One of the things I really enjoy is being able to do my own cover. Of course, it is a time taking process and I conceptualize the cover when I begin the book. The cover is ready long before the writing and helps to keep me focused during the long process of writing, rewriting, editing, formatting and uploading. I put it as wallpaper on my phone to keep reminding myself.
My minimal art experience, and a lot of study, is now coming in useful. I draw the central image first, digitally, and then add texture, backgrounds and all the rest.
This is the cover for my latest book, 5 Minute Delight. It went through many steps to get to this point. After I published the book many people told me that they really loved the cover.
It took a long time to get there and these are the steps – and some missteps which I took. The first ideas did not work. I kept redoing it until I liked the result.
I knew I wanted a bright and cheerful cover, but not one which looks like a children’s book. I decided on a flower and chose a sunflower. I drew out the flower but somehow it just did not work. The colours never seemed to gel and the impact just was not there. The first panel at the top left shows the first attempt and then, I tried to play with the colours but gave up on the sunflower.
I looked around for another flower and thought of the rare blue Himalayan poppy, a favorite flower of mine. The third picture on the top row is my rough drawing of it growing out from a book. The book is about visualizations so that image seemed to fit.
The flower did not look real. I studied photos of it went back to work. The three photos on the right show the progression as I chose a blue – yellow, contrasting colour scheme, finished the flower and added the background. The size turned out wrong so I had to resize it as you can see in the bottom panel on the right. The drawing was too big and not enough room was left for the title.
After all, its a book cover not a piece of art. It’s like an ad for the book so title takes precedence. I reduced the size of the drawing.
And finally I got what I wanted. Then I only had to add the text. Which took another few days playing with fonts and placement. Then I sent it out to a few friends and they approved.
I had lots of fun doing it and liked the end result.
Now on to the next book and the next cover.