I’ve been told a book cover is the door to the text within, the key to the portal, the portal to the sacred cave, the blah blah to the blah blah balhakaaalajahaahaa. Fine. So what should this door, this key, this portal, this – cover – should look like? How do you fit in all that text that’s spanning a little less than 400 pages into one measly picture, and no it’s not allowed to be measly, it better be STUPENDOUS!
What do you envision? And how?
Initially, one goodhearted chap designed our cover for free. So of course I trashed it. Like – BIG time. Lesson learnt there for him was that free is unwanted, and for me later on when my editor knocked much needed sense in me was that don’t ever trash cover designers because they are a rare species who curl away in their shell never to return if poked and probed too much.
Lesson learnt. Repentance futile. Cover designer lost to the very woods he created.
Next, we semi hired a friend to design the cover. His first query was ‘so what is the book about?’ Lord knows I wanted to pour my heart out describing the countless sleepless moments spent in creating our masterpiece but I refrained. And still was left with either too much to say or nothing at all.
How do you decide to shrink your book into a single image?
In Demon’s case, we have his ocean blue fiery teal eyes, his fire, his claw, his handsome face, his charm, his strong muscular built, his sword, his aura, his sexy – oh I could do that all day and I did! We finally settled for the mark of the Demon, the claw, and fire but it turned out that my designer’s perception was at a 180 degrees flip with regards to
Take two. Aoife. That proved even more complicated than Demon since the entire book is about her. She’s a warrior, a princess, a cursed woman, a delicate diva, a girl torn between two worlds – which aspect to pick for the cover?
We decided to take a break.
In the meantime, a few friends came up with contacts of so-and-so who knew him or her who happened to be an artist or gave out links to cover designers but I learnt quickly that for an ebook our best bet would be to do the cover ourselves, especially since lack of funds was something of significance to first time authors as us.
I’m not in a position to say what sort of a decision would this prove to be since the book isn’t out yet but I did learn a lot about how to make covers on good ole MS WORD if all else failed. Insert picture, play around with picture tools, copy/paste on paint, crop and/or save as jpeg or similar was my best routine of the day! And I’m sure we could’ve done wonders if either of us, Shami or I, had Photoshop.
However, we did come up with some nice ones and the fun and migraines we had and shared during it all were priceless. They’ve earned a permanent place in my memoir that I hope to write someday :)
For now, we have these few covers that we made for Aoife and Demon. We’ve already made our pick and yet I’d like to know how you feel.