Posted tagged ‘cover’

How I choose covers for short stories …

27 March, 2017

A few weeks ago I posted about how I choose covers for my novels. Today I want to talk about choosing covers for short stories.
Stories are different from Novels in their length, structure and aim. With a short story, you have to be in the storytelling world immediately. The action has to happen quickly and there needs to be a good resolution before the end of the tale. So far, I’ve published a single short story plus one short story collection.
I had very clear ideas on what I wanted for The Essence of Thyme. As the first in a series (originally published as a free read in my Newsletter) I wanted the covers of the following books to link back to this one.
I knew from the start that I wanted a vast green globe on the front to portray the green globe mentioned towards the end of the story. (It is key to the following two stories as well). JBH suggested the shadowed lattice work giving the cover a slightly darker, more haunted feel. This, I felt, went suitably with the silent castle and slightly puzzling enchantment of Lord Thyme’s son.
I knew I didn’t want a fairy tale picture because although this story is a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, it is most definitely NOT a sugar sweet, happy ending …

I came across the picture I used for The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories when I was going through Kombmaker’s portfolio. As soon as I saw it, I recognised it as being the woodland that the companions travel through in The Rusalka Ritual.
When JBH came to manipulate the painting, I advised him on the part of it that had to appear on the front cover, namely the waterfall with the golden light above it. Surprisingly, JBH stretched the painting digitally, cutting off the trees to either side. But boy, did it work! I was so pleased with it. At JBH’s suggestion, we used that particular font with red ink, to make it look as though the words were written in blood …
This collection is a series of fairy tales, but there aren’t necessarily any fairy tale endings, which I why I think the cover works; it makes me think of Grimm’s fairy stories. My tales will make you laugh, but there’s always something slightly sinister about Dracomagan’s Otherworld.
As always, I’m trying to be different! Do you think I’ve succeeded? Which of these books would you buy?
© Freya Pickard 2017
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How I choose covers for my Novels …

20 February, 2017

Have you ever wondered how indie and self-published authors go about choosing a cover design for their book?
Well, until I started publishing myself, I didn’t really give it much of a thought! I looked at the current designs in my genre – fantasy – and decided to do something different. The main reason was because I wanted to be known as a Speculative Fiction Author, rather than either a Fantasy or Science Fiction Writer. The term Speculative, encompasses both …
I think the most difficult cover to design was Dragonscale Leggings. The first version of the paperback had a pale blue background with a picture of an upside down potato peeler on it. It was VERY pertinent to the storyline but not very sellable. At the time (2008) I had no idea that you used pastels for romance novels. And Dragonscale Leggings is definitely NOT a romance!
So, coming up with a new, relevant idea was difficult. Whilst watching Glastonbury 2016 and seeing Muse perform, I was inspired by their brightly lit backgrounds making the band members into silhouettes. That’s what I want for my cover, I told Jonathon B. Hoyt. JBH, however, had some additional ideas, which I hadn’t thought of. I didn’t trust anyone else to get Dracomagan’s strong pose right, so JBH photographed me in various poses until we came up with the one that graces the existing front cover. JBH then worked his technological magic, incorporated his ideas, and wow! That looked different from anything else I’d seen!
I now feel that Dragonscale Leggings is more precisely placed in the YA / Fantasy market. What do you think? (And yes, a new paperback version is due for release sometime this year …)

Inspiration for Vintrig’s Kingdom came from Kombmaker’s portfolio. As soon as I saw the sketch, I thought of Vintrig’s Kingdom; the pale landscape, the high castle, the bleakness in the very air …
But, as I discovered, when I produced my impromptu Poster for the run up to the launch, the sketch was VERY light. I managed to “sharpen” it in Pixelmator, but, alas, have no idea how I did it, and have not been able to replicate it since!
JBH once more saved the day however. I was very clear on how I wanted the cover to look. It had to be pristine white to reflect both the eternal snow as well as Isu Magan’s virginity. The words were to be in jet black to reflect the monotone scene Isu saw every day. But I also wanted a thread of red entering the cover, to give a hint of the colour that Sama Conn brings to the Castle, as well as predicting the dire events of Book Two (yet to be published).
With all my covers, I like to produce something different. I don’t want them to look the same as all the other books, even within the genre. I remember as a teenager going for the books that looked different from the others; and that’s what I’ve been trying to achieve.
Do you think I’ve succeeded? Which of these books would you buy?
© Freya Pickard 2017

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