Creating a book cover for an e-book
One of the most important things readers look for, apart from the writing, is the cover of a book. For my first three children’s books, Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector, I employed an illustrator to design the covers. I knew I just could not do the drawings myself so it was a sensible decision. As an author I always take time to look in book shops and online to see what the latest trend in covers in. It’s crucial that my books slot easily in with other published books and do not stand out for all the wrong reasons.
However… when it came to writing my first YA paranormal novel, Marvin’s Curse, I decided that this time I would be the cover designer. Now nothing has changed with the drawing situation – I still can’t draw. But with the technology now available I realised I could design my own cover using photos, graphics etc.
After researching covers of well-known books and many yet-to-be-discovered YA books I came to the conclusion that for this book, a black background would work best. Marvin’s Curse is set in a graveyard so anything bright would not be appropriate. The next step was to find a great photo, but of what?. In the book, Marvin discovers a world underground and has to step through a graveyard angel to reach it. The angel was the key so it made sense to feature one on the cover. I searched for many hours until I found the perfect weeping angel at the Dreamstime website. After buying the licence, I was then free to use the image commercially.
The next stage was choosing graphics to enhance the image. I used the ivy plant in different greys with a hint of purple. The final stage was choosing a font for the title and for my author name, Debra J Edwards. This took quite a while as I experimented with the different fonts available not forgetting the different colours. I settled on the grey outlined with white just to make the lettering stand out more from the black background.
There was one final unexpected touch. The lovely quote at the bottom of the cover was provided by Herbie Brennan, a bestselling author who read the book and really enjoyed it. The cover was then complete and although it took a lot of time, I really loved creating it. I think it looks worthy enough to sit amongst all the other YA books out there. I hope you agree.
This is the draft cover for the YA novel I am currently writing, The Iron City, Rae Gandos – Dragon Slayer. I have applied similar principles in creating this design, staying with the black background and trying images from the Dreamstime website. I totally love this cover. It could well be the final design.
How would you handle the dead?
After losing his dad, 17 year old Marvin finds he can see and talk to the dead, an inherited ‘gift’. Bonus, you might think, but Marvin hates it. It makes him different and he just wants to be ‘normal’. He meets Stella in the graveyard that backs onto the house he’s just moved into.
‘My name is Stella, Stella McCartney. It says so inside my trousers.’ (!?!)
A mysterious business card reveals that Stella has lost her memories and all signs point to Moghador, a gateway to hell where a pawnbroker holds the answers.
About the Author:
Debra J Edwards is a full time writer living in Surrey. She lives in a rambling Victorian house with husband and pyscho staffy, Buster.
Debra currently has four books published. A trilogy about stroppy teenage tooth fairies; Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector,the sequel, Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector – Arty’s Revenge with Hero Required, the third book in the series.
Marvin’s Curse is her fourth novel although the first for YA readers. For this latest book, Marvin’s Curse, she worked under cover as a ghost whisperer in order to bring that something extra to her central character. Debra feels this has paid off well and is now training to be a dragon slayer for her next novel…