Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Book and its Cover

Over the past few weeks, I've spent my time finding ways to avoid stuffing my hindquarters into a chair and writing. I'm approaching the end of a first draft for a novel project. This always seems to happen when I'm approaching the end of a writing project. My last few chapters seem to take me forever to finish.

From a psychological (did I spell that right?) perspective, I suppose my subconscious does not want to let go, or let the story end. But end, it must, because I must then conquer the dreaded editing process where other people tell me where I screwed up the story.

Well, for a wonderful new pasttime, I've been creating some book covers for a few authors. I do this free, of course, because I'm no professional. I do enjoy the process though, and try to treat each cover as if I were doing it for money. Here's what I've done lately:


The above cover is my latest work. I'm most proud of this one because it was a collaboration between the author, an illustrator, and myself. The author provide her vision to the illustrator (The wonderful Zak Dawson). He drew the pictures of the character, the wrecked vehicle, and the birds. I colored, textured, and shaded the pictures, then placed them over the background. I added the dwellings in the background, the smoke, the knife, and the bio-embedded device on the character's left arm. Oh, and I also added the feathers on the birds. This is a science fiction novel so I wanted it to look surreal.



 The picture above is something I put together for the first book by the same author. She felt it important to show the infant being pulled through the fire by the strange hand. Also important was the star-shaped birthmark. If you're wondering, yes, the background is the same as the first cover shown above. I simply reversed it and changed the formatting and colorization for the second novel.



Above is the cover I made for a local friend. Her book is not out yet but she assured me the cover represented what she wanted for the story.



Above is a cover I made for another friend. This book is the first in a series of erotic romance stories about a young girl going to the Sturgis Bike Rally before going off to college. I read the story. It was quite good.


Above is another cover completed for the same author. I think she ended up not using this for her final cover, but I gained valuable experience in making it just the same.



The above cover was made for a story appearing in a seasonal anthology. The story had a paranormal, even celtic religious feel to it so, I thought the cover should be fitting. Again, I gained experience making this learning to properly shade the background, cut the character from another picture, and place her in front of the title. I also had to smudge out a particular body part the was showing in the original picture so that it would not be censored.


The cover above is the original for the story in the anthology. It was pretty straightforward. I simply put words on a stock photo I formatted for the cover.


The above cover proved surprising in its simplicity. Sure, I basically stamped the picture of the woman onto a white pallette, along with the chinese character for beauty, but I had to first prepare the picture of the woman. In order to make it work for the cover, I had to take the stock photo and remove an elaborate headress, and change the color of her eyes from black to green.



Above is an alternate cover (ebook format) for a novel written by Ellison James. I spent much time cutting out each element and placing it in the photo. I think, in the end, the cover may be a bit busy but I like it. The picture of the woman over the man comes from a stock photo, and represents the main character in the story, and her need to dominate men. The skyline behind them is of Atlanta, Georgia, the city where the majority of the story takes place. The moon and clouds was cut from a larger photo, and the eyes were changed in color from brown to green.

I would like to try making a cover a mystery story next. So, anyone out there needing a cover for your next novel, or anyone knowing someone else needing one, just let me know. Maybe we can work something out. Who knows, one day, I might actually charge for this, but for now, I'm happy to create these as a distraction, and for the experience.

Now, I've got to get back to writing.