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Great prizes and each entry gets a critique from ME!
Details and entry info HERE
HURRY! Entry deadline is March 31, 2018
Occasionally, I try to make a book cover for an upcoming work.
Sometimes I do it to give the cover designer an idea of what I’m looking for; sometimes I just wanna see if I can do it.
Us creative types are like that.
USUALLY AUTHORS CAN’T DO THEIR OWN COVERS
Okay, disclaimers over. Let’s make a book cover!
- A simple, single image that takes MOST of the cover, then
- drop in a title that’s in an appropriate font and color.
Now, for The Water Castle cover, above, I probably made 10 versions of that (okay 20), so it took a few hours. Okay, it was 30 versions.
But I learned.
I was getting an education, so it was worth a little time.
To make that cover, I did the following
It sounds silly, but there are two things at work. First of all, yeah I believe if the cover girl is too pretty, that starts to be a turn off for the buyer – typically a woman aged 35-55. A too-beautiful cover model can look not realistic enough to the average reader. Second, if she’s not attractive enough, it’s visually unappealing. She still needs to be someone we can cheer for, maybe look up to, and possibly idealize in some ways. I don’t have any hard facts for that but that’s just what I think.
So she needed to be average but good looking. Models aren’t usually average looking, so that was harder than I expected.
To the interwebs!
So I went to websites that offer free pictures and I literally looked at hundreds. From there I chose maybe 30 to give a second look at.
- Any girl who seemed to be about the right age and
- had an expression on her face that somehow might relate to the story.
- Not smiling, but scared or concerned or wistful or thinking or distraught.
From there I narrowed it down to three or four because sometimes what you see in a big picture, once it’s cropped… it doesn’t look that way anymore.
She may look wistful in a big picture walking through a field, and when you crop it she looks bitchy. That’s what happened with one of these images!
Same process for the castle.
And it was free.
there is a lot of high-quality artwork out there that you would never think was FREE.
(As I do this, I make a note: X looks good for fantasy. Y works for drama, etc.
No sense in reinventing the wheel on my next cover.)
After looking at dozens of girls and dozens of castles and dozens of other things…
Any image that looks interesting to us, we grab it.
Which is fine, as long as we narrow it down later. Simpler is better.
Which would look best?
Try them all!
Well, the story is called The Water Castle, so…