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Started by Mister URL, August 29, 2022, 03:52:04 PM

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Mister URL

Another short item from my snippets file ...


I am not addressing the issue of writing your opus in this post. We all agree that it will be marvelous, and that you have the skill and fortitude to get it down on paper or in a document format. Instead, I am going to talk about book covers.

I personally do not have as much trouble with the actual writing process as I do afterward, trying to come up with a clever cover and title for my e-books. Everyone says they need to be catchy, vibrant, eye-pleasing, and a lot of other adjectives designed to extract money from the pocket of the potential buyer.

I know this is true, for I do it myself. When I browse in a bookstore or library, if the novel does not have an arresting title, inside cover blurb, and graphics, I mostly pass on it. It isn't right, but it does seem to be human nature. I suppose it's as if Moby Dick had a picture of a lower limb prosthetic. You might think it was a book concerning surgery and never know about the large marine mammal.

You can pay someone to have a cover professionally done, or you can purchase the right to use a stock photo. But there is another alternative: create your own.

I have started observing scenes as possible photographs to use as covers. I am an amateur photographer, and the availability of digital cameras has opened the world of photography to many of us. Since an e-book book cover is typically a tall rectangle, usually about 1600 by 2400 pixels, any camera of 4 megapixel resolution or larger can take photos that will serve as a cover. If you have a higher pixel count, you can take even larger photos and crop them to get the meat of the scene, or use common software to resize them.

The one thing I have had to change about my photography is to look at more scenes from a portrait standpoint. I have almost always taken photos in landscape mode. If your camera is of sufficient pixel count, you can still do that and crop it to the tall rectangle shape. But it is easier to take the picture in the first place in portrait mode.

Using the creativity you have that allows you to write, think of a scene that will compliment your book. For example, if you are writing about ghosts, you may find a gloomy graveyard shot just right. A zombie apocalypse story could allow use of an abandoned, rusting old factory. A Civil War novel could have a photo taken at a National Park battlefield site such as Bull Run or Chickamauga, perhaps in fog. A cover for a romance novel could maybe have some flowers and a pretty human female, perhaps with a ripped bodice (whatever that is). Be wary of using humans, though. You will have to obtain a release from them to use their countenance on your cover.

The possibilities of scenes relating to your novel are only limited by your imagination, your camera, and your ability to get to them. Maybe it will help make your book a best seller.
"...Things I learned in a bobo jungle are things they never taught me in a classroom ..."
― NOT Merle Haggard


All great points, Mr. URL. I agree.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb