Book Covers- Part I The Journey Begins


Book Covers

51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_ (actually this image has nothing much to do with the post, it’s just a shameless plug…..on sale on Kindle, the first volume in a peerless work of history of the Isles of Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland- yeh!…. and also how to use a stock photo and almost get away with it)

This is a post of two parts.

For ease of navigation and convention you are reading the first part.

This part serves several functions:245px-1271754717_william-e.-gladstone

It is a useful read for those who have not yet considered book covers, as it is a frank account of the dilemmas you will encounter.


For folk who take the production of book covers seriously it is an insight into a mind of someone who would take the production of book covers to a respectable level if someone thwacked him about the head.Gunner Sargeant Hartman

Fans of whimsical posts which skirt with Reality are invited to My World.manners

Students of Human Nature are allowed to reach their own conclusions.imagesKUX2E4NS

Facing the Unavoidable

Once upon time, I resided in a frame of mind which abjured the harsh realities of making a book known to the public. When a narrative had been framed into chapters and reached a conclusion that was that. The book cover was something to be chosen from a limited supply of publishers’ free covers; the notion being the irony of my choice would be so obvious to the public they would clamber to purchase my volume(s).

NNQP Vol 1(No kidding folks, that’s the cover of Vol I of the Nearly Not Quite Paladins trilogy…..a comic fantasy work)

Sad, isn’t it? (don’t go there, one day it will turn up on Kindle…free)

Anyways, having signed up to WordPress and read a number of intelligent, informative and helpful blogs the truth finally sunk in.

Take the cover as seriously as the writing yo-yo!

Thus, ever lurking in the middle of my mind was the inescapable finality; I would have to have a unique cover to my book otherwise the best part of two years would wither or worse go perrffft!!

Oh What To Do??

The Professional Approach

A few posts went into practicalities of paying for a design. Now this made irrefutably good sense, after all established and successful writers aren’t renowned for designing their own covers? There was a problem there- the budget did not extend to cover such a cost. It could be argued the capital spent would be an investment. A fair enough argument for many and I would not stand in their way; but Ah me……the paradox and the conflict of not being able to justify my expenditure on my work.

The Skilled and Artistic Approach

Much to my surprise and fascination there were indeed numerous folk out their designing covers for their own books, and the skill I could only admire. One example; Rachael Ritchley whose YA series of book glow with imaginative and beautiful covers.

I concluded, therefore this was for me, I shall design my own. All I need is to find the write….sorry….right format/programme/something-or-other.

The…Uh?….What Do I Do Next?…..Where Do I Save This?…Where’s the Other Half of The Cover Gone? Approach

When faced with the process of choosing the right format/programme…etc, there was my usual problem. In studying these formats etc I have the attention and perception span of an adolescent male attending a history class dealing with the politics of choosing a 14th Century Holy Roman Emperor while said male has just witnessed the school cheerleaders in practice.  In short I…am…very…..annoying. (If it is any consolation to those who have the maturity to handle the serious production of book covers I am equally annoying to myself).

Once more…’Thus’ did follow the usual internal debate as to how to circumvent this.

I desire a book cover which reflects the content.

But, like hey man, all this procedure….Like man, it’s too heavy for me, y’know. Like too intense man; too far out.

Usual answer, Do It On The Hoof and See What Happens.

Here We Go Then….

Within these strictures I set to work, solidifying ideas swilling about my head for months

I had a notion on the nature of a cover which would represent one central facet of the narrative. I had worked out an image, which was possible to replicate onto a photo.

I had a location.

I had a thematic to work with.

And I had Windows Gallery, which I could work with.

All on the proverbial Hoof fitting in with:

My intention to produce a book cover

A workable format

A system

In the next post will be a narrative of the progress, so far.



22 thoughts on “Book Covers- Part I The Journey Begins

  1. Oy … there you go with the adolescent male thing again! Stop looking at the cheerleaders out the window, dear Roger, else it will be 2020 and the book will still be without cover. Seriously, though, I admire you for doing this! I would not even be able to begin, but like you, paying for a cover would not be possible unless I wished to become homeless and die of starvation, in which case, I would not live to see royalties from the book, so what’s the point? Well, I suppose there is something to be said for becoming famous posthumously …
    I am eagerly waiting with baited breath to see your progress so far! And 👍🏽👍🏽 for what you are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I still prefer the old plain book covers, uni, or bi-colour, with only the title on the front, and spine with title and author. Unless it’s a picture book, I don’t need any fancy pictures on the front cover, and really, esp. in sci-fi, most of the book covers I see have little or nothing to do with the contents of the book… so what’s the point? The first 5 to 10 pages are the critical parts of the book. If I am not immersed by the tenth page, that book is gone. Even faster if the front cover advertised something else. So, give me a plain cover and a 10 page preview. The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” still holds even if the cover tries it’s damnedest to convince me to buy the book. The cover better not lie to me about the contents… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you Sha’Tara.
        But it’s the challenge of working in the environment and working in and around the conventions…it’s the way I worked in the UK civil service; sometimes use the rule book as a door stop😁.
        Funny you should mention ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. When I ‘published’ Vol I of the History I used a stock Amazon cover and put that phrase as a sub-title.😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. While i don’t disagree with you on the simpler-is-better book cover, but unfortunate reality is that the majority of people, while not necessarily judging the book by its cover, simply never pick it up in a book shop if the cover doesn’t catch their eye. So, the cover becomes an important marketing tool just to get the consumer’s attention. Sad, but true. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s why I’ve gone weirdly, symbolic and ‘other stuff’
        Not mentioning names or titles, there was a good fantasy novel I came across.
        Picture of a lean, lithe woman warrior, sword over her shoulder (I always ignore the cover btw).
        Half way through the book, by which time she and her followers are taking all sorts of knocks, I’m thinking…..’Man, there’s no way she would be looking like this by now. Anyway what’s with the skimpy vest? She’s dressed for business (slaughter, torture etc)’
        Still the cover would call in folk…….Actually it was a good, gory, tough tale- shame about the cover.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s funny, but until this discussion, I never thought about book covers much, nor their relation to what is inside the book. Not to say I don’t notice covers, for I do … but I just never gave them any thought. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s likely because you are primarily a reader, going for the words, not the images. For me, images in a book are totally distracting – like ads in a magazine. What I like about EPUB format books is the choice, to have images, or not. I always download or convert, with no images. My mind has it’s own endless supply of “free” imaging provided by the words its reading and gets annoyed when someone else tries to impose a ready-made image for a passage that “obviously” requires a different set of images!!! Reading a book with images would be like watching a movie with subtitles and random still images on the screen. This doesn’t apply to a cartoon book, of course, but then it’s the images that matter first, backed up by a caption. But that’s not literature. It may be art, but definitely not literature.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes I do enjoy working with words, probably too much at times, some drafts can be incomprehensible until I call in the punctuation crew.
        I’m currently in a comic book (or as ‘we’ prefer to say ‘graphic’ novels….😉) and audio book phase(s)…just can’t sit still to read.
        (Oh yes and the indulging in SF series on Netflix)
        Once an adolescent male, always an adolescent male……


      7. True, I am more concerned with content and quality of writing than pictures. As to your comment about sub-titles … because I am nearly deaf, I can only watch movies or programs with close-captioning, and I have to admit that, though the captioning enables me to understand what is being said, it is annoying to have to try to keep switching focus from the images on the screen to the captioning at the bottom and then connect the two in my mind. It’s why I do not watch television or movies very much.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, and don’t forget the boardgames, moving units on maps, still doing that.
        I can’t decide presently whether to be Louis XVI and defy the League of Ausberg, or just go and start WWII from 1935 (that’s be the diplomatic and R&D phase) 😁😁
        (Although I should stick to completing the game counters design for the armies at Borodino in 1812 first)
        Busy, busy, buzzy 😁😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Audrey.
      Yes I’ve looked at Canva and then for some quirky reason went off in this direction- it must be something to do with the characters and the world in the book.
      Sometimes they just take over from you.
      If this fails I will take up your advice and return to Canva.

      Liked by 1 person

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