Book Covers Part II. If it was easy, where would the fun be?

And so to the Book Cover creation processes, thus far…..

In this my intention is three-fold:

  1. A narrative about someone creating a cover, not for self-aggrandisement but addressing those in a similar position to give them ideas such as ‘Hmm. That gives me an idea’ or ‘Well, if he can try it I think I can’ or ‘OK, maybe I can get make my own cover’ or even ‘Oh yeh! I am definitely going to back to those professional sites!’ and especially ’I need to read another blog or six on this subject’ All these reactions and any permutations of them are valid, and you go for it! I’m with you all the way !!

2. Since I now embrace the idea that telling folk about your book before you publish it is important, this is in part giving Of Patchwork Warriors another airing.

3. The case for the defence when the evidence comes under the dispassionate gazed for those better versed in the skill.

Laying Down The Strategy

As previously acknowledged since my skills in this subject are minimal it was essential to include any scrap, sliver or mote of imagery which bore relevance to a central aspect of the narrative while at the same time being very basic. In sticking to simplicity this production would be shorn of any figures or faces, which would place emphasis on the props and the atmosphere. This at one gave a certain freedom of movement while concentrating the mind on the type of items to be placed.

Narrative and Imaging Working In Harmony (Sort of)

Central to ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ are the actions and relationships of three young women set with a task they were not expecting. It is never made truly clear if they were ‘Thrown Together By Chance’ or ‘Manoeuvred By Forces’. What is clear they do not act as others or each other expect them to. This lends an air of the ragged and improvisation which suited my Cover-Work just fine! To reflect this I was relying on these three characters and their backgrounds:

Arketre Beritt– Soldier. Medician in The LifeGuard (medic in an elite regiment). Southern drawl when being intense. Used to roughing it on active duty. Adept at making her own potions.

Karlyn Nahtinee– Mysterious. Self-appointed hunter of evil (aka Whychery). Acrobatic. Uncanny sense of smell and empathy with Nature. Adept killer. Skewed and whimsical. Vulnerable (And a heck of a struggle to stop her being read as a Harley Quinn ‘knock-off’- Frustration was ….I thought of her prototype before I started reading Batman again).

Trelli– Housemaid by profession. Thanks to the incautious effects of the household son’ Infected’ with the ‘power’ aka ‘The Ethereal’. Tracked and rescued/abducted by Arketre and Karlyn (long story). Trying to maintain her composure, control this intrusive power and not be overwhelmed by Arketre and particularly Karlyn.

The dynamics of the trio’s journeying, overcoming tribulations and growing relationships comes to dominate the narrative as they become the effective opposition to destructive powers. Therefore, a cover which illustrated their collective and individual passages upon a landscape would be a valid and importantly an attainable image.

On Taking Holes and Adjusting Them To Fit Pegs Into

So three folk travelling. Campsite. Ideal to scatter items around which should also figure as signatures of the circumstances and maybe the characters. This actually turned into a two-way street, when it struck me that if I bought a cheap, plastic prop sword it would look like a cheap…plastic….prop..sword?  And what was with those cheap fancy dress pirate boots?, They shone like something….cheap. Some thought was required. Back to the Campsite:

Small Fire?-Of course. And naturally some battered mugs-easy we have a surfeit of old mugs, just paint them dingy. These were folk travelling a long road in an uncertain situation so it was all in the rough. Trelli being practical would have the others reasonably clean, so socks and shirt/top drying after a sort of wash. Arketre making potions, one discarded pot would not come amiss. Trelli being bothered by the Ethereal which manifests in Red and Blue, so scatter some red and blue bits. Karlyn what about her? No sword, well I have a wooden stave in the house from the time my son was practicing some martial art stuff. Yes that would fit. Just do a bit of a re-write to include a stave, in her weaponry, which made sense since she liked to sit up trees and a big sword while balanced on a branch does not seem a good idea. And I can build in Trelli’s slippers (my wife discarded a pair recently, I smeared them with some goldish paint). Yeh, that all fits.

Best of all it hopefully it will look odd and make folk wonder…..I hope(d).

That’s All Very Well But Does It Fly?

Well, let’s look shall we……….

And my back garden/yard in its ‘wild’ theme (gardening is not our strong suite)

Cover 4

(This is one of the 30+ shots taken on a damp early autumnal morn…..problem one the events are taking place in the spring. Can’t wait. Karlyn is given the statement that some trees are confused, which is useful, underlines her unearthliness. But green and brown. Does it look interesting enough for Fantasy? My wife said ‘No’ and I trust her implicitly with colour sense. (I kept Karlyn’s lines in anyhow)……..)

Since Reds and Blues figure in the theme I took what was available in the editing process in Word and tried a blue.

Cover 5 

Ok, so everything I wanted to appear is appearing and the atmosphere looks somewhat unusual, and you can’t see anyone., not seeing anyone leaves the appearance up to the reader’s imagination. There’s a bit of a pathway showing; one important chapter does take place in ruins, but is this ruined enough? So I tried to edge it out with some paintbrushing, lines of red and blue (Ethereal or officially titled ‘Stommigheid’)

Cover 2

Yes, so there are these two pronounced patches of red and blue. Question is. Are they too cartoony? Do they look unreal enough?  If I put my author’s name in that corner would that distract? Should I leave the red and blue out and use the previous picture? I’m something of a believer of ‘Leave it settle. Come back in a few days and look at it again with fresh eyes’ Thus the project is left for those few days. I have to admit to a certain degree of satisfaction. Let’s hope to the Good Lord God (that’s a phrase you’ll find in the book, or variations thereupon) this will translate onto an Amazon Kindle format and the title will fit. Anyhow some more tinkering maybe required, that’s assuming this Windows 10 format can handle it 

At least I know how my characters feel, having to make things up as they go along.

Book Covers- Part I The Journey Begins

Of Patchwork Warriors Part 1

“Of Patchwork Warriors” – Let The Book Be Launched

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Book Covers Part II. If it was easy, where would the fun be?

  1. As a life-long amateur photographer, I have to agree that your potpourri is certainly “unusual” and definitely eye-catching. Question is, if the contents of a cover are to be meaningful, does this cover express what you desire to express? It’s all very interesting, only to me the clothes hanging on the branch draw off too much focus. Perhaps smaller items? Replacing the pants with a bit of black underwear 🙂 Critique: the staff is too… straight, too smooth, IMO. Something from “the bush” with bark and knots and a broken, knobby end would suit better, but perhaps that is difficult to come by in your neck of the woods? Instead of the blue tint, have you tried deep saturation, and a warmer tint? Or harsher contrast? Working with shadows? I’m ambivalent about the creeping red/blue waves. Just some random thoughts. Wish I was there to help you set up the theme!!! There is an old, simple picture manipulator program called “Polyview” which you can download free and it only takes a few minutes to learn how to use its basic functions. If you do download it, don’t forget to set your preferences early on. Some features are a bit “weird” but they work. You can combine several images in one, and you can write on the images, etc. If memory serves, it also contains a framing sub-routine to frame your pictures in… or maybe that was in the professional Corel Photopaint program on my Windows-based computer. What I miss most, since I am now a Ubuntu OS user, is the saturation and contrast features. What “bugged me” the most: when you delete an image in Polyview, you can’t just press “next” on the menu, you have to load up a new image – dumb. Alternatively, there is also “Shotwell” which is available for free download in the Windows OS format. That is the program I am currently using in Ubuntu. It’s even simpler than Polyview, perhaps too simple… but I can always supplement some missing features by opening up a Shotwell enhanced image in Libre Office. All this means is… time, time and more time I don’t have. Keep plugging away there, Roger. This is where all the “fun” hides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sha’ Tara.
      All your comments are welcome, and valuable! I will certainly look into your suggestions.
      I chose the underwear initially to emphasise the ragged and embracing by the three of an ‘outlaw’ approach but I see your point.
      The staff being smooth reflects something of Karlyn’s nature, in that she’s crafted it like that, although funnily enough later on it breaks in combat and she’s obliged to grab hold of a broken branch to use as a weapon.😄.
      I wasn’t really happy with the red & blue either, so I think that’s being ditched.
      It’s a work in progress and fun, so I’ll be taking up your suggestions.
      Thanks again.
      Yep! it’s tremendous fun!!✌️🙌

      Like

    • That’s Trelli… she’s very domestically organised, I had to restrain myself from washing them…..there’s an ‘interlude’ between Trelli and Karlyn over the clear state of her shoes where Karlyn accuses her of using unnatural powers.
      Maybe I have too much fun writing 🙌 !!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just for fun, I whipped up a design for Of Patchwork Warriiors, using Canva and free pictures from Pixabay and Unsplash. Do you have an email address I can use to send it to you? (This isn’t a ploy to capture an address to add to my list; don’t have a list — another of my marketing no-no’s).

    Liked by 1 person

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