The Cutting Room Floor

A few months ago I shared that I was dipping my toe in creating Ebook covers. I’ve been learning Photoshop and all about layers and blending ever since. I can literally see how far I’ve come when I look at the very first covers I created to the covers I make now, and that’s just within a few short months. I’ve been keeping my eye on what covers are selling well in their respective genres and try to keep up with the flow. I’ve gone from terrible to good. Not great yet, but I’ll get there.

I thought I’d share a cover I made about a month ago. I kept it in my ‘Needs to be Edited’ file because it just wasn’t doing it for me. It looked cheap. Gaudy. Terrible. There was something wrong with it and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I loved the background I had chosen, and the guy was super hot. So what could possibly be wrong with it?

Before I post that first attempt into the blog, I’ll start off by saying that I haven’t made the cover ‘clean.’ By that I mean that I’m not going to sharpen the edges, so to speak, just to post them here. I just thought it would be fun to show you how a cover comes to finality, and some of the bullshit…er, I mean process behind it. 🙂 Other than me staring at the computer screen like this for an hour:

woman-squinting-at-screen

So enough about my pulling my own hair out…here’s the model I found. Swoon! Just look at those eyes!

Young business man in suit

Since he’s in a suit and adjusting his tie, he looks like he’s ready to get down to business. Each cover should reflect a certain ‘mood’ and certainly the genre that the writer is intending (romance,horror,young adult). And on top of that, romance has several sub-genres (contemporary, western, erotic). So if you have a woman with a bouquet, chances are you will want a cursive font, and you would be going with a contemporary feel. I wanted a city background for the guy in the suit, because this would be a great contemporary ‘CEO’ romance. With that in mind, I went searching for a city background. What I found was a picture taken of Dubai.

Dubai downtown night scene

Gorgeous. I’m in LOVE with this background. Once I put these two together, it’ll be awesome. I then had to figure out how to cut him and paste him in front of that city backdrop without it looking like a second grader had confiscated his mother’s computer. I Googled the process of getting his hot ass onto the embedded photo of the city background, added some font, and BOOM. We have a cover.

Senator Elect - Okay

Jesus that looks bad. What happened? Me no likee.

Okay, so I didn’t like it. I was slightly excited about learning the process of snipping out a person and putting them onto a background, but sad that it looked like trash. Instead of finalizing the cover, I put it in my ‘Needs to be Edited’ folder and left it.

Well, I found the cover yesterday, sitting there waiting for me. While the hubby was working on the RV, I decided to create this cover and figure out why it wasn’t working. I really love the model, but the background wasn’t working. I fiddled with it several times, moved him back and forth, went completely black and white at one point…but no. Nothing was working.

The ONE THING that made the difference? I fiddled with the hue of the background. The blue of the sky was just too much. And who wants the background to be the thing that draws your gaze? Right? I mean, look at that model. So…A little fiddling, and in the end I had this:

Business Before Pleasure

Can someone give me an AMEN? I swear he looks even better. Didn’t think that was possible! Just by changing the hue, adding the fake title, and bringing him closer and to the side a bit, I went from disliking the cover to absolutely loving it. Then I just added my new logo (cover flip on the bottom):

Business Before Pleasure with Cover Flip

…and we have a happy camper over here! Don’t even ASK me how long it took for me to figure out how to make that little cover flip thingie with my logo on it. ForEVER. And then it ended up being such a simple thing! *headdesk* It always turns out that way. But hey, love the journey, not just the destination. I’m having fun creating these covers, and though I’ve only sold a few and haven’t advertised much, if the biz clicks, then it clicks. I want to get some more experience under my belt before I advertise too much.

But it’s a cool logo, isn’t it?

McClure Book Covers LOGO - COLOR

One little step at a time!

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