Designing book covers

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts”    Charles Dickens

on one level it feels like starting to design the cover for my book is an admittance of defeat, on the basis that if I’d found an agent then probably someone else would be doing it for me. However a moment of reflection allows me to free myself from such thoughts. For a start I haven’t given up hope of finding an agent yet, and actually my original plan was to self publish anyway, it was only when I finally finished the book I thought I might as well send it off!

So here is my starting idea for a cover:


I just played around with a few images and ideas until I found something I liked. I did a small amount of research that consisted checking out the covers in the Kindle top 100 fantasy books and deciding I didn’t like any of them. It’s times like that when when I worry I am actually writing in the wrong genre!

ive also tried swapping the images around which ends up a bit like this:


I quite like both but I’m also seriously considering painting a cover myself then uploading it to the design program and adding the title etc.

all this is very nice but I suspect it’s partly a diversionary tactic to keep my mind from the fact that I’m not writing much at the moment. I have started the sequel to ‘The Arena of Lost Souls’ (working title – The Wasteland of Lost Ambition’ – only kidding!) but I’m a bit stuck in chapter 2. I’ve done a bit on a story that I started some time ago and I’ve had a couple of ideas that I’ve made notes on for future work. It’s a strange thing, I can have whole sections of a story in my head but when I come to write them down they float out of my grasp.

tough business this writing malarkey!


9 thoughts on “Designing book covers”

  1. Some observations on the cover, I like it but think the typeface needs to be a little more ‘mystical’, at the moment I has a bit of ‘wimsey’ about it. The sword handle could be smaller sowing a bit of blade. Just a couple of ideas. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A difficult one Martin. Having not had this dilemma in my poetry career, yet, I thought about what attracted me to a book that I did not know the author, or the subject matter. For me it is about minimalism. If a cover is too fussy there is too much for the brain to consider and it just moves on. A poignant title with a simple background works for me. We are all different and the joy will be in the experimentation. I’m sure the right one will come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the like and the comment. I think you make a good point. I like minimalist covers as well but it is going to be a challenge making it work for a Fantast book. Think I’ll give it a try though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point, I better write one. The way I think of it is:

        The cover makes you pick it up
        The blurb makes you open it
        The first page makes you buy it.

        So got to get all three right!


        Liked by 1 person

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