As usual I started experimenting with a basic quick sketch of what I had in mind. I knew right from the start that I wanted to incorporate the title into the image for this one, especially since it was our more traditional two word titles. Naturally I aimed for an actual door, knowing it would be fairly easy to incorporate the word "door" into the wood grain.
From there I started testing out different color schemes for the wood grain itself. But then I started asking myself, how would a door that had been exposed to the elements for almost two centuries look? So I did some Googling, to find images to get a better idea of what such a door might look like. Here's a few of the examples I found:
So now I had a basis to build upon. Yet I also felt that whatever I created should have good strong colors that still gave that weathered yet somewhat foreboding feel. So I pulled out my soft pastels and started laying down some colors in order to start forming the palette I would use in the actual piece. Of course I also incorporated lettering into the grain of the wood in order to help me build towards the full effect I was aiming for.
Dark, sinister, ancient-looking yet eye-catching. Satisfied that this was what I want to aim for in the final rendition, I set about putting down the first layers for the actual cover.
As things have progressed I added some stonework as well as ivy/vegetation to help add contrast as well as frame our sinister portal. I also experimented with some photo-shopped lettering to get an idea of what the final product might look like on the actual book.
And since the actual door was intended to open into a family crypt built into a hillside, I decided to get clever and incorporate the letters T. H. E. along with a date to represent the first of the Elliott family who passed through the door (still alive at the time) but never came out. In fact, his body was never found by those who came to investigate... mwahahahah.
Um... sorry about that. I'm supposed to be talking about book covers not promoting the story.
Anyway, using the initials this way I managed to get the words "The Door" clearly incorporated into the artwork, with room for our names. Though I may have to extend the bottom a bit more to keep within the restrictions about lettering getting too close to the edges.
Clearly the above image is not nearly finished. The door itself still needs to be more weathered, and the vegetation needs to be made to look more sinister and eerie. Plus the door itself could use a hand and a lock, don't you think? But you get the general idea from this and where it's headed.
So to clarify, if you set out to try and design your own book cover be prepared. You'll need to know the image requirements of whatever self-publishing company you're using. Test the image out on prospective readers, get feedback. You may also need to do some or as much research as you did for your manuscript for accurate details to incorporate into the cover. And of course, make it eye-catching, intriguing, and alluring. Remember your cover is part of that first introduction to the reader. give them something that makes them want to pick up your book and start leafing through it. Because you may have one of the best stories in town, but if the package doesn't promise what your story can deliver, it won't even get a second glance.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.
Popular posts from this blog
Recently there's been a lot of discussion of Amazon Kindle's latest program... "Kindle Unlimited". Now for those of you have heard but don't know a lot about it, here's a quick recap in a nutshell. *Remember: this is only a brief overview and not an in-depth piece. I understand there are still some details to be ironed out* With Kindle Unlimited, you pay $9.99 a month to have unlimited access to Kindle books through Amazon. You don't have to 'buy' the books, you simply have access to them. Sort of like a private library that you pay a monthly fee to have access to. Now considering there are literally thousands of books on Kindle this is a pretty good deal for consumers. You can sample and read any the books and decide if you actually want to purchase a copy for yourself in e-book or maybe go for an actual print copy, without wondering whether or not the book is to your taste. So on the surface, this sounds pretty good right? So how do
Hello everyone. I had been planning and hoping to start out this blog post with me being all... But then Monday happened, and I wound up feeling like... Here's what's been happening around here for the last few months (well more like for the last year). You see, part of the reason (well a very big reason actually) why I haven't been posting a lot in the last year is because I developed some health issues. Nothing life-threatening, mind you, but life altering. Keeping a long story short, as of May I had to leave my job at the county of Santa Cruz and take Disability Retirement. Now this whole process has been ongoing since September of last year and now it's officially a year later, come to think of it. But throughout that time, I had a lot of doctor appointments, as well as dealing with a lot of stressful paperwork, which included short-term disability (which will be coming to an end this month). During my last meeting with my doctor, she noted my condition that led t
Me this morning when I opened this blog. We had hit over... Honestly, when this blog started back in 2010, I really had no idea what the hell I was doing. I only had the smallest inkling of what I wanted to say about books, writing, characters, voices, point of views, plot, setting, etc. But thanks to all of you and your continued support, I found my way. And after Helen joined me on the blog, things really took off thanks to her and all of you. And now, here we are at a number I never dreamed possible. Honestly, I'm so giddy right now I don't know what to do... Good advice. Thanks Loki. In the meantime, I want to say that I know I haven't been as active this year, mostly due to health and family issues. And unfortunately, those health issues are still ongoing. But I will try to bring you all more content soon, as well as a major announcement or two hopefully coming in the next two months. So, please bear with me, and continue to visit us. We love seeing you and hearing f