Category Archives: Book Covers

Real Books Have Curves

As I continue my rambling way towards self-publishing my series of crime novels this summer, I had the alarming thought last night, that I hadn’t yet uploaded my first two stories to my WordPress Cornish Detective website to make them available to readers as downloads.

How to do that? Should they be in MS Word (.doc) format or as a PDF…or, both? And, how does the book cover fit into all of this? I found two helpful articles about both formats, then spent three hours faffing around attempting to get the Word (.doc) version to appear on my site. I’ve moaned about the complexity of WordPress before on this blog, so I won’t go on. One of the problems with WordPress is that it’s regularly updated, as are the plug-in widgets that operate it, meaning that online advice about how to do things is quickly outdated.

Getting a blog about writing and a website on my books up and running has felt like the Labours of Hercules.

I’ve spent most of my time in the Augean Stables!

Image result for augean stables

None of this activity feels like being a writer. And, anything I’ve read about WordPress hasn’t been reading for pleasure. As for my novels, they exist as intransigent digital files—it’s hard to think of them as books.

Weary with frustration, I shut down my laptop and went to bed with five books…I’m a promiscuous reader! 

Laying there in the company of real books, that I could feel, smell and move around wherever I wanted them, I enjoyed the sensuality of the experience.

I’m dedicated to self-publishing eBooks this summer, with POD to follow if readers ask for it, but as an activity it feels as sexy as scrubbing bathroom grouting clean!

For the reader, Kindles and other eBook reading devices have advantages, such as anonymity and being able to store many titles, but they’re not alluring or likely to encourage conversation. These are paranoid times, with mass surveillance of the population, meaning we seek ways to preserve whatever privacy we can—including stealth reading.

What do you think?

A Clever Way of Encouraging Reading

A post from the Word Lovers group appeared on my Facebook feed this morning, directing me to a story which impressed me.

http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/inspired-by-literature/high-school-transforms-hallways-into-iconic-book-covers/30516

High school English teacher Ryan Buck deserves praise and the $2,000 grant he received from the Book Love foundation to purchase books for his classroom library.

https://www.d120.org/english-teacher-ryan-buck-earns-book-love-award/

 

Eye-Catching or Tasteless?

I’ve chuntered on about designing book covers several times on this blog, including here and here.

I’ve recently been redesigning the covers of my crime novel series for launching them as eBooks this summer.

The importance of a book cover can’t be overstated, as it’s the first thing that a potential reader sees. Your story takes on an identity from the image on the cover, the colours used and the typography.

https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/role-of-book-cover-design-in-your-books-success/

Recently, I’ve seen several articles about Facebook’s 3D Photos software being adapted to use for book covers. It’s discussed here:

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/facebook-3d-photos-bring-your-book-covers-to-life/

I have mixed feelings about it. It would work well on Fantasy and Science Fiction stories, but less so for Crime tales. As for Erotica, I’m staying away from that area—after all, what ‘object’ would you choose to highlight in the foreground of the image…the mind boggles, as might the cover!

The movement of an image would certainly catch the eye, as it’s how we’re hardwired, but is it a bit naff, a gimmicky trick, a bit tasteless like black velvet paintings?

What do you think?

 

Fairytale Book Covers

As part of building an online author platform this year, I’ve been coming up with different designs for the covers of my five Cornish Detective novels, as well as monkeying around with Celtic style fonts and producing banners to go across the top of significant pages.

I favour IrfanView to create images, as Gimp confuses me with its complexity.

I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in book cover design, mainly via the excellent The Book Designer website—site owner Joel Friedlander tackles more than just book design—his newsletter is worth subscribing to.

In the last year, there have been lots of covers with the title of the book in big capitals in separate blocks down the cover. It may just be a fad that passes, but it affected my design for the last novel I wrote. It opens with a murdered painter’s body being found encapsulated in a concrete statue in an underwater dive park. The statue resembles the Venus de Milo.

Trawling through copyright-free image libraries, I chanced upon a photograph that resembles the famous statue, so I used it as a basis for a cover. It needs finessing, as the face is obscured and I’ll try changing fonts and colours.

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Researching book covers this morning, I stumbled upon a Latvian artist called Aniko Kolesnikova who produces book covers that are dazzlingly beautiful…collectible in their own right.

Fairytale Book Covers By Latvian Artist Aniko Kolesnikova
(click through Continue Reading to see all three pages)

 

Right! That’s put me in my place!

As part of building an online author platform this year, I’ve been coming up with different designs for the covers of my five Cornish Detective novels, as well as monkeying around with Celtic style fonts and producing banners to go across the top of significant pages.

I favour IrfanView to create images, as Gimp confuses me with its complexity.

I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in book cover design, mainly via the excellent The Book Designer website—site owner Joel Friedlander tackles more than just book design—his newsletter is worth subscribing to.

In the last year, there have been lots of covers with the title of the book in big capitals in separate blocks down the cover. It may just be a fad that passes, but it affected my design for the last novel I wrote. It opens with a murdered painter’s body being found encapsulated in a concrete statue in an underwater dive park. The statue resembles the Venus de Milo.

Trawling through copyright-free image libraries, I chanced upon a photograph that resembled the famous statue, so I used it as a basis for a cover. It needs finessing, as the face is obscured and I’ll try changing fonts and colours.

 

 

 

Researching book covers this morning, I stumbled upon a Latvian artist called Aniko Kolesnikova who produces book covers that are dazzlingly beautiful…collectible in their own right.

Fairytale Book Covers By Latvian Artist Aniko Kolesnikova

(click through Continue Reading to see all three pages)