Creating Livli’s Cover

I want to take you with me as I build a book cover. It’ll be fun and interesting, so let’s go! My second novel, Livli’s Gift, will be released soon; watch as I put together its cover.

from art to complete coverThe first step is selecting art. I could commission an artist to create something new. But my North-lands were inspired by the folk tales in the collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and I adore the work of Kay Nielsen (who illustrated the stories). So I choose one of his pieces. It was published in 1914 and is in the public domain. It depicts a queen tending two magical plants under cloches in her garden and fits well with the events in Livli’s Gift, as you’ll see when you read it.

I’m not expert at working the scanner, so the color balance of the scanned art is wrong. Luckily I know my way around Photoshop well enough to fix the problem. I bring the art back to black and white, then drop the image into my cover file.





I leave room under the art for my name and an author tagline, but the area needs to be something other than a rectangle of paleness. This piece of art calls for a dark foundation, so I fill it with black. I also remove the black frame line at the top of the art, creating a smooth expanse for the title.





I know I want the color of the title to match the color of the author name: a bright blue. I’ll need a dark ground for the title to show well, so I create a translucent shadow at the top of the cover.






I type in the the title and the author. The J.M. Ney-Grimm looks great (grin!), but the title is not “popping” enough.






I add a drop shadow behind the letters of the title. That’s better! All that remains to be done is type in the title tagline and the author tagline.


:: Typing, typing, typing ::


And there we have it: Livli’s Gift.


More posts about book covers:
Eyes Glaze Over? Never!
Building Star-drake’s Cover
Choosing a Tagline Font