This post is part of Cover Design Week. To see other posts click the CDW tag below.
In an earlier post I talked about how the value of hiring a cover designer is directly related to the potential time savings. For me the prospect of hiring a cover designer will save me time in a variety of ways, including some that are unconventional, or at least idiosyncratic.
I have a fair amount of technical knowledge. I’m reasonably comfortable with computers, and if I don’t have specific familiarity with a given application I can usually get it to do what I need in fairly short order. In putting together the e-book cover for my short story collection, The Year of the Elm (TYOTE), I used an open-source application called GIMP, which is a free and fairly powerful image editor.
GIMP is not, however, easy to embrace. Even armed with a helpful book about the program I found myself bashing my head on my desk when trying to do simple things, including changing ColorA to ColorB. Like many graphics programs, GIMP uses a dizzying mix of image-editing terminology and application-specific geek terminology to describe various functions and aspects of the interface. If you don’t know which term means what, doing even simple things can become a nightmare.
On the art/design side of the cover-design equation, I’m not an artist, but I have a fairly good eye, and I understand basic composition. Whatever you may think of the current TYOTE cover design, it’s pretty much what I was aiming for from concept to execution. Not only do I ‘know it when I see it’ (some people don’t), but I am also able to imagine what I want in advance or work toward it in the image-editing process. I may need to try a few things and discard them, but over time I’ll be able to focus my efforts and reach an acceptable result. What I cannot do is draw very well, but as image libraries continue to grow in size that skill is becoming less and less critical. [ Read more ]