Picture worth 1,000 words

I’m not a professional designer, but I see book covers all day for my job. I know what I don’t want. But I don’t necessarily know how to make something look how I want for my cover.

Coming up with a concept was my first step. Which wasn’t easy. The first book I want to tackle is currently titled No One That Matters. It’s a hockey-ish romance that follows a couple (one is a hockey player, the other works in an imagining lab), their friend (who is an interior designer), and the hockey player’s defensive partner. So I was thinking hockey gear, painting supplies maybe… something to show who the characters are. I played around with some graphics, tried to use some of the team colors, maybe a little ice in the background to help place it in the hockey universe.

And, well, that’s something, alright. I mean, is it professional? No. Would it work? I guess. Does it give you some idea of what you’re getting? I think so. But I wasn’t really happy with it. I played around with it a bit. I changed the font on the title and shrunk the paint can a bit to give it a little forced perspective. Is this any better?

Cover with a scratched ice background, the word “No one that matters” I white on a blue swoosh. Under that a paint bucket with a paintbrush with blue paint on it is next to a the blade of a hockey stick and a puck. On the bottom, the author’s name, Bea Evans, is in white on a smaller blue swoosh.

Another problem I have with this is that while, yes, there is a relationship that develops between the interior designer and the hockey player, it doesn’t include the existing couple’s relationship. I can’t just keep throwing graphics in here to represent everyone. It would be confusing and cluttered.

I have no plan to make this a series so I don’t have to worry about that, at least. I didn’t like using graphics that I was unsure of the provenance. It feels a little cartoonish. I finished messing with this and thought, “Well, maybe I could give this to someone as an example of what I want.” But, do I want to pay someone to make me a cover? I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Quite frankly, I’d rather spend it on an editor. But… we judge books by their covers. Will anyone pick up this book?

One thing I have learned is to leave things alone for a while before I judge it. So, it’s here, but I was thinking about some other things. Such as, who am I? I hate to use the word “brand” but it’s something to consider. I really prefer something clean. I liked keeping the colors. I looked up the team’s color codes. Helps that one color is white. But this way I got the blue right. And as I was thinking about what else I might want on a cover, I remembered a section of the story. My interior designer sits down to make some thank you cards.

She used the same dark blue for Zach and Derrick’s cards, adding stripes of blue to the white card stock. For Derrick’s she cut out a foam finger from a partial sheet of yellow foam. She added “#1 Fan” on it with a marker and glued it on.

Hmm. And then, I got into my car and there was, leftover from a hockey game earlier this year, a yellow foam finger. I don’t know if I believe in signs. But I do believe in paying attention. Our minds put things together. So, I snapped a quick picture.

I used some software to pull it out from the background, did a little editing to remove a logo and then slapped that sucker into Canva because the photo editor had a very limited font selection. I pulled up pictures of the team’s jersey. I liked the font on there, looked it up and was able to find a similar font on Canva. So, now I have something right out of the book and it’s a little less complicated. Do I like it? My immediate response is yes, but a couple more days of looking at it will help me decide. What do you think?

Cover for a book titled “No One That Matters”. Three dark blue stripes run across the white background at a slight upward angle. In the top stripe, the title is in white. In the bottom stripe is the author’s name, Bea Evans. In the middle is a large yellow foam finger that said “ #1 Fan.”







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