a fictitious book, and done quickly and not well, but I went through the same process with Towers of Dust - The First Year and Towers of Dust - The Passing Years(not for sale yet).

I discarded a lot of ideas that I had for covers. Here are some of them.

And that is how I do it! Thanks for stopping by.

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