An Octopus of a Different Colour

Books. They need a cover. That’s where a lot of my time is spent when writing new books. I enjoy the work, but it does take a good portion of my free time. Now that I’ve done a few, it’s a bit easier, especially with the whole multiple dimensions for multiple formats problem, and here is the result so far.

To begin with, now I’ll go from the audiobook design and work down, rather than the other way around. That means I need to make a 3000×3000 pixel image which has the main focus somewhere in the centre so that when I trim it to fit a 1400 pixel width, the main context is not lost.

For Tedrick Gritswell turns the tide, I started off with a sketch of an octopus, this one here. Of course, Tedrick is missing a limb, so that long arm had to go. Sorry, Teddy.

With that done, it was a matter of getting some shade and texture into there so I could imagine what I’m seeing:

Having an octopus mostly centred, Tedrick needs to be holding onto the focus of the book, the Emerald Algae, and this is going to also be the focus of the cover. Insert arm, add suckers. Add a proper background and a forground, some bubbles, a constrasting light of red and green and, voila, we’re looking like we’ve got ourselves a background image for the cover!

That’s not all there is, though. Now I need to do a bit more down in the bottom right corner there, neaten up some of the shines, get some better gravel texture and the like. And contrast – I think it needs more. After this, I’ll need to inspect it for anything that’s going to interrupt the print, make sure the colours look right (because monitors can be deceptive). Then there’s the text and placement, the audiobook format, the ebook format, and for the hardcopy I’ll need to make a rear image. I’m thinking about the attack of the squid, but we’ll see.

It’s coming together, now. I’ve printed the manuscript ready to attack it with the red pen. Once that’s done, I’ll be looking to get all the other bits in motion. Not long now, eh? The good news is that I’m on track for the deadline. The bad news is… there isn’t any! Let’s get cracking, Jez!

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