Starting to think about a cover

So, I'm starting to think about a cover for my latest book.

 

You regulars have seen bits and pieces of it here in the workshop, so you may have a general idea. It's a novel. I'm going with the back blurb that names the characters and their respective attitudes about religion and each other, then asks if so many folks, going so many directions, can discover the truth and reveal it.

 

The character are, for the most part, College students. A lot of studying and discussion of academics takes place, along with a lot of discussion of religion. Some folks have some odd dreams, literary characters and famous dead authors tend to pop in from time to time. Books drive the plot.

 

Personally, I like to use my own photographs, not the least because I own the copyright.Also, I'm intending (hoping) to go with a One-Piece Cover Design because the cover wizards are infuriatingly recalcitrant.

 

With that said, I was thinking that a set of open books which might be textbooks and reference materials, open on a table, might make a good basic background. Superimposed on this would be my title (at present "The Atheist's Tale") and my byline  ("Og Keep"). The back would have my blurb superimposed on it.

 

This is an example (it's not well focused and I don't like the composition). In general, I'd like to know if I'm on the right track, also any general thoughts about an appropriate cover for this book.

 

 

Em_Press, that bit of a cover in the lower left might seem familiar to you... Call it a tribute...

 

Also, this raises a question: Can one legitimately use an image of a page without requiring permission? One is not reproducing legible text, which is the purpose of the normal prohibition. One is using the image to represent books in general, not to convey the text of a specific book.

 

Thoughts on that question?

 

If it would infringe, would that hold true if the spines, vice internal pages, were shown?

 

Would it be better to show, as the front Image, something like Tara's red notebook (Red for Read-this-every-chance-you-get) or the title page of Nick's Paper, with Britt's red ink on it? (I'll mock up some sample images of how those might look later.

 

Thoughts?

Comments

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    On the infringement question: It may be moot as The interlinear Aeneid, on top, is (c) 1893, and the Chemistry book is (c) 1924.

     

    But it's a question I'd like to discuss if we may.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    A Possible Mock-up:

     

    (Spine Text would be oriented correctly in the real thing)

     

     


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    A Possible Mock-up:

     

    (Spine Text would be oriented correctly in the real thing)

     

    MockUp'1'.jpg


    Regarding copyrights, I think you can easily avoid that by (as you have already done) using books that are in the public domain.

     

    So far as the cover itself is concerned, the idea of using the book pages is nice but you need to include something that says more about the nature of your book. Imagine your title (and the blurb) in a language you don't understand. Would you be able to figure out anything of what the book might be about---or even if it is fiction or non-fiction---from the cover design alone? 

     

    I don't have any bright ideas to suggest at the moment, though the notion of having half a page torn from a Bible and half a page torn from a science text book Scotch-taped together might be an interesting image...

  • Hi Skoob,

     

    Thank you for the tribute. Smiley Happy

     

    Regarding the cover, I would change the back cover font.  It seems abrasive, disturbing...can't put my finger on it.

     

    I like Ron's idea of the contrasting science and faith books. They would be effective enlarged -- a huge closeup. Also, I think some colour is  necessary.  Something... to grab... alert. Is there a scarlet letter in there somehere? Maybe some of the words could be coloured? Or the title?

  • Skoob there are thousands of free photos at publicdomainpictures.net. I use quite a few of them. They are public domain by their owners "photographers". I usually email and ask permission anyway but they without fail say yes for free. Although one did ask I give him credit but that was all. But if you're unhappy with what you come up with you can try there and maybe find something to work with. Good luck with your new project.

  • Hey, Skoob, I really like the cover. It's just so simple and neat. I agree with Em_Press though, it needs some color and also, the text on the back is a little hard to read. Perhaps a different, easier to read font? Other than that, I really like it. I'm currently trying to figure out a cover for the book I'm writing. I may use the link Shadowmonkey shared, but I like creating my own covers. :-)
  • Skoob

     

    I have to say I do not think this would make a good cover at all. You have to think about the impact it will make when displayed as a thumbnail on an online bookstore. It doesn't have enough colour and it would not be immediately apparent what the graphic is of.

     

    It would be far better to have a picture showing the covers, or spines, of several books. You can place your text over the actual book details with a solid colour infill and your text laid over that.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Folks.

    Color... What if the title and author name were in a bright red or else a royal blue?

    Regarding including a Bible... What if I overlayed a page of scripture over the chart in the lower right, where the chart of halide prerties is now?
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    I have to admit that I'm too fond of typesetter or typewriter fonts. Would Garamond work better on the blurb? Maybe in a dark blue?

  • Skoob_Ym wrote:
    Thanks, Folks.

    Color... What if the title and author name were in a bright red or else a royal blue?

    Regarding including a Bible... What if I overlayed a page of scripture over the chart in the lower right, where the chart of halide prerties is now?

    Give it a shot and see how it looks...

  • You cover is drab. I don't like it. Why not some campus building in the background with a small group of students traipsing toward it. Or a picture taken on the occasion of a graduation ceremony like the one below? 

     

    LIV-ANG-3-H-blue-4x6.jpg

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Good points.

     

    I'll try to do some photography on Saturday -- better photography, with better light and a better camera. At some point I'm just going to wind up building a photographic studio in my spare room... Smiley Very Happy

     

    I agree that it needs more punch and more color. Watch this space for further developments.


  • potetjp wrote:

    You cover is drab. I don't like it. Why not some campus building in the background with a small group of students traipsing toward it. Or a picture taken on the occasion of a graduation ceremony like the one below? 

     

    LIV-ANG-3-H-blue-4x6.jpg


    The problem with this idea is that it would apparently have little to do with the actual theme of the book as described.


  • Ron Miller a écrit :

    potetjp wrote:

    You cover is drab. I don't like it. Why not some campus building in the background with a small group of students traipsing toward it. Or a picture taken on the occasion of a graduation ceremony like the one below? 


    The problem with this idea is that it would apparently have little to do with the actual theme of the book as described.


    I started from what Skoob_Ym wrote: "The character are, for the most part, College students. A lot of studying and discussion of academics takes place, along with a lot of discussion of religion. Some folks have some odd dreams, literary characters and famous dead authors tend to pop in from time to time. Books drive the plot."


  • potetjp wrote:

    Ron Miller a écrit :

    potetjp wrote:

    You cover is drab. I don't like it. Why not some campus building in the background with a small group of students traipsing toward it. Or a picture taken on the occasion of a graduation ceremony like the one below? 


    The problem with this idea is that it would apparently have little to do with the actual theme of the book as described.


    I started from what Skoob_Ym wrote: "The character are, for the most part, College students. A lot of studying and discussion of academics takes place, along with a lot of discussion of religion. Some folks have some odd dreams, literary characters and famous dead authors tend to pop in from time to time. Books drive the plot."


    Oh, I see. I was working from the back cover description.

  • No problem. Smiley Happy
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Another thought,

     

    Using spines of books.

     

    Again, rough mock-up...

     

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, hearing a remarkable lack of enthusiasm for that one... more photos this weekend...

  • To me, the lettering of the blurb doesn't match the background. One would expect Garamond or Georgia.

    This background of books is weird with their reversed titles. Is it a bibliography like mine below? No, it isnt. It's a story. So another background would be more appropriate.

     

    Filipiniana-Lulu-cover-full.png

  • Hmmm....

     

    Lots of questions...

     

    Why the mirror-image?

     

    Why place the title and author's name in white blocks?

     

    Why the disparity between the typefaces used on the cover and the back cover?

     

    The idea is a better one than the original, but since the titles of the books are important (since they relate to the subject of the book in that they mix religious and secular subjects) I would not obscure these. You may want to still come up with a way of showing this that is more visual...that is, in a way that doesn't require the potential reader to have to read not only the title of your book but the titles of half a dozen others (most of which are at 90 degrees) in order to get the point.

  • One way to test a cover is to imagine the title in an unfamiliar language. Would you still be able to tell, from the art and design alone, what kind of book it is or what it might be about?

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Ron Miller wrote:

    Hmmm....

     

    Lots of questions...

     

    Why the mirror-image?

     

    Why place the title and author's name in white blocks?

     

    Why the disparity between the typefaces used on the cover and the back cover?

     

    The idea is a better one than the original, but since the titles of the books are important (since they relate to the subject of the book in that they mix religious and secular subjects) I would not obscure these. You may want to still come up with a way of showing this that is more visual...that is, in a way that doesn't require the potential reader to have to read not only the title of your book but the titles of half a dozen others (most of which are at 90 degrees) in order to get the point.


    The mirror image was so that someone would not think the title of my book was Philosophical Problems, or The Literature of England, or Business Law.

     

    The white blocks are an artifact of the photo editor that I used; I'll be using a different editor for the actual cover.

     

    All the Typefaces should have come out as Nimrod -- it shows well in Word, which I used to edit the text. Garamond might be better throughout; point taken.

     

    For an immediate grasp of what the story is about, I'm thinking that Jean-Paul's idea may be best; to somehow link a Bible image with a college campus, perhaps working in something related to science. Perhaps a student reading a Bible next to a foucalt pendulum... Smiley Very Happy

     

    I'll visit a local college on Saturday and see if I can get some good photos that express the idea well.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    One problem here is that there are many symbols related to religion, but not as many related to science.

     

    For the cover of my last murder mystery (which did not see light of day) I worked up a cover with drops of blood and shell casings over a manuscript (you may recall it) and thus all the symbols were there to express the concept.

     

    Hmmm. I might have another idea...

  • What about a small group of students sitting in a circle on the lawn, with the campus buildings in the background? One of the students, his back turned to us, his left hand up, holding Saint Augustine's The City of Man (or any other similar book) in his right hand. Probably a fish-eye lens will be necessary to get good results.  Smiley Happy

     

     

Sign In or Register to comment.