Saturday, December 12, 2015

Choosing a Book Cover

The Case of the Jade Dragon Book Cover

I am about two-thirds of the way through writing my first draft of The Case of the Jade Dragon. I started working on a book cover when I had started working on the outline for the novel. I had a number of pictures to choose from. The story is a third in the series with Jonas Watcher being hired to transport a bride from St. Louis to San Francisco. Two Chinese families who have been feuding for generations have finally come to an agreement that was going to be sealed with a marriage between the two families. There are a number of people who both support and oppose the agreed end to hostilities with the two families uniting in wedlock.

When creating a cover there are a number of considerations I take into account. I try to create an element of the story on the page. I try to tie the cover graphically to the title, and an arbitrary decision upon my part to include a shadowed image representing Jonas Watcher.

For this cover, I used a movie poster from Chinatown with Jack Nicholson as a template. I used the concept of the smoke from an Erte art piece called  "Opium", I imported a shadowed figure for Jonas Watcher. I used eyes, nose and mouth from some clip art I own. The crystal ball was created using storm clouds and a clipart dragon.I layered different elements in and used CreateSpace book cover creator to pull it all together.

While I am not positive that this will be the final artwork for the book cover, I am very happy with it. I would appreciate any comments.

The Case of the Looking Glass Mirror

I have begun working on the outline for the fourth book in the Jonas Watcher series. I have written a basic sketch for each of the chapters. The book will open with a murder and a stolen rare volume of Lewis Carrol's "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There". The title is deliberately repetitive, and of course, you'll have to read the book to find out why. Now comes the question of book cover images and what will work that fits my paradigm. The image will need an element of the title, a shadowed image of Jonas Watcher, and an element from the story.

They say sex sells so I still have the possibility of a Femme Fatale, as either a good or evil character. Could have a cat fight with either Betty or Xifeng and the Femme Fatale, something to consider.

A glass library, with a dead body, a broken mirror, a knocked over chess set, and Jonas' shadow across the floor is the first thing that leaps to my mind. Then there is the font style, the font color, and the background color. These are all things that I have made note of when thing about the cover for the fourth book. There will be additional elements to consider as I outline the book. but for now, I must get back to book three. Jonas is on a train to St Louis with Xifeng, and trouble is creeping through the train.

Some images to consider for later books.
                                   
   
    

Gene