Friday, May 31, 2013

Making Cover Art

Self publishing is akin to dropping someone who half finished a CPR lesson at the Y into the middle of a quadruple bypass on their grandfather and telling them get to it.

Half of the advice on self publishing is from people trying to make money off self publishing by selling books about self publishing on a frog on a log in a hole at the bottom of the sea. The other half is from people so mentally scared and physically wrung you can no longer be certain if they ever were once human.

So when one of my twitter friends spoke of dipping into that lawless, land shark infested dystopia I offered up my limited cover art services.

I've already jumped through three book covers (5 if you include my wacky plans to possibly chop my last book up), argued violently with printing bleeds and hid in terror from the multitude of font choices looming before me. And I'll do it on the cheap.

The Book:

A Superhero novel about a protagonist that fights the evil with grammar. Created by Tony Noland.

The Plan:

I had a few ideas. The first I wanted to throw out something campier/pulpier just to get it out of the way. So I went the classic flying superhero in dangerously constrictive spandex (how do they not pass out fighting crime in the summer months?) patrolling above a cityscape. 

I wanted the cityscape to be red because when you think grammar you think red pen. Could also be blood because superheroing is bloody work. Or a pen that uses blood instead of ink. Someone get the vampire scientists on that.
That was the first to get tossed onto the weed pile. Not too much surprised, but you have to mess up five vein transplants before you get the sixth to stick, right?

For the second I started with a simpler silhouette idea. I was going to go all dark and broody but then playing around creativity struck like a bolt of blue lightning. So I stuck that in there instead.
It's very stark, and oddly reminds me of the cover I have for 1984 with the beady eye, I assume of Big Brother who must use sclera whitening. It puts me in mind of a very sterile futuristic world that runs on words and grammar and is about to crumble at the hands of anarchy. 

Cool looking, but not quite the story. So onto the final choice.

For the last, and by far most complicated cover, I went simple and old school; the Superman pose. He was the first after all, and god knows he won't ever let us forget it.

The red ink cityscape gets to show up again, as do the random word texture and a few other ones I favor.
Word around the street is this book will launch on July 4th, so check around for that. I'm sure I'll share a link or 12.

And if you liked any of the randomness I whipped together and need a book cover on the cheep, feel free to contact me. My brain loves a challenge that doesn't involve how to take over the world.

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