Judging My Book by Its Cover

Today’s post is going to be quite a short one – by my rambly, on-and-on-and-on standards, anyway. Recently, I’ve been putting up a lot of posts about NaNoWriMo. Okay, fine – I’ve only put up posts about it. Still, it is quite an important thing to me and one that I have a lot to say about. In the last post, I just wrote generally about NaNo. However, in this post I am going to focus on one particular aspect of it (that I forgot to mention in the last post): my book’s cover.

Here’s a picture of the front, followed by one of the back:

The Other Town Book CoverBack Cover space

Please don’t steal either of them. Seriously. I know I don’t normally go on about this sort of thing, but this time I am really adamant about it (not that I’m okay with you stealing other stuff off my blog – because, you know, I’m not).

Anyway. I recommend clicking on the images for a better quality view, especially with the back cover. The Other Town is the name of the novel I wrote for this year’s NaNo, which I wrote about in previous posts, while the name “Inky Sea” is my username on the NaNoWriMo website. My younger sister Tilly, who was mentioned in this post, designed this for me. Personally, I think she is awesome with this sort of stuff. “This sort” meaning techie design stuff, just to clarify. She worked hard on this project, and I’m really happy with the cover. It’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted, and I love how she made it all herself.

The cover is meant to show the scene of the actual town of Arcandale, settled among some hills in Scotland. I reckon it has a sort of spooky vibe to it, which is definitely a good thing. I’m not sure if the book itself lives up to the spookiness of the cover, but there you are. I’m also completely in love with that font, which is called Brain Flower. I believe I just gave Tilly some description of a Halloween-esque font that wasn’t too difficult to read, or something like that, and she came back with this. It is pretty readable, and so she was able to use it on the back of the cover as well. Okay, I’m done raving now. Like I’ve already said, I’m super happy with it.

The covers of books are a really important thing to me, so I’m so pleased that the one for my own novel worked out so well. Book covers are really your first impressions of the books themselves, and you know what they say: “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. And as much as I despise that expression, I agree that first impressions are important, especially in the cases of inanimate objects. I have been known to buy a book, only to never read it because it came with a cover I didn’t like. I’m not sure if this is of so much importance to anyone else.

So what does everyone else do for their NaNo covers? If it weren’t for Tilly making this wonderful piece for me, I probably would still be without a cover right now. But do most people create their own covers, or is it common to have someone else do it for you? I’ve seen a couple of posts around with people talking about their NaNo novel covers, which is what really inspired me to do this post, and it’s amazing to see the gorgeous designs people have. That said, I don’t always know how they did it. I think if I had to create my own cover, I would probably just go for one of those minimalist-type covers you get on paperback classics and such. Not for style – only because I’m incapable of doing a more elaborate design. Other people are clearly much more talented in this area, though, which means we all get to see a huge range of book covers when NaNoWriMo comes around each year. Yet another reason why NaNo is so awesome.

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4 Responses to Judging My Book by Its Cover

  1. wow, i love it! fantastic cover!!!!!

  2. *stares at cover* That really is lovely. Did your sister make it from scratch, or did she use a stock photo? Also, Brain Flower is my favorite font, and I think it really goes well on the cover. Sometimes with that font it can be extremely hard to distinguish the ‘t’ from the ‘i’, and it’s handled very nice.

    Any, what I do for my covers is I just make them myself. That way, I can get what I want without having to haggle with one of the forum NaNoers. I used to ask for covers via NaNo YWP, but I soon found out that I didn’t like the covers so much and then I simply quit asking. I’ve been slowly learning graphic design on Paint, which seems barbaric but I can’t afford Photoshop, so. :)

    Maybe I should write a post analyzing my covers. :P

    • Mary says:

      Hi there! Thanks for your comment :-) I hadn’t noticed the ‘t’ and ‘i’ problem, but I suppose it must have worked out okay in this case. Brain Flower is probably one of my favourite fonts too, second only to the comparatively boring Courier. I’ve seen some of the covers you’ve done (e.g. Nevillegirl’s The Thing About Magic cover) and they’re really nice. It looks like you’re doing a good job creating covers independently. By the way, I wasn’t sure about how my sister did the design (I just grabbed the cover and ran), so I asked her to respond to that herself.

      Tilly says: I made the cover from scratch on some brilliant free vector graphic software called Inkscape. If you’re interested in graphic design but can’t afford Photoshop (like me), then it’s a really good alternative. I’d never used Brain Flower before when I made the cover; it just happened to be on the front page of the website I get fonts from (dafont.com), and I’ve really liked it since. Also, thank you so much for saying that you liked the cover -it’s really encouraging :-)

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