• N R Gurney - Indie Author

Book Cover and design developments

Updated: May 10, 2019

Originally written 19 January 2019 onwards on blogger




Front Cover

16 January 2019

And so to the book cover...

The cover design has to be a key feature of this book. People say "you should never judge a book by its cover," but I know first impressions count. 

Some you tubers have suggested that skimping on cover design is a key mistake made by many indie authors on publishing their first book, and I hope to get this right first time.

I guess it is my marketing training starting to kick back in, but the 7Ps

Product               Place                Price                Promotion

Process Physical evidence People

(What Jobber and Fahy, (2007) call the marketing mix)

Are all I can think off right now.

I am thinking about using a photo of Wistman Wood as part of my cover. I saw an image yesterday, that a friend had posted on Facebook, and was just blown away. It has that mysterious, almost eerie feeling that I want for illustration purposes, because I have created a new dimension and it is different to ours.

But first, I will have to pay the place a visit as soon as my new camera arrives, or negotiate for the right to use the images. As I want to do things legally wherever possible.

I am still looking for a really good green silhouette for an image of one of the main characters. But I am confident that this will come in time. I am advised that it is not a good idea to reveal too much. After all the reader, (hopefully yourselves,) will then be allowed to use their own imagination to create them in their own mind.

I have also toyed with the idea of a multiverse image, where two worlds collide, but I feel that this would be suitable for each chapter heading instead. I would use it as a kind of logo to support the sci-fi feel of the book.

Update 1 Saturday 19 January

I decided to start the bidding process on "Freelancer," and invite people around the world to bid for my work.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I received 5 bids in as many minutes, some of whom have emailed me to request further information. I now have over 30 to choose from.

I plan to sort through these in the next few days, and choose the designer I think I can work with the most. There are two / three I am already thinking about. One in particular, I have a strong feeling about, but will need to reflect some more.

I have prepared the brief, and will send it in more detail to the designer of my choice.

I am of course still waiting on the camera, but managing to take some unusually good images on  my phone.

On the irony side, about twenty years + ago, i worked with graphic designers while studying at Yeovil College / Bournemouth University. (The people there will remember). That time, things went badly, but I believe that there were lessons leant that will help me this time. I am older, wiser, and better organised. yes me..?

Basically we were assigned designers who were students from the art department. They were being assessed on art college criteria. Our designer came across as arrogant, and went his own way with his "art work."

Last time the designer was doing us a favour (the college made out), and (in fairness,) they didn't have the technology available today. We wanted a celebration logo but what we got was a bizarre picture that didn't meet the specs of my group. We wanted something traditional to match the project, what we got was a psychedelic wagon wheel that looked like he had vomited on the paper.

I am ashamed to say that I was able to take comfort in the fact that other groups had the same problems. This time, it is only my project and I feel more in control.

Update 2 - Saturday 26 January

Appointed the Freelancer to design my book cover

Couldn't believe that it seems such good value

In the end I had 43 bids to choose from

Chose this one, due to price and recommendations. Of course if money was no object then...

I have a feeling that things are about to get interesting in a good way.

Update 3 - Sunday 27 January 2019

I have this idea about getting a character (Freida) creatively drawn for the 2nd book

Perhaps by having a competition using Freelancer to see what comes emerges from the mist so to speak

This depends on money of course, and sales from book one.

Regarding this book. I was a bit confused and overwhelmed with questions like "what size will the book be?" as I had never thought of this before. So it has been a learning curve all around. First drafts are due to arrive soon.

Will make a start on my own marketing logo.

Update 4 - Monday 28 January 2019

Just got my first drafts back from Anoop (the graphic designer). Love one and four, but lots to decide upon. They really need an Earth image change. The great thing is I have a graphic designer, that I am confident will be flexible about this.

I have asked a few colleagues and they nearly all seem to prefer number one. This includes those who actually read a lot of both science fiction and science fantasy genre books. The most helpful comment was that one of them (Luke) has previously purchased books with cover designs that bear no similarity to what is inside. I will focus on this, as I don't want to mislead my potential readership. "Good ethics is good Business." (unknown)

Whilst I was working, I was able to think over what I wanted, and a little voice inside me reminded me that the idea is not to get the "prettiest picture," but to meet the purpose of what I am trying to achieve. In this case to attract readers to my books, and peak there interest.

At first I thought that they may need a font change but going the right way. The science fiction fans confirmed that they were using all the modern fonts used by modern Science Fiction authors, and my ideas were a bit 60s (and based too much on Dune!) OUCH...

Sent through a picture for the back cover to illustrate a journey. Decided to ditch the idea of showing myself on the cover, (as I don't want to scare of potential readers.. ha ha).

Decided to go the direction of option one (picture to follow), because the black silhouette works really well. It achieve my objective of not revealing too much but peaking the interest in what is inside.

My camera has arrived but I have not worked out how to use it yet. (Me and technology?)

Update 5 - 31 January 2019

Things are slowly improving

The cover designs are going back and forth, and I am happy with the front cover

Back Cover = Less Important - but I still care

The back cover, which is less important, is proving to be a problem. We just can't seem to find the right colour combinations at present, but are getting closer.

I suspect the answer is to go more green with the mist and the design. If green becomes the new black then who knows?

1st February 2019

I am so pleased that I now have a front and back cover for my book

It is probably one of the greenest coloured books I have ever seen though

Have already shown pictures on Facebook to friends etc

Have paid Anoop

2nd February 2019

Have started to put the cover onto wix, facebook, Pinterest etc

So far has good reviews

19th February 2019

I have decided to include a map in the 2nd book, to help focus the book and the series, and help the reader gain a better understanding of the journey of Sarah Salter. I feel it would add value to the whole product. Maybe even add a bit of mystery?

They are a well used art form within fiction, and have appeared in books from the Lord of the rings, to Treasure Island. They are sometimes extravagant and sometimes simple. Lewis-Jones (2018) points out that even the blank spaces on maps can encourage the reader to use their imagination, which is after all one of the key benefits of books.

"... maps are spellbinding for what they show, as much as for what is left unanswered" (Lewis Jones and Sibley, 2018, pp.39.)

My initial thoughts are that I might start a competition on either Deviant Art or Freelancer, to design it for me. I might also do a very rough draft, but ask the competitors to liven it up and be creative.

18 February 2019

The proof copy arrived today, and I am very pleased with it.

There are some improvements to be made, but as a whole it has gone in the right direction.

Most people hate the picture of myself, and I have therefore decided to get rid of it, as it offers no extra value to the book. I also need to read through to check spellings etc (holiday job), and sort out author information on the back.

I have discovered that there is a kindle add on for word, but my pc doesn't seem to accept it.

17 April 2019

The book has been released and has met with a favourable view. But I wonder

I have drawn my own maps for book two.

Is the Cover a bonus or a bad cover?

So I have entered it into Cover wars

At this moment (It has 53% of the 19 votes), and is doing well.

If I win, I might ask Anoop to do the next cover? The next book is called Green Mist Singularity and is about technological advancement.

Update 04 May 2019

I won cover wars with 61% of the vote. And sent a big thank-you to all who voted.

I also had a lot of fun using the cover by combining it with images on an app

I am about to put bids out for the cover of the 2nd book Green Mist Singularity to be finished this month

Update Friday 10 May 2019 - Competition.

The great thing about being off work with a damaged foot (as seen by my GP) is that I had extra writing time.


Having finished my 2nd book called Green Mist Singularity. I have posted a competition for the book cover design and offered a prize of 50 pounds.

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