Work in Progress: Cover progression and REVEAL :)

One of the many things I love about self-publishing is designing my own book cover. In the past, in addition to making my own, I’ve also commissioned professional artists to make my covers and each time I’ve been thrilled by what the creative processes come up with.

In preparation for the completion and publication of my first ever novel, Here and Away, I wanted to share with you how I came up with my cover.

Here and Away was my first successful Nanowrimo manuscript. I wrote it in 30 days and to keep my interest and excitement up about the project, I designed my own cover. (Nanowrimo has a place where you can upload your book’s cover so the community can see it:) )

Here is the first cover I came up with:

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I designed it on my phone using the apps PicLab Studio and Layout. I made a photo mandala by putting a photo of tree branches into a grid of four squares. I then rotated and flipped them so that the four foregrounds faced each other. I then played with the color settings and filters to make the photo and cold monochrome.

I wanted to make something creepy but also foresty. Not bad for a first attempt, especially since I have no background in design. But there are a few flaws, it’s not terribly exciting and you can barely see my name at the bottom of the cover.

So I tried again:

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I made the image a touch darker to give the branches and the abstract stag skull more definition and I changed the font. I sat on this cover for a few months, feeling very proud of myself. But then I self-published Twisted Myths, which also has a monochrome cover. I looked at all my books together and saw only one (Riverkill) had color in the cover. Now, I am a huge fan of black and white photography, monochrome everything, but I don’t want all my book covers to look the same.

So I tried again and I think this is going to be the final version of the cover:

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It’s big, it’s colorful, it’s foresty, the abstract stag skull is still there, and you can read everything 🙂

I’m still working on filling in plot holes and structural edits, but I’m hoping to self-publish this beauty sometime in January 2018.

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409writinglife

Jessica Halsey was born in Arkansas and has lived most of her life in the United States and Panama. She earned a BA in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Would you like to know more?

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