Cover fun

I’m very excited to have created a cover for my short story “The City Trees,” which will be in the upcoming “Fantasy in the City” bundle through BundleRabbit!

Why, you might ask, does a short story need a cover? And why am I so excited about having created it?

This bundle will contain short stories from 20 different authors. In an anthology, one file containing all of the stories would appear on your ereader; with a bundle, each story will appear on your ereader as a separate file. Hence the need for a cover. 🙂 The cover will also be used on the BundleRabbit website, where you will be able to view a preview of each story. And once all the covers are ready, they’ll be used in a montage image that will be displayed when potential purchasers look up information about the bundle.

I’m excited about having made this cover because I’ve only made a few so far, which means every time I work on one it’s a fun learning process. I’m also super excited because this short story is set in the same world as the series I’m writing, and I can’t wait to get back to it.

This series is set in the same world as Entangled by Midsummer; the first book in the series will be The Language of Water. I have about seven chapters written in book one, and will get back to that manuscript later in the summer.

Making covers is really fun, and it can be a lot of work! The main character in “The City Trees” is a dryad, so I wanted the cover image to show a woman with a tree or trees. There are tons of stock images out there that technically meet that requirement, but in 99% of them the woman is wearing the wrong thing, has an expression on her face that doesn’t fit the tone of my story, etc. I narrowed down my list of options to five images, and decided to try out the top two of the five first.

The first image is perfect…except that it was taken using a filter or something, and the colors are muted and dark. I tried fiddling with it, but no matter what I did it looked drab and gloomy. That may well be user error – I’m definitely not an expert with image manipulation at this point. Finally I decided to save that image for either a gloomier story, or to use once I know more about what I’m doing.

The second image is great, except that part of the background doesn’t fit the setting of trees in a city, and the girl is wearing a sleeveless dress whereas my protagonist is wearing a sweater. I copied out just the part I wanted, gave that a whirl – and it worked! So far my beta cover reviewers have liked it. The only issue I can see right now is that I’m using white text, and the bark of the tree is a little light, so it’s a little hard to read the text that covers the tree. Not impossible, but still. I may try to change the colors slightly, but I want to be careful because the rest of the image works really well. (And, as you may have discerned, I’m learning how to do all of this as I go along.)

The last quandary I have is whether or not to put the series name on the cover. I could either have sub-text saying “a series-name-goes-here short story,” or just put “a short story” and leave out the name entirely. This is problematic mainly because I’m not yet sure what the series name is. It’s either “Elemental Worlds” or “Entangled Worlds.” I realize I could pick one and change it later, but that’s not the kind of person I am. I’d rather make a selection and stick with it, and if I’m not ready to commit then I don’t want to use it at all. I’ve given myself until next weekend to ponder this conundrum.

2016-05-21 Dakota Ridge

%d bloggers like this: