Cover Art

coverartI recently took a break from editing my book and worked on some cover art. Instead of “borrowing” images from the internet, I decided to do some original artwork.

My novel is a historical thriller that intertwines the story of Queen Elizabeth I with a modern tale, complete with puzzles. I wanted my cover to look modern, but hint at the history that is included within.

First, I printed off some reference pictures. Queen Elizabeth I is pretty iconic, so I thought her image would look great on a cover.

Next, I sketched out a design and colored it in. Afterwards, I scanned it into my computer so I could play around with the image.

I tried out different layouts and fonts. I want the cover to be clean, but something that would interest me if I saw it on a bookshelf. As of yet, I haven’t hit on the winning design, but I’m enjoying the process. Now that I look at it, I think readers may get the wrong impression about the book – the Queen Elizabeth sections are much shorter than the modern day parts. I’ll have to rethink this and keep playing around. I also felt like my font choices were pretty limited. I’ll have to download some new ones soon.

What about a book’s design makes you want to pick it up off the shelf?

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7 thoughts on “Cover Art

  1. Personally, I pick up books with turquoise or blue covers/spines. I like them on my bookshelves. It’s amazing how many good books I’ve found in these colors. I do, of course, read other books – usually because they’ve been recommended to me or I’ve read about them in a newspaper or magazine. I wonder if anyone else buys books according to color? Also, I hate black books, especially if they have red lettering.

    • Yes, your bookshelves look lovely since they all coordinate! Since I read a lot of YA books, they tend to be very colorful and have bold font styles. I also like books that have illustrations rather than photographs.

  2. It’s awesome that you’re doing your own cover art! Your drawings are looking pretty cool so far. It’s one of my goals to do my own cover art, as well, although my style is digital art and Photoshop compilations. I’ve read that covers with people on them get more interest, but I think a lot of novel covers with people (especially ones that involve any sort of romance) are kind of cheesy. It’s a hard balance to strike.

    Do you touch up your drawings digitally?

    • It sounds like you have fancier computer programs and skills than me! I don’t have Photoshop, but I do my best with what I’ve got. And yes, it’s hard to strike the right balance when designing a cover. There are so many things to think about: images, colors, font styles and sizes, text layout. There are millions of directions to go. I see on your website that you’re releasing a kindle book soon. How did you go about designing a cover for your book?

      • I came up with a title before even thinking about the book cover. (Right now the book is called “Chasing the Breeze,” unless I have a total meltdown and decide to change it in the next two weeks!)

        I wanted the cover to match the title, and of course go with the story, too. I came up with leaves blowing in the breeze first, so I created those and then spent some time in Photoshop just moving them around. It’s my inclination to put white backgrounds on anything and everything, but I found it looked to simple, so underneath I layered different parts of a photo of trees and sky that I took. It still seemed a little empty. My last step for the cover art was to add in figures, which helped give it a more concrete focal point and also gave me the opportunity to bring out the background picture without putting it everywhere.

        I realize that this would make a lot more sense if you could actually see the cover. I intend to make a post about it soon, but I have a few more tweaks to do first.

        Is your cover art for your first book, or have you written others? How is your book going?

  3. Pingback: Creating a Unique, Personalized Cover | Juliana Rose

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