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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Colors, and Fonts, and Borders, Oh, My!

The Tweaking of a Book Cover

To celebrate the first round of completed edits on A TOUCH OF THE PAST, I thought I'd share the process I went through in creating the cover for the latest Everly Gray Adventure. 

My first task in creating a book cover is finding the perfect photo or illustration, the one that shows the heroine or hero in the context of the story. I've spent days, sometimes weeks searching through stock photos to find the perfect cover art. And then the fun begins. Is the artwork ready, a stand alone piece, or does it need to be photoshoped before it shows the perfect ambiance for the story? Sometimes it's a hard call. 

When I selected the illustration for a TOUCH OF THE PAST, I knew right away it was perfect. My heroine, Everly Gray, was about to have the rug pulled out from under her life, because of course, that's what author's do best. The story begins with her flying to Honolulu, so what better depiction than a wild, red-haired woman doing a free fall...without a parachute? 

But the cover format wasn't large enough to support the entire illustration, so I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop by adding a gradient border. I wanted it to have a silvery shimmer.

It looked good to me, so I filed it as my "working artwork," and then uploaded it to Create Space. My cover format for the Everly Gray series was decided with the first book, so all I had to do was add the new illustration to the template. 

Here's the first pass:

My first idea was to use purple for the title. Purple is my favorite color, so it was a natural choice, and I hadn't used it in any of the previous Everly books. But it faded into the background and was difficult to read.

Next I tried two title variations, purple and red, both on a white background, hoping it would "pop" the letters. But the white background made stood out too much, and the title appeared almost unrelated to the artwork. That wouldn't do at all.


Moving right along...

I switched the title box back to gray, but wanted to try something radically different, like chartreuse to match her shirt.

Yowza! A titch on the bright side, and difficult to read.

By this time I was getting frustrated, and decided to go back to basics - black on gray.

It blended, was easy to read, and it made a cohesive cover. 

Except...maybe I needed to try just one more thing so I didn't wonder, or have doubts after the book was in print.

This font was easy to read, and it blended with the "antique" logo for the Everly Gray series, but it didn't match the other books in the series. And the red faded into oblivion unless I used the heavier font. I've considered this font for every book in this series. I like it. Except that the a is lower case in the titles, and there's no option for that with this font. It was a detail that messed with my OCD tendencies. 

Final decision: gray title box with black lettering. 

And now I'm wondering which cover is your favorite and why?

Happy reading,

L. j.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vacation Getaway

The Summer Booklover's Buffet

Support Indie Romance Authors

Click HERE to visit the Buffet

From June 8th through the 22nd TO TOUCH A THIEF, my latest release in the Everly Gray Adventure series, will be included in the Vacation Getaway Booklover's Buffet. We're all indie authors, and there are over 160 books  available at 99 cents each. Click above to visit the buffet.

This year we're very excited to be working with eBook Swag! 

eBook Swag is a fabulous community for readers that offers giveaways and contests, plus they spotlight an interesting collection of authors and their books. It's fun AND there are awesome prizes.
Happy Reading!

Please let me know what you think of our Buffet and eBook Swag. I love to hear from my readers. 
L. j.