Everybody knows by now that Elaine Ash is the culprit behind the Anonymous-9 short stories. All 11 of them are going into an e-book, and writer/E-book maven Rebecca Forster, known for her thriller novels, whipped up 3 versions for me to choose from. Before moving to e-books, Rebecca was published most recently by Penguin/Putnam, also Harper Collins and Pocket Books, so she speaks knowledgeably about design and cover-appeal.
I would love to get your opinion—yes please, your opinion—on 3 possible covers for HARD BITE and OTHER STORIES. Below, which cover attracts your attention most? Would you buy an e-book of short stories based on any of these covers? (Please keep in mind that small tweeks like kerning (spaces between letters) and other small polishing effects have not been done):
COVER # ONE
COVER # TWO
COVER # THREE
Which is your favorite? And which is your second choice? Please feel free to leave your opinion below in the comments. Any other observations you’d like to make are also helpful.
MAKING AN E-COVER – A CONVERSATION WITH REBECCA FORSTER
Elaine Ash: When making an e-cover, most people choose an image to work with their title. I purchased a photo in jpg format from Getty mages for $20. unlimited use, but I also hear Dreamstime is very good for photos. Just finding an image on the web and using it without permission is a bad idea. You could be guilty of copyright infringement. So that being said, Rebecca, what makes a good cover image?
Rebecca Forster: Your lead story features a monkey, so you chose a photograph that represented him. It’s riveting. Great expression, with or without eyes showing. The black background was very helpful. Pure white is tough to work with although I do like it for Sci Fi.
RIGHT: Original photo as purchased from Getty Images
The lines on that picture were sharp (teeth, shoulders etc.) I also liked the fact that there were a range of colors in the same color family (note the sort of salmon pink and beiges). I’m not a graphic artist but I worked in advertising for years, had New York make over 20 book covers for my work so I know which ones sold well and the ones that didn’t. I’ve seen my own e-book sales affected by the choice of images.
Elaine: I know you use Powerpoint to create covers, which is a lot cheaper for a do-it-yourself-er than Photoshop. What other considerations went into making the Hard Bite and Other Short Stories covers?
Rebecca: You had three genres represented (noir, horror and satire) so I didn’t want to focus only on one. For instance, a smoky feel represents noir while a red background that might look like blood is suitable for horror. I had to find a middle ground.
Rebecca: The repetitive image to me was like a good alliteration. Visually I think it sticks with the viewer. Subliminally you were talking about three genres, and we’ve got three images. On the other two options I liked the sense that your cover was ripped in some way to give it an active feel and to leave a little something to the imagination. Covering the eyes of the monkey focused on the mouth and led the eye from the words Hard Bite to the visual. The black background gives a really good sense of the cover being torn to pieces, the colors on the other hand simply pull the viewer in by virtue of the bold, primary colors and the fact that they are situated in an unusual manner (diagonal as opposed to a more expected horizontal).
REBECCA HAS GENEROUSLY OFFERED TO CONSULT WITH ASHEDIT READERS about any questions through her website. http://www.rebeccaforster.com/
You’ll also find cover designs for Rebecca’s legal thrillers as well as romance novels, and informative articles like this one on “Covers that Sell.” http://www.rebeccaforster.com/1/post/2011/03/heck-yeah-e-covers-that-sell.html
RIGHT: I met Rebecca through writer Brian Drake. She designed his cover; isn’t that a great title? Buy it here for 99 cents. http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-for-One-ebook/dp/B005890TTA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1309113443&sr=1-5
DOWNLOAD FREE KINDLE READER FOR PC: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311
DOWNLOAD FREE KINDLE READER FOR MAC: http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/mac/download?forced=1
PLUS Paul Brazill’s Brit Grit report with commentary from Nigel Bird and a flash-fiction sample of quintessential style from across the pond by Alan Griffiths.
Don’t forget to leave your 2 cents below in the Comments. Thanks!— Elaine Ash