Friday, February 10, 2012

Creating the Correct Cover for Miscorrection: Dimensions

The time is fast approaching for Miscorrection: Dimensions to release for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other eReader devices. While the story is the most important aspect of the book, it's important that I make a good cover, too. Without a good cover, it could prevent people from taking a peek inside.

A couple of months ago, before the release of Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability, I wrote a post under my Desmond Shepherd pen name where I outlined four steps to creating an eBook cover. Following those guidelines, I created the Miscorrection: Dimensions cover. Although I needed to keep some things in mind since this is a series.

For one, it's a series. That makes it important that I make the cover unique yet similar to the previous cover. So that was my starting point:

As you can see, the title, byline, and the orange bars are the template. The image in the center is tied to the book. For Dimensions I needed to change this. First, I used to find an image that I felt would fit the book well. I came across an awesome graphic by Liudmila Gridina.

[caption id="attachment_2310" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="© Liudmila Gridina"][/caption]

While I love the image, the red in it is a little harsh for what I want from the cover. So I changed the color to match not only what I had in my mind, but what I also felt matched up well with the story. I then took the adjusted image and placed it into my template.

I'm sure you see the glaring problem with this cover. Those orange bars stick out like a sore thumb. Naturally, I don't like sore thumbs and neither do I care to look at them. So I took a sample of the color in the adjusted image and used it for the bars.

Now I'm getting somewhere. But as I look at the picture and then at the blue bars, I can't help feeling like something doesn't work. It's like the blue bars are a separate entity from the picture. They definitely do not complement each other. What can I do? My instinct was to again adjust the image, toning down the neon blue look for something more natural. I accomplished this by adding a very subtle black vignette.

Oh yeah. That's the stuff. At this point, I was pretty much happy with the cover. I showed it to my wife and a few other people, and they said it was good. But nagging in the back of my mind was that hard-line in the center where the mirrored images meet. It was too glaring for my taste, so I decided to blend it together, adding a black gradient in the center that lightened outward.

And there it is. The final cover design for Miscorrection: Dimensions. I think it definitely has that "sci-fi" feel, and the cover fits the story perfectly.

So what do you think? Do you like the cover? Do you see room for improvement? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.