As promised last Friday, today is the day for the cover reveal of my upcoming book The Voyage: Book Two of The Osteria Chronicles along with a little explanation of how I created the cover in Microsoft Word.
Because it will be the second in a series, most of the “planning” work was already done for this cover. To create a cohesive look across all six books in the series, I want them all to have covers with a similar layout, color tone and font. Using my cover for The Trials of Hercules (aka “Book One”), I simply needed to replace the image…okay, maybe not simple, but certainly not as much work as coming up with the Hercules cover.
Finding the Image
With most of the book’s action taking place on the water, I knew i wanted an image of ship for the cover. As I was writing, I could picture the vessel in my head. The trick was finding an image that matched what my brain came up with – the boat needed to have oars, have sails, and have a vaguely Greek look to it.
On 123rf.com I played around searching for Greek boats (results = lots of cruise ships), ancient boats, Roman ships, and the like. This is the image I settled on…
I liked the look of the boat and the fact that the cloudy sky gave the image a slightly ominous appearance, but it wasn’t quite right. It was also way too “squat” to fit well on a vertical book cover layout.
So, I stretched the image out and shifted it off center so it looked like it was sailing into the scene. But the image was just too bright and cheery. In the story, the hero goes through some dark events during and after his voyage. I wanted the cover to have a moody and foreboding aspect to match the darkness within the plot. Luckily, you can adjust an image’s colors in Word by making it lighter or darker, warmer, sharper, etc.
By warming the picture’s overall color tone then darkening it by 40%, I came up with this moody image….
I still had a little problem with the size of the image. It just wasn’t tall enough, but stretching it further distorted the ship. Since what I wanted were more of the dark clouds, I simply cropped a copy of the image down to just the top bit where the clouds are.
Sticking this directly above the main image looked a bit odd and obvious, so I flipped the cropped clouds on the horizontal and this created a nice swirling look to the sky…even more ominous!
After that, I just needed to space the title and subtitle to fit over the image a bit better and…
The Final Result
Here’s the cover, ready and waiting for the book’s June 2015 release date! And, as this cover isn’t set in stone, I’d love to hear what you think.