That moment when a stranger mistakes your sneeze face for a smile.
Check it out! I designed the cover for my very own e-book!
Over on my flash fiction blog, A Breath of Fiction, I just published my 200th story, so I have collected them all into one volume that is available here as a free e-book via Smashwords. Hopefully, the book will soon be available via major retailers as well.
You should give it a read! It is free after all…
Cover for A Breath of Fiction, a flash fiction compilation.
Copley Square. Boston.
Statehouse in Boston. My kinda town.
Cover reveal: Second Job Hero A Perfect World
The Fate of Perfextion!
Q. How do you know when a book cover is done?
A. Books covers need to perform 3 critical functions:
- Get your attention
- Convey either plot points or overall tone of the book or both
- Have an aesthetic value
The first is obvious. Ideally book covers should grab your attention and make you want to pick it up and read it. So there is a deep divide between just creating an attention-grabbing image and creating one that is also enticing. Graphic imagery or a garbled design can be equally off-putting in different ways.
My covers tend to represent tone more than plot. I prefer images that are not literal. Second Job Hero is a superhero series so I intentionally give my covers a comic book cover feel to draw some of those parallels for the reader. And because it is a series, I also try to create images that are harmonious with one another.
If you are not a graphic designer and not using a graphic designer, the best way to create a cover is to identify an image central in the narrative and put it on your cover. That can be as easy as taking a photograph with your cellphone and using it for your cover. Even the gnarliest fantasy books can be tied to images from everyday life. As long as the image is intentional and true to the book, that can make up for either the lack of design skill or missing aesthetic value.
Books are an art form now matter that the art itself is the written word. Aesthetics are important to me and the cover is an extension of that. Whether or not you are a fan of contemporary fantasy (which is all I write these days besides the occasional essay or two) or my style in particular, understand that I make purposeful choices as I write, edit, and publish. Most authors do. I’m driven as much by how you react emotionally to the work as I am by merely telling the story.
The answer is true for digital and print books - the main difference between the two is the scale. Websites tend to scale down covers, whereas print editions require a fixed size.
So how do I know when a book cover is publication-ready? First, does it appeal to me, the author? Second, is the tone in sync with the story? Third, is it vibrant? If the answer to those 3 questions is yes, then I shrink the cover to a small size and compare it side by side with other recent covers I’ve published. When it fits alongside my other covers, I know it is ready for you.
Contribute to the Q&A. Post your question here: http://secondjobwriter.tumblr.com/ask
More Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. casting?
Admittedly I might have dreamed this because it took like two days to filter into my consciousness but Kyle MacLachlan on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?!? Look, I’ll crap my pants if it’s a recurring role and not the throwaway role like Saffron Burrows (a waste of Burrows and Victoria Hand - almost stopped watching the show right then! Another exclamation point!)
MacLachlan is a flawless in everything . If he and Lucy Lawless showed up on Real Housewives of Who Gives a Shit, I would watch it.
Is there S.H.I.E.L.D. - Twin Peaks crossover fan fiction? If not, I’m writing it.