Evolution of a book jacket

One of the most challenging aspects of being an indie author is creating a book cover. I’m fortunate in one respect, in that I worked for a number of years as a graphic designer. But I am not an artist. My line was mainly typography, layout, logo design, publication design and so on. Along the way I learned to use PhotoShop, Illustrator and other graphics programs. So I feel relatively comfortable doing a layout.

To some extent, it’s possible to use freeware images, or combine images to create something original. But, in an ideal world, if you can afford it, there are plenty of excellent artists and photographers out there who offer their skills at a modest price (or some form of bartering).

Recently, I found a very talented artist on Deviant Art Ted-Mx (Fyodor Ananiev). He and I are working together on a cover for the first volume in a novella series called Bad Seeds. I’ve used one of his existing images to create the draft cover below.

I found a free font, called Xirod, which I used for the branding and subtitle. The other text is simply a standard font. I reversed the first E on the word Seeds to visually suggest what the word means (black sheep, or people who dysfunctional in some way, or with criminal tendencies – all of the above describe my slightly warped “heroes”). I’ll tell you more about the series itself later, but meantime I’d value comments and feedback on this initial cover idea.


3 thoughts on “Evolution of a book jacket

  1. This is very handy, John because I am working on my first cover too, also with a terrific artist.
    RE your sample, I think the composition looks nice and the artwork communicates the message well. I wonder about the colour scheme though. You’re putting silver and blue text on a blue/purple cover and that might make it difficult to read, especially in a thumbnail on Amazon for example.

    1. Thanks, Alastair. Useful comments. The silver text doesn’t pop enough, or needs to be another colour. I haven’t done anything on Amazon, to be honest, but I know you can now self publish on Amazon, which wasn’t an option previously available. Do you think that’s a better way to go than Smashwords, for instance, in terms of capturing an wide audience?

      1. Yeah I think I would change the colour of that text because the font looks fine.
        So far self-publishing through Amazon has been very straightforward but I haven’t got to the nitty-gritty yet. It seems to be the preferred route of ebook masters such as Michael J Sullivan and that was the big draw for me.

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