As I’ve mentioned before, this early in my self-publishing journey, I’m creating my own covers for my books. To be clear, it’s not usually a good idea to make your own covers. Cover designers have design experience that can’t be faked and a good looking cover sells books. However, for folks just starting out, this simply might not be an option.
That said, with every cover I create, I’m getting better. For an amateur, I’m doing all right. I do have some background in art and some basic experience manipulating images digitally. I’m also taking serious advantage of free fonts and online programs which offer filters to manipulate photographs.
For Teatime of the Living Dead, the next book I’m going to publish, I started by taking a photograph of a little scene I set up myself, complete with a broken plate and homemade stage blood.
It ended up looking too fussy for me. And the cover itself looked both a little too amateurish and a little too cozy mystery. I consider Teatime a farce. It’s not a comedy, but there is a hint of madcap lightheartedness to the book, and I really needed the cover to reflect that. I needed an image with a little playfulness. The first image was painstakingly set up, photographed, sent through some filters and digitally hand painted.
I scrapped it completely.
For my second–and more successful– attempt, this is the picture I took. My hand holding a teacup. Easy Peasy. Doesn’t look like much, but huzzah for the magic of filters!
My second cover is so much more what I wanted. Less fussy, more playful. It has an old horror movie poster vibe around it that I adore. The filtered pic of my hand is layered over a manipulated bit of free clip art. A horizon filter darkens the top and bottom, then I added the text. So here it is– the new cover for Teatime!
It’s not too late to nominate my book, Wyrd House at Kindle Scout. My campaign ends March 3rd, and I could use a little help. All you need is an Amazon account and a spare minute. If you nominate a book on Kindle Scout, and it gets selected, you get a free advance copy of the eBook. It’s a great way to pick up free reads. You will find my campaign here.