Bride of Son of Bride of Fake Book Cover: Round #7

I have all these photos of a wicker maze built locally, and it’s a really striking construction and there is virtually no way that it doesn’t end in serial killers, so I wanted to fiddle with book cover design using the photos. I have not written this book and have no immediate plans to.

wickermazeworking

I dunno about the middle font. It may be too lighthearted. You know when people build giant mazes out of wicker that somebody’s gonna die.

*INSERT NOT THE BEES JOKE HERE*

Thoughts welcome! I’m not sure about this one, though it does read pretty well at teeny size, if you ask me.

Son of Fake Book Cover!

Two versions of the Bryony cover today–I have heard and obeyed the lack of love for the slant! I have slanted much harder!

I am skeptical about the bee. The problem is that clockwork bees are inherently small and fiddly, and it just doesn’t read all that clearly. But I do think it needs something in that dead space. So some fiddling around with petal shapes over there. (I have tried putting words in. Words don’t seem happy there at all…)

Adding the black border makes it read a little bit more dark fantasy to me, weirdly enough. That may JUST be me, though. And I know, I know, borders are like licking your knife in public. SOMETIMES I LIKE THE TASTE, OKAY!?

(I, uh, have no immediate plans to replace all the existing covers, for the record. I won’t swear that I won’t at some point, but I’d need to put matching covers on all three and that’s so much work that I shudder to contemplate. Though I’m pretty pleased with the Greenteeth one.)

fakebryony2
fakebryony2.1

Y’all know–I hope!–that I value your input by now. (Lot of conversation on Livejournal on this one, if you’re hoping to join in!)

Bride of the Fake Book Cover

Livejournal was hopping with good advice, which led to this:

fakebook3.2

and that led to this:

fakebryony1

 

For this next one, a reprise of Bryony, I wanted to use the same font, but a rather bolder graphic approach. I have no idea if it works at all visually, but I gotta confess, the thumbnail reads better than the actual cover. (Sure, that’s just what I need to do, redo all my back catalog covers. In, y’know, MY COPIOUS SPARE TIME.) Thoughts, as always, welcome. (I just don’t know about the author name there–it really gouges the line of the rose. Maybe I should yank out one of the stems on the right and put it in there in black instead…)

Fake Book Cover #2, Round #2

fakecover2.2

Poking at the horror cover some more. Thank you all for the feedback (I think I gotta backburner the garden one for a bit–I’ve hit the point where I’ve stared at it for so long that it no longer has any visual meaning.)

 

On this one, I discovered that it got a little less saturated in my posting of it, so here is another version–bumped up the saturation on the colors, lowered the brightness on the title, made the blurb bolder, and bumped up the kerning between the letters by about ten points (not sure if anyone can tell…)

This feels almost too easy–dark woods, slap title on, call it a day. I suspect I may have gotten lucky that I have a very creepy driveway and a lot of photoshop actions at my disposal, but still, shouldn’t there be some way that I can do ten times as much work and make it ten percent better? (Pardon, my Catholic is showing…)

And then I start thinking that maybe there’s a certain sort of cover where any photo you take of anything is creepy if you flatten it out and make it dark enough and then put a particular sort of font on it and what if I could make a supernatural horror cover out of anything, I could wander around taking photos of pigeons and my long-stuffering barista and the recycling bins behind the coffee shop–“RECYCLING: TERROR COMES BACK OVER AND OVER AGAIN!”–and go MAD WITH POWER and then I need to go lie down for a minute with a damp cloth over my eyes.

Fake Book Covers, Round Two!

After all the great input (and I appreciate it!) on Livejournal, here’s round two of the first fake cover!

fakebook1.1

I lightened the background and ran a light green gradient over it to make it contrast more starkly with the dark swatch, ran the author name to the edges to match the title, and increased the size of “THAT.” Ditched the words at the top, and made the little memoir bit not-a-script so it doesn’t contrast so starkly. Feedback welcome!

And now, for another small design amusement, here’s my attempt at a horror cover:

fakebook2

There is actually a chance I will someday publish a horror novel called “The Twisted Ones” since I have it about 30K written, but it’s a ways off. (Actually, I should probably put a THIRD pen name on these suckers so that people don’t trip over the images a few years hence and think I’ve written books I haven’t written…unngh. Too many of me! Still, maybe I’ll finally get a chance to be Ingrid Quaile…)

Fake Book Cover

fakebook1

This book does not really exist, and is unlikely to do so, so let’s get that out of the way.

Having realized that I will probably be randomly self-publishing things for many years to come, I finally decided that I need to address one of the glaring holes in my artistic skillset–graphic design.

I’m not great at it. But I’m gonna be doing my own book covers as T. Kingfisher for quite awhile. So I spent awhile on Pinterest pinning covers I like or found interesting or eye-catching, and then it occurred to me that there is pretty much no artistic skill you learn simply by looking at examples of it, so I started fooling with fake book mock-ups. My buddy Daniel Solis, whenever anybody drops a particular complex or weird line into the conversation, will simply say “…a memoir,” and so that turned into fake memoir covers and so forth.

I dunno, it sort of works large but the contrast between the green and the brown isn’t strong enough at the small size, so if it was kindle-thumbnail-size, it’d just look too dark.

If anyone has any suggestions for really good entry-level design books, I’d love to hear ’em.