23 July 2011

Book Cover Woes

So I re-titled The Secret Common-Wealth to Milk Sister, which puts the emphasis on the main character instead of on a book she reads (though the contents of the book are rather important to the plot). Also, it doesn't sound like some sort of political treatise. And I decided I don't like the cover I made as much as I like the book, so I decided to re-do the cover from scratch. The first cover looked like this:

It was a fun experiment, if not entirely successful. But I wanted something with the main character, since the title now refers to her. I thought I could do worse than starting with the intaglio print I blogged about yesterday as a background image. There's an enchanted tree in the story, too, so it's not just a random image.

I started by adding colour in Photoshop. The layer blending I chose gave the image some nice darks around the edge, though the intensity of the background may be part of the problem I'm having now.

Then the main character. I rummaged around for a photo I could edit and use and came up with one of myself at my sister's wedding. I was seventeen and my character is only fourteen, but I think it's OK. The fact that I'm working with an image of myself might also be part of the problem. It's too weird.

So, first attempt:

Then I tried to fix a few things and make more of the background visible:

Then I tried to fix some other things:

The hair on her shoulder (badly Photoshopped as my hair was back in the original) was really starting to bug me.

And at this point, I'm not even sure what it was I thought I was fixing. And that's where it remains. With me really beginning to hate it, but without any clue of what to fix or where to start if I started over.

The part I quite like is how the title sits on top of the background (it looks better when bigger--you can click on the images to make them a bit bigger). So yeah. I think I need a break. I was really hoping to be able to upload the ebook on Monday, and I *can* always change the cover later, but still.

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