Tuesday, October 18, 2011

4 Step eBook Cover Design

A past post revealed the title of the novel I plan to release in December 2011. In case you missed it, the title is Fram Gage & The Infinite Ability. Now that I've let that out of the bag, it's time to show you the cover for the eBook. (Note: This cover will also be used for the print edition.)

The philosophy Forever Young Publishing has is always "Less is more". The challenge with writing, cover design, or anything in general is conveying the most amount of information with as little as possible. For cover design, FYP breaks this down into four simple steps:

Step 1: Background

The background is important because it will help set the tone for the book. In some cases, a color might be used for the background, in other cases it might be an image. For Fram Gage & The Infinite Ability I chose an abstract background that I thought fit the story well. This image was created by Diego Barucco and you can find more of his work by going to his Dreamstime.com Artist's Page. I took the image and cropped it to work with the piece.  The outer edges had some bright blue colors, and these caused a problem going into Step 2 of the design because it made it harder to read the Author Name and Book Title.

[caption id="attachment_2056" align="aligncenter" width="490" caption="Image © Diego Barucco"][/caption]

Step 2: Title & Author Byline

The next step gets the name of the book and the author's name in place. I chose the font Franchise Bold. This font worked perfect for the book. It gives it a strong look and feel. I also colored the type in a shade of yellow. This contrasts nicely with the background and serves another purpose. It's important to remember with eBooks that many times the cover is first viewed as a thumbnail image as people browse for books to read. This means the text needs to be clearly read at a small size. So I made the title and author name large, bold, and bright. Also, if someone browses for a book on their Kindle or Nook, it needs to look good in black and white, too. This leads into Step 3.

Step 3: Enhancing the Type

Looking at the above image, the Title and Author Name definitely stand out, but in my opinion they look rather flat. On printed books, you're probably used to seeing the title embossed. This helps it pop out a little as the potential buyer is looking for a book. Obviously, you can't literally make the text pop off the screen with an eBook. So a different approach is needed. In this case, I actually did a debossing effect by adding a shadow, not to the outside of the letters, but inside them. This gives some depth to the words. When viewing at a larger size, it is like they sink into the cover. At the same time, the effect does not negatively impact the thumbnail view of the cover.

Step 4: Story Image

The final step involves adding an image to the cover that ties in to the title and/or the story itself. In this case, I'm focusing on the Inifinite in Fram Gage & The Inifinite Ability. The choice was obvious: an infinity symbol. Instead of placing the symbol in white, I tried to make it a little more subtle. The image is there, but it is translucent. This allows you to see the background coming through the symbol. Pure white would have been too glaring, causing the eyes to fixate on the symbol. My goal is to make your eyes take in the cover as a whole and look at it as one piece with a center, the infinity symbol. I actually wanted the symbol to be more subtle, but at the thumbnail size this posed a problem because it made it very hard to see it. So I settled on what you see below.

[caption id="attachment_2055" align="aligncenter" width="100" caption="Thumbnail Version"][/caption]

That's it! Above is the final cover for Fram Gage & The Infinite Ability. This cover fits the book well, and I couldn't be happier with it. Of course, that's only my opinion because I'm the writer of the book and designer of the cover. What are your thoughts? Do you like it?