I took a break from writing today to redo the cover of my Night of the Hellhounds fantasy novel, which features Vree Erickson, my youngest protagonist who has preoccupied my writing time off and on since 2012.
I felt especially artistic when I awoke this morning, and having the day to spend as I please, I thought it would be nice to give the star of the story a place on the book’s cover. The original cover was rather generic and featured the black hellhound baring its fangs at the viewer, so I set about locating all the drawings I have done of Vree over the years.
I like to work at a large scale, which gives me lots of room to put in visual elements. The problem with having a huge canvas is I tend to get caught up in the act of creating art and forget that a lot of those elements are lost when the final product is scaled down, as happens when book covers appear as thumbnails at websites. KISS, or Keep It Simple Steve, has always been my motto, so I found myself removing elements that lost its detail and cluttered the overall product when reduced in size.
Another KISS for book covers is text. Text is as important as good art and should be easy to read, especially when the book is a thumbnail. I made the text large and bright so the thumbnail image stands out. After all, thumbnails are what most people see at the bookstore websites that feature books, whether the books are e-books or the printed ones.
I like this cover with Vree’s face inside a fireball, though it’s actually her face through the fireball, like a window to another dimension.
Now, while I watch the sun set on a day well spent, I hear the call of my notebook wanting me to work on Vree’s future story. But not until I watch the clear sky overhead fill with the extraterrestrial beauty we call night. After all, the poet in me needs some play time, too.