This is likely the final version of the cover, save that I will probably lighten up the sky a bit.
Books By C. LItka
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Here is my latest attempt at a cover for Beneath the Lanterns, “Caravan to Traefara.” I think this one is better than the last, if only because it represents, more or less, an actual scene in the book – unlike the last one. I still have time to try something else, so this may not be the final version. Stay tuned.
As I no doubt said before, I’m not an illustrator, and my talents in both art and writing are rather narrow. In art, with this type of thick acrylic paint, I’m pretty much an impressionist landscape painter, and that is pretty much what this painting is – an impressionist landscape enhanced in Gimp with a filter to add the black outlines.
This is something like my fifth or six attempt to produce a suitable cover. I run into a number problems making my covers. The first being that I can’t really picture a scene in my head, at least as a complete scene. Hopefully you can from my words. The second is that I have a lot of trouble with “camera angles,” which is to say, how to frame a scene into something that I might be able to paint. The third is, as I said, I don’t paint realistically, though I’m better at that type of painting with watercolors, but even then… And well, it would be too inconsistent with my other covers. (And these days, I probably lack the patience for detailed work anyway.)
They say that covers are a very important part of selling a book. Maybe.
With my covers, my first priority is “branding.” All my covers have the same design – just like those old Penguin paperbacks with the orange color and one standard design.
My second priority is legibility as a thumbnail. I’m not selling books on bookstore shelves, so it is important to have the book title and author legible in a small format. I see many books were the title and author are lost in the art.
My third priority is that they should look, if not professional, at least neat and original, and not too amateurish. I am not a graphic artist, and know just enough of Gimp to produce my covers. You can buy covers or hire designers, but not on my limited budget ($0), so I have to work within my skill level and resources. The result is a book cover stands out from the great mass of books in their categories. Whether people try them because of the covers or in spite of them is an open question.