I was complaining recently that I had hired a cover artist who fired me as he thought my mock front cover was good enough. Also he had 20 covers in queue and didn’t really want to think too hard about detail work. So I took it upon myself to improve what I already had as I thought it was missing a “”je ne sais quoi!”
After spending many hours researching and staring at hundreds of other book covers in store and online , I learned a lot about styles of different books. As I wanted a “unisex” book, straight lines were better. Books purposely aimed at female audiences had lots of swirly motifs and books directed to men had darker colors. Fantasy books in general are the most elaborate, with lots of illustrations compared to other books which just have fancy text and stock graphics.
Subsequently, after lots of fiddling around with my graphics program for a few days, here is the new cover. TA DA!
You might think – this cover looks the same as the mock cover!
Well, the changes include a different font (looked at thousands of fonts before choosing this one), a straight line divider, shuriken symbol, smaller wallpaper and shadowing of the text.
The “Volume One…” text was moved from the bottom of the mock cover because I looked at many paperbacks at the bookstore and realized that not all books have their edges cut evenly. So if I have anything at the bottom that’s significant, it might look odd if the book cutting machine isn’t having a good day!
For me, the font was super important as it evokes emotions and helps convey an aura of fantasy. Generally the new cover to me seems more dramatic and elegant.
The spine & back cover is another story as I am still working on that. People keep going on about having an important front cover and they forget the rest of the book! Will post the rest as it comes together!