This week’s entry in my weekend book cover experiment is a fantasy novel by Denice J.D. The book is still in concept form. She sent me a synopsis and several photographs.

beachpics info2

These are good vacation pics, but not useful cover images, especially for the story described. They may not scream “Atlantic City” but they don’t look much like the Mediterranean, either, which is largely surrounded by cliffs and richly blue-green. They don’t contain any information except “on the beach”. Alas, I can’t use them for this cover.

This is a problem, because: what CAN I use?

I ask about the “twin beasts of night and day”, which is the most intriguing part of the synopsis to me. I work up several concepts based on this. Since I cannot art, they are terrible.

twinbeasts

I set it aside for weeks. Eventually I decide to make a very general “royalty-themed fantasy” cover. It’s better than nothing!

I use a parchment-ish background texture and find a free image of an amulet, because nothing says “royalty” like big crazy jewelry and a parchment will tilt the feel toward a medieval setting. (Thank goodness for that texture pack; it’s much better than the two attempts above.) I’ve been wanting to use this font for a while, so I grab the chance.

white

That’s not terrible. I start tweaking the font colors and sizes. I match the title to different colors within the amulet.

There’s not enough going on, so I decide to add two overlays: a seal, hopefully invoking things like trade, wealth, and official deals, and a seagull shadow, which I hope brings in something of the sea. Also free images of dragons are hard to find.

 

late_tries

The bottom one wins out, but I still have to make a final version because I’ve been spelling her name wrong this entire time, because I am the absolute worst.

BarrenKingdoms11_sm

Man oh man this was difficult. The ability to create (or commission) original art would have come in extremely handy. But this synopsis was also difficult to pull specific imagery from. I’m guessing that a synopsis written after the book was done would have a lot more hooks for a designer to start with.

What do you think? Can you guess something of the book’s contents by the cover? Does it look professional? What tweaks would you make?

FONTS, TOP TO BOTTOM

  • Colonna MT

IMAGE SOURCES

TIME TO CREATE

  • Ugh, like eight hours fiddling with my original concept and maybe two to create and complete the final one

See all my book cover designs here. Inquiries accepted.

I write fiction too!

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