Had to take a few days off after the election to recover my equilibrium. Today I’m getting back to National Novel Publishing Month, my personal (unofficial) project to wrestle with the self-publishing serpents during the month of November.
Right now my main concern is cover art. I’ve been engaged in extensive dialog with one artist, and I like his ideas. I’ll pay him no matter what. But dang, there are some other artists out there who are doing very dramatic, eye-catching work. I might even hire two different artists, start with one set of covers for the series, and then try switching to the other set to see which covers boost the nearly nonexistent sales that I’m anticipating.
One of the challenges in choosing cover art, or even giving guidance to an artist, is that the story is complex. Capturing the essence of the story, even in a set of four images, would be impossible. What one wants to do, I think, is convey some of the energy of the story in an intriguing way.
The four titles are the names of objects — the first title is The Leafstone Shield. One approach would be to put these objects themselves on the cover. But a closeup of a green disk seems to me not energetic or intriguing enough.
Many cover artists use stock photos as elements in their cover designs. This saves them work and gives the author a nice crisp cover image at a reasonable cost — but I’m not sure how to show much of anything in my story using stock photos. Okay, the heroine is a 17-year-old girl, but how many thousands of self-published stock-photo-based covers use closeups of beautiful girls? That may not be the most distinctive route I could choose.
Cogitations are ongoing.