Monday, 21 November 2011

E-book Cover Design

Original cover idea -rejected
Breaking news: I have a new book coming out on Kindle. That’s the cover for it there, underneath my other books. I finished writing it last year and have toyed with the idea of trying to get it published the traditional way, but if truth be told, I’ve lost all confidence in traditional publishers. Penguin’s recent move to e-publish unaccepted authors at an exorbitant cost confirmed to me that traditional publishing is on its way out and being able to do it yourself is the best option. How long that will last before the Big Six take over the e-shelves, I don’t know. But for now, I’ll publish my own.

Anyway, I spent a lovely two days designing the cover. I’d come up with something a few weeks ago, but when I put it up on my favourite Goodreads group for opinions, it was met with a lukewarm response. So I started again. My first idea was to go with a simple dragon’s eye. But I decided that it really didn’t say much about the story and had probably been done before.

So I went back to the original and started playing about. The girl, it seemed, was seen as ‘sneering’. I didn’t see her that way, but if that was the response, she had to go. But I liked the castle (or prison as it is in the story) so I kept that. Then I had an old leatherbound account book that my mother had given me a long time ago.  The main character’s father is an academic who has spent his life filling books with sketches and research, so it seemed relevant. I had sketches of a hawk and a chameleon (which I warped into a dragon-like creature) for the pages of the book. Add in a locket given to me by a teacher long ago and a dragon in the sky, colour it in vibrant colours and voila! I’m pretty pleased with the result and glad I asked the group's opinion before I published.


A discarded idea.
Another discarded idea
It’s quite an art, getting an ebook cover right. Not only do you have to have a design and colours that draw the eye, the title and author have to be legible in quite tiny versions of the jpeg.  It’s definitely not a matter of slapping a picture and title onto a page. It’s something I absolutely love doing, though. It distracts me from writing, yes, but once I have that cover done, I’m so keen to get the book out that my enthusiasm for writing is revived. I think I could quite happily become a full-time author and cover designer.

If wishes were fishes…



10 comments:

Eliseo Mauas Pinto said...

Awesome news kind friend! I think you are in the right path, and moreover, if all writers would ever have thee capability to design their own covers like you do, books will be more conceptual and render part of the artist's energy as a whole, isn't it?!
Keep on shining!♣

Stefanie J Pristavu said...

Wow, that cover rocks! You're really talented! I wish you great luck with it. I'd definitely look twice at this book. And I love the drawings in the book. I wish I could do covers that well.

Kate said...

Eliseo, one of the great things about ebook publishing is the amount of creative control an author can keep. Thanks for your comment.

Stefanie, thanks! It's great to be able to so enjoy doing something!

Anne E. Johnson said...

Congratulations! Your cover looks great, and it's very interesting to read about the process of designing it.

Mirka Breen said...

What a pleasure to read and see this post. All your covers are stunning.

Kate said...

Anne and Mirka, thanks! And thanks to you both for visiting!

Kelly Hashway said...

I love when authors show how their covers come to be. Thanks for sharing your previous versions, and congrats on finalizing your cover.

Lily Childs said...

What a gorgeous cover. The 'open book' is so intriguing - makes the reader desperate to open the actual book to find out what's inside.

Thank you for describing your decision journey too.

Seaview said...

It's lovely - and purple is a great colour. Your arrival at this cover was really interesting to read, so thanks for that! :]

marion

Julia Hones said...

Congratulations, Kate! This is great news! I've just read this entry. I'd missed it for some reason.