Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Post on Cover Design

I don't buy my covers.  Sure it would be great to be able to pay a professional designer for a cover, but these are all one dollar short stories, that frankly I don't sell many copies of.  I can't afford to buy a cover for every single one of them.  So all of the covers are my own work.  To tell the truth I think some of them look better than the 'professional' covers on some of the anthologies I've contributed to.  The art on Fraternal Devotion for example is...iffy.  The cover of Riding the Rocket is downright scary.

Not that I'm some brilliant graphic designer.  I think the covers for 'Boy' and 'Shoes' are lacking immensely.  'Cherry Bomb' is my favorite which is amusing because its my least favorite of my works that I have up here.  I really like 'Drain Me Dry' but there are a few problems with it.  The first is that I wanted a completely different cover image.  A bare back is so easy and cheap.  The problem is, there really is no such thing as a free stock image that features kinky gay vampires.  The second is that it shrank very badly on most sites for some reason.  Here the image is clear and easy to read, but its kinda blurry everywhere else unless you blow it up.  Ugh.

I know I should be trying to design my covers so that they are fairly uniform, branded, as it were.  But I'm still learning what works and what doesn't, and I'm limited by the art that is available for free.  For example, I wanted a gender-neutral bare back and full cover image for 'Boy'.  I couldn't find any--the one I ended up with was a woman in a dress and I had to crop around all of the clothing, leaving me with a tiny image that couldn't be blown up.  So I had to improvise.  It's not perfect, but it's not bad.  The font isn't over-used and it is fancy while still being readable.  The sub-heading font is what I use on most of my covers for my name.  I know simple is better when it comes to this kind of thing.

I have another story coming out soon.  It is one of those very little plot mostly porn stories, but the cover I've designed doesn't look like porn at all.  So I think I will have to dump it and try again, even though it is a very nice cover:

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