When I need a break and want to play with GIMP for a while, indulging my somewhat neglected visual-arts side, I look back over past ebook cover design adventures and pick out something to redesign.
Even though I’m sitting on two finished short stories and am making good progress on a third… technically I’m backlogged by three covers. But never mind that. This old cover has been bugging me for a while. See if you can guess why:
That’s so much better for so many reasons. I’ll leave you to contemplate the difference.
I’ve just added the new cover on Smashwords, it should take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to reach the various retailers that carry my stories listed conveniently in the sidebar to the right.
As of now, I have 43 distinct titles out there and several are free. There are more on the way; apparently I haven’t squeezed my imagination dry quite yet. With any luck, I never will. I like this writing thing too much to give it up.
Isolation And Other Stories is creeping closer to being finished. The two longest stories, both in novella territory (17,500 words or more) as they near completion, are making me work to find satisfying endings for them. I have a provisional ending for Down On The Farm which needs a touch of fleshing out, and I’m still working on the last (maybe) 2,000 words of Isolation and have a general idea of what needs to happen within them. For blurbs describing those two stories, click the link at the beginning of this paragraph.
But I have a cover. Artist Erik Elliott composed the original art, and I used GIMP image manipulation freeware to build the rest of the cover around it. By which I mean I added letters in positions and of proportions that I found fitting. While my role was the less demanding, I still found a way to spend time designing a cover I didn’t like before both Erik and my wife persuaded me that I could do better. After incorporating their suggestions, I came up with this cover, which I find to be somehow pleasingly retro and evocative of the theme of Isolation:
For reference, here’s my first attempt, which I still like, just not as much as the other cover. It’s kind of cluttered, the drop shadows are a bit odd, and the transit from white to dark makes me want to read my last name as split into two separate words, ‘bar’ and ‘ton’:
Of course, you might have your own opinion about the way either or both of these covers strike you. Please feel free to comment. I still have plenty of room to grow in the field of cover design.