Monday, March 11, 2013

Cover Design

It's been a slow, slow month. I have depression. Sometimes its just a vague discontentment, and sometimes it shuts me down and the best I can hope for is to stare at the wall without crying. The end of winter is always the worst, and it was no different this year. I'm trying really hard to get a new story out. I have a pile of half or more than half finished manuscripts in my files, but every time I look at them the despair starts to take over...

I have been able to design covers though. I made up the cover for Club Midnight (scroll down, it's on your left), I created several covers for some of those 1/2 finished books, and I re-designed the cover for The Beauty and the Beast, which you may have noticed, sucked.

A bad cover does not sell books. It can actually deter people from buying them. The whole "never judge a book by its cover" thing is total BS. People are attracted to pleasing images--there's no getting around that. Sometimes I can't believe what people stick on their book as a cover. I just stare and cringe, and I definitely walk away from the book. If a writer doesn't have the artistic sense to know a terrible cover when they see it, how can they have the artistic sense to write a not-terrible book? Maybe this isn't fair (maybe the author is blind, or @ the least, color blind), but when the cover is some 1990's clip art with the title written in Comic Sans, can you really expect me to take someone seriously?

 Of course, a lot of us indie writers can't afford a to buy a good cover and we have to make them ourselves. If you don't know what you're doing, simply find a nice stock image (don't try to take the pic yourself if you're not a photographer) and do not use Comic Sans to write the title across it. (I'd avoid Times New Roman, Arial, Impact, and Courier as well. And Papyrus. Don't use Papyrus.) Keep it readable, keep it simple.

Anyway, the Beauty and the Beast cover.  The old, ugly one is on the right. The new, pretty one is on top. See the difference? The new one is much better. It's more personable and it has a few more elements of the story in it.  Also the font is less corny.  A lot of my covers are kinda dark, so I'm trying to lighten things up a bit, and I think this did a good job.  It was a bitch to manipulate into a properly sized format because I try not to show the whole faces of the models on my books (considering they may have never had any intention of their face showing up on an erotica piece). But here it is, all pretty and shiny and new. The new cover is up on Smashwords, but still waiting for the transfer on Amazon.

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