A Vast, Far-Reaching Cover-up

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Self-publishing
Tags: , , , ,

Originally, I’d planned on saving up my pennies and buying a custom-made cover for A World Gone Gray. Early on in the book, Col. Benjamin Phillips looks out the window of the orbiter Triumph and sees smoke rising from the Pacific Rim. Eventually, that smoke is caught up in the jet streams and raked toward Australia the North American coast. I envisioned a snapshot of that scene as my cover, but with a subdued orange outline of the Pacific Rim added for the lava fans, and maybe the dead, gray, dismal moon in the background as a bit of heavy-handed foreshadowing for what the Earth would soon look like.

Then I discovered pre-made eBook covers. I wasn’t expecting much out of them, based on some of the less-than-impressive covers I’d seen for both self- and trade-published novels. During my seemingly-endless research into covers, I made note of about thirty web sites dedicated to the craft. About half were out of my price range, and the other half were, umm, unsatisfactory. I was on the second-to-last page of the last site on my list when I found the cover you now see gracing the front of A World Gone Gray. The main theme captures a “desolate road” scene in the book. The crow/raven in the foreground didn’t appear in that particular scene, but I thought it was a perfect homage to Stephen King and The Stand, both of which have been huge influences on me as a writer. Sadly, Randall Flagg doesn’t show up in AWGG.

Anyhoo, thirty British pounds and a handful of exchanged emails later, I had myself a cover for my debut novel. The only change I made to the template was the font style and size, and that was only after I received ten(!) different sample covers from the company. I plan on getting another one from them for the short story collection I’ll be releasing in the next week or so. I figure it’s a short story collection, so why waste more than I have to on a cover. Who the hell buys short story collections these days, right?

Unfortunately, I think I’m going have to invest in custom-made covers for the two (maybe three) other novels I have coming out over the next few months. They each have very specific elements I feel have to be represented on the cover. And I don’t have the time or money or skill to use Photoshop or even GIMP. At least formatting for Kindle will be easy.

Oh, wait…

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