I’ve had many many ideas for my book cover, not quite as many as the titles I’ve thought through, but a lot. The problem though is my design skills are almost non-existent and I wanted to keep my book genre specific for vampires. I don’t like people on the cover of books as the images often contradict how my mind has captured the characters. I like fangs, but I hate how many of them have blood dribbling down the mouth- they should be able to eat without leaving a mess. If my cat can stick her head into a bowl of food without getting it all over her face, a vampire should definitely be able to eat sensibly. I thought of getting a hot naked person, because who doesn’t like hot naked people, but then again, that would probably lead people to thinking that my novel was erotic, and I don’t want to disappoint them at the lack of constant sex scenes. If anything, Vampire Emily is about resilience and revenge. I therefore decided to go for colours of the genre.
What’s black and white and read all over? In this case not a newspaper, but hopefully my book.
Not one to shy away from trying something new, I wanted see if I could create my own. I got the paints out and went about creating a cover for my book. What I know about myself is that I’m not the best at lifelike images, so I opted for abstract. If I could paint a neck with veins perhaps that would still indicate to potential readers that my book would be about vampires. I also thought of something more abstract just using the traditional colours.
Either of these ideas would work, however, they didn’t look very professional. It was at this time that I looked to find other inspiration. I fell in love with the album covers for Broken Machine by Nothing but Thieves. I loved the porcelain crack effect on the skin, it also worked perfectly with Kintsugi in which Emily learns to live as a vampire, growing into her new identity. Perhaps if the cracks could be veins on the neck and in red. Many video’s on how to create such a striking effect proved to be fruitless as I just didn’t have the talent to create anything close to as beautiful. Plus, I still wasn’t comfortable putting a real person on the cover. I wanted people to imagine the particulars of my characters for themselves.
Going back to the drawing board, I looked into free design tools that a complete amateur such as myself could use. These allowed me to get an understanding of fonts, layout, design etc. One of the problems though was not all of them worked in an intuitive manor that a novice who doesn’t read instructions could use. They all used generic pictures and few have the ability to upload or change the image beyond shading. I jumped between Polotno & Coverjig wishing I could mix the two together.
Having come up with the book design, I put it to twitter to get feedback. I really liked the dying, dead rose on the cover, perhaps some blood would be useful to highlight the horror aspect. After all, every good vampire book needs blood and guts.
After compliments, I was then told that no one could see the image of the rose- the resolution wasn’t high enough. The best response was having it called a scary fish- which as hilarious as that is, isn’t quite what I was looking for!
In stepped the wonderfully talented Angela Elliot. She created my final cover, and as I look at it, I’m truly blessed for she did a great job providing the quality of image necessary to publish.
Erm… in the end, I got a designer to create my final book cover image…sometimes the experts are needed.