Category Archives: Book Cover Design

Book Cover Design Topics

Christmas Grotto and Halloween Bonus – Book covers by The Story Reading Ape

Source: Christmas Grotto and Halloween Bonus – Book covers by The Story Reading Ape

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Dancing Chimps

Fun with Visuals and Book Promo Images Part 2

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Yesterday I showed how to make images a little more interesting, like this:

Forever

But today, I’d like to show you how Book Promo Images can be made a little more interesting.

You could use Google to find the various programmes and online sites where you can make 3D versions of your book covers, or, use Google / Amazon / Apple to find some free programmes / apps that will enable you to make your own, e.g.:

Take this cover I made,

(Since this is already pre-made, it could be YOURS for £10 / $15 excluding Title, etc, Text)

(Contact Details HERE)

IMG_0446

Doesn’t it look a little more interesting like this?

IMG_0447

Even better doing this?

Billboard 02

Here are some more Spoof Covers I made 😀

(these are NOT for sale)

IMG_0036

IMG_0593

IMG_0438

IMG_0455

So now you know what I get up to (sometimes 😀 )

Tomorrow, I’ll reveal some more pre-made covers 😀

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Fun with Visuals and Book Promo Images Part 1

An excellent choice for book cover design! Check it out!!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

When I have a little time to spare I like to play with the images I make using the various software I have on my devices, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

For example:

What many people think an author’s life is like…

Writing 01

But why stop there?

I found a nice Billboard image,

converted it into a PNG format,

deleted whatever picture was there

to leave a nice transparent layer:

Billboard 01 PNG Original

Then combined the two to make it more interesting:

Billboard 01

Another example:

Billboard 01 Multi Layer

But I thought it might be nice to make it appear in an Art Gallery 😀

Art Gallery 02 PNG Original

Here are more:

Art Gallery 01 PNG Original

Back to scenes:

Bottle-Beach-road-4 with trio

busso-forest-beach Combo 01

dscf4657 Combo 01

I tried to add a bit more interest using sketches:

Sketch 05

But why stick with Billboards and Photos?

So I put some onto computer screens 😀

Computer Screen 01 PNG Original

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to spice up

your book promo cover images

and some Spoof Book Covers I made

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Book Cover Design 101 OR, “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The Linden Chronicles: The Wolf's Moon/The River

By Sandra L. Jones, wife of The Author, Patrick Jones

SO…He wrote a book…Now what do we do??

As The Authorand I continue on through the Indie Author self-publishing platform, it is very obvious that the process typifies a continuous learning model.  It never ends!!  We continue to read, learn and implement our strategy toward discovering new and better ways from the ground up. The publishing industry changes logarithmically, and the speed at which the current “Information Age” progresses is unprecedented.

This particular project has taken us about a year to complete.  Anthony Wessel with Digital Book Today suggested that we recount our journey so that others in the industry may learn from our experience.  Collaboration is essential in the process of brainstorming.  That is key to the equation.

Significant Points to Consider:

  1. We worked with a print on demand publisher, Create Space.  We continue to have…

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Book Cover Design 101 OR, “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche

By Sandra L. Jones, wife of The Author, Patrick Jones

SO…He wrote a book…Now what do we do??

As The Author and I continue on through the Indie Author self-publishing platform, it is very obvious that the process typifies a continuous learning model.  It never ends!!  We continue to read, learn and implement our strategy toward discovering new and better ways from the ground up. The publishing industry changes logarithmically, and the speed at which the current “Information Age” progresses is unprecedented.

This particular project has taken us about a year to complete.  Anthony Wessel with Digital Book Today suggested that we recount our journey so that others in the industry may learn from our experience.  Collaboration is essential in the process of brainstorming.  That is key to the equation.

Significant Points to Consider:

  1. We worked with a print on demand publisher, Create Space.  We continue to have a terrific experience with this company.  They are a subsidiary of Amazon and serve as a “bridge” to the world of publishing your book.  Just make sure to do your homework on the organization you choose to work with and make sure they are reputable.  Research at least 2-3 companies before you make your final decision.
  2. I started with the template format at Create Space for creating the book cover.  I had never done one before.  It was fairly easy…but I learned it.
  3. If you don’t like the cover, remember –  you can always change it.  That’s the beauty of electronic media!
  4. We learned to take baby steps in that we had to focus on one thing at a time.  Narrow your focus so that you concentrate on one goal.  Remember, Doris-Maria Heilmann with 111 Publishing says, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”.
  5. Finally, never give up.

The first cover I did was with the template format with Create Space.  They talked me through how to do it on the phone.  What is neat about Create Space is that you can put your phone number into the message and opt to have them call you back whenever you want them to.  It really works.  I used it a lot!

First…You need a cover.

This was the very first cover I made with the template format:

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones
Copyright (C) 2012 Sandra L. Jones, All Rights Reserved

It was OK…one step closer.  I learned how to make a cover. That is when we brainstormed and decided we wanted a more professional appearance.  We settled on one of the pictures that I took on the Wolf Moon cycle in 2012 from just outside the back door!  I got Adobe Photoshop and decided I could surely do this myself.  Note:  Significant learning curve here! MM900040998 I watched hours of self-help videos and finally got the hang of it.  That is when we used this picture as my first ever try at Photoshop.  A work of art, for sure!

And Then…You have to Publish it!

This was the second cover we went with to publish.  A funny story is that now when Pat (The Author) goes to the grocery store, they think he is Mark Lansdowne.  Too funny!  It does work in some fashion as the readers associated the picture with the main character in the story.  Interesting.

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones
Copyright (C) 2012 Sandra L. Jones

We were featured on Digital Book Today on  June 12, 2012.  After the article, Anthony sent me an email and said, “…I don’t mean to overstep my bounds…but…while your cover is good, it needs some work”.  How much more diplomatically could he say this!!  And I am glad he did.  That precipitated another brain storming session that lasted the rest of the year in 2012.  He continued, “Your name is your asset and therefore must be prominent.  Your readers will follow your name.  It is not big enough.” He sent me a few examples of book covers that were created with this concept in mind.  I was able to visualize what he meant by looking at examples of other covers. Clicking my red studded heels three times and uttering something like, “There’s no place like home,” I went back to Book Cover Designing 101.

The Journey

I set out to find the perfect picture for the book cover, because I certainly didn’t know what I was doing.  I looked at thousands of pictures at iStock Photo, Deposit Photo and the like.  I was redoing the website as well, so I got some really good ideas.  (That – is another saga, to be continued).  So I found a great picture of a wolf but not the moon.  I kind of liked it until my son-in-law said it was beautiful, but looked like a laid back German Shepard.  Back to the drawing board.  Not the “wow” effect we were searching for.

This was the third book cover.  I was really not unhappy with what I had done with this one, but something was missing.  It looked as though I had done it, which is OK…but we wanted some validity to the first decision and subsequent purchase of the book by the reader.  Once again, the project was re-opened!  (2 renditions here!)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00039]
The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones with iStock Photo
The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones
The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones with iStock Photo

So, then I decided I REALLY did not know what I was doing!  I happened upon a photographer in Canada, David C. Cassidy.  He did a super job on the book cover and it was reasonably priced, so I went with his vision of the book cover for the book.  The key point here is that although it was The Photographer’s vision, it was not The Author’s vision.  Pat had a particular vision in his mind of how he wanted the book to “grab” the reader if it was sitting on a coffee table.  As good as this cover was, he, after all, is The Author.  I couldn’t argue with that, although I give it a try every chance I get!

This was the proof of the fourth cover.

Cover Proof David C. Cassidy
Cover design by David C. Cassidy
Moon Photograph by David C. Cassidy © 2012
Used by permission.

By this time, I had learned about Adobe Photoshop 6.0 where the 3D text was outstanding.  David had introduced me to Sinister Fonts by Chad Savage.  He also suggested that we have a photograph professionally done to demonstrate validity.

Then, you FINE TUNE!

We went back to the very beginning and started trying to find the perfect picture again, given the knowledge I had acquired.  This time, it was a little easier.  My brain had processed the information.  Little did I know that once I knew what I was doing (sort of)…all of the pieces started to fit together just like the pieces of a puzzle. Pat liked one picture when we had first started this journey which I thought was too fuzzy.  I thought it needed to be done by a professional, but it was simpler than that.  Pat insisted that one picture was the look that he wanted for the book.  Bless his heart, I think he may have been humoring me, but it worked.  So we went back to the original picture that we had both liked from the beginning.  I had to really think about Adobe Photo Shop 6.0, but that is what made it a challenge.  Since I am rather an extroverted personality, I again danced the “Victory Dance” around the house!

This is the fifth (AND LAST!) book cover…

Final Book Cover The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones
Copyright (C) 2012 Sandra L. Jones
All Rights Reserved

Validate Your Results with an Objective Critic

I ran this book cover by Anthony Wessel of Digital Book Today.  I didn’t want to be overbearing, but did want an opinion from an expert (especially since he was the one that started this brainstorming cascade!).  Mind you, Anthony would never tell me yay or nay along the way, just little hints that he had stored in his memory.  I liken it to a treasure hunt!  Anthony said, “Your name is your asset…that is where your reputation comes from.  Your readers will follow your books and therefore the author’s name needs to be prominent.”  At the end after we made the decision, he did say, “I like this one the best anyway!”  So we knew we must have a winner!  So far, we have had a lot of great compliments from our readers and other authors, in addition to more sales and reviews.  The book cover makes a difference because you have to “grab” the reader within the first 8 seconds.  You have to stand out in the crowd, somehow, so that people will pick your book up and give it a try.  We are thrilled about it (pun intended) and are now finished with THIS book cover.  The sequel will follow toward the end of 2013 as well as a short story.

Thank you to Anthony Wessel for taking the time away from his busy schedule to pay credence to our endeavors. He didn’t have to mention anything about the book cover, but he felt it was necessary from his perspective.  He did not want to be remiss by not pointing out something that was so obvious to him, but obscure to a new author trying to figure it all out.  I have learned in this industry that you call it, “paying it forward.”  Now I know what that means.  Thank you for inviting me into your world with your friendship.  The quote from Friedrich Nietzsche says it all, “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.”

Take care,

Sandy

Copyright © 2013 Sandra L. Jones, All Rights Reserved.

Please Note:  The opinions of this website do not reflect any endorsement or use of any of the vendors noted in the article.  We assume no liability in the use of any of these vendors.  No affiliate compensation or other compensation has been provided by any of these sources.  Reading this article confirms your understanding of these provisions.

References:

The Quotations Page

(c) 1994-2012 QuotationsPage.com and Michael Moncur.

http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Friedrich_Nietzsche

My New “Engagement Area of Learning” the Past Two Months

Digital Book Today is very approachable for the author. Kudos to Anthony Wessel

The Linden Chronicles: The Wolf's Moon/The River

By Sandra L. Jones, wife of The Author of “The Wolf’s Moon,” Patrick Jones

I start my writing career with this article dedicated to Anthony Wessel, CEO of Digital Book Today.

He believed in me, in us.  Sometimes in life, you meet people that are cornerstones in your pathways through the maze they call life.  My husband wrote a book.  Great!  How could I possibly have ever known what this self-publishing platform had in store for us, as my whole career has been in the medical field!

Anthony Wessel featured “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones on his website.  The book had received just enough reviews and a rating of 4.2 to qualify for the interview questions.  We were so excited!  It was the very first “Featured Article” that we had!!  We had an incredible response on our free Kindle days thanks to the popularity of Digital Book…

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My New “Engagement Area of Learning” the Past Two Months

By Sandra L. Jones, wife of The Author of “The Wolf’s Moon,” Patrick Jones

Anthony Wessel
Interview with Anthony Wessel by Gale Martin

I start my writing career with this article dedicated to Anthony Wessel, CEO of Digital Book Today.

He believed in me, in us.  Sometimes in life, you meet people that are cornerstones in your pathways through the maze they call life.  My husband wrote a book.  Great!  How could I possibly have ever known what this self-publishing platform had in store for us, as my whole career has been in the medical field!

Anthony Wessel featured “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones on his website.  The book had received just enough reviews and a rating of 4.2 to qualify for the interview questions.  We were so excited!  It was the very first “Featured Article” that we had!!  We had an incredible response on our free Kindle days thanks to the popularity of Digital Book TodayJumping Man Jumping up and down, we concluded that the process was now complete – WRONG!  Therein begins the book cover saga.

Anthony humored me during the entire process (bless his heart!) in my excited state by taking the time to listen.  He emailed me once and said, “By the way, I hesitate to mention this but…you may want to think about the book cover because it needs some work.”  Here we thought we had the best thing since buttered popcorn!  What could possibly be wrong with this work of art??  Little did we know that this journey through Book Cover Design 101 would take a year to get to this point!!  The first impression of the reader was The Author’s key objective in bringing “The Wolf’s Moon” to life.  Anthony Wessel suggested that I should write an article on the steps that we went through in this process in order to contribute our learning experiences to others within the writing community.

The Wolf Moon by Patrick Jones
BTW…It’s FREE for Valentines Day Feb 13-14

Key considerations we used were as follows:

  1.  Listen to any feedback that is given to you during the self-publishing process.  Someone once told me that feedback is a “gift.”  That is important.  No one has to take the time, so if they do…pay attention.
  2. Follow through with the task you have been given, learn and read everything that you can on the topic.  There are a multitude of resources from experts in the field, like Anthony Wessel.
  3. If you are not happy with the result…that is OK.  This self-publishing platform is a continuous learning project.  The more you study, the more it makes sense.
  4. Doris-Maria Heilman with 111Publishing told me something very true.  “It is a marthon, not a sprint”.
  5. Chad Savage, CEO of Sinister Fonts emailed me after I thanked him for the free fonts and said  that the only payment he wanted was for me to believe…with all my heart.  I thought that was really special.

Simple thoughts, one would think.  Except sometimes you need someone to bring it to your attention. You are too close to it. The good news is that the solution is usually simple!  When I used to troubleshoot instrument performance, I learned to always start at the beginning.  More often than not, the solution was simple, like plugging it in!  Someone else once told me that you have to do something 10 times before your brain puts it to memory (I think it takes me 20!).  But it works.