Fun with Book Covers

Awhile back I started what was intended be a short story, and as usually happens it took on a life of its own. I couldn’t seem to find a way to wrap it up and keep it under 10k words, so at the urging of a couple of beta readers I’m pressing on and planning to go the distance and make it a novel.

I don’t actually have a title for it yet, but I threw these images together with a boring title just to play with some graphics. All images were harvested (i.e., rightfully stolen, a la Vezzini) from They’re free computer wallpapers, trimmed to approximate a bookcover. They’re rough, I know, but I don’t have any kind of graphics program like Photoshop, so I do what I can in MS Paint and Powerpoint.

Stolas cover 1  stolas3

Stolas2 Stolas Sadness

gothic dark stolas Lightning Stolas

Stolas girl

Honestly I could do this all day. There are so many ways to go with this. The guy with the torch on the first one looks something like the way I pictured one of the characters. I think my fave of this bunch is the horned devil, second row on the right. I even threw in the obligatory girl in the woods, but she’s fully-dressed, no sword in sight, and she’s not standing in some physically implausible position.

It just amazes me how many truly gifted artists there are, and the range of styles available, and yet publishers keep trotting out the same tired pictures and variations on a theme. Yanno, like this:


Granted, I’m not writing paranormal romance, so hopefully if I do get published my book would not be saddled with one of those covers.

18 thoughts on “Fun with Book Covers

  1. I’m glad that you’ve been given some good encouragement to press on in turning your short story into a novel! 🙂

    Your book cover demos are pretty good for being a working models. If you would like some help, I would be happy to. I have some graphic art background, especially with doing photography for so many years. I do own Photoshop and Illustrator, but they are older versions. I have digital SLR with multiple lenses. I mean, you were kind enough to do a tarot reading for me! So, just give me a shout back if you’re interested.

    Yes, I’m still awake. I live for the night, but I’m not a vampire…just an amateur astronomer since my high school days. Anyway, I’m taking a break right now from a dvd I’m watching, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. I’m doing a Resident Evil marathon. 😉


    1. Thanks, Jeff. I’m not planning to self-publish, at least not at this time, so this was all just playing around. I sure appreciate the offer, though, and will keep you in mind if I ever decide to go that route. Mostly this was motivated by my frustration with publishers continually using the same style of cover. Honestly sometimes I think there’s only one person illustrating all the book covers out there.

      Oh, astronomy! My poor telescope gathers more dust than starlight these days. I really need to get out there again, haven’t had it out in ages.


  2. How exciting that your short story wants to be a novel. Like jmgershom says above, these covers are pretty good for a bunch of rough, working models. Better than some of the ones I’ve seen out there on the shelves. Best of luck with this!


  3. Interesting assortment of ideas you’ve got here. Without knowing the substance of the story it’s a bit hard to pick an appropriate one. But I can say we must have the same taste because, I immediately was drawn to the horned female figure — same as you. 🙂 Congrats on pushing it on into a full novel. I have the same problem sometimes. especially poetry. My simple, 2 stanza poem, sometimes turns into a Norse Epic, LOL.


      1. Wow, hmmm…it’s a shame you couldn’t fit all of that in there. But I think it still works in your edit.

        LOL, I’ll let you know as soon as I publish the next “Ring Cycle” and I’ll try to keep it under 15 hours.



  4. These are great!!! I’m really into covers. I think they make you stop in your tracks and want to read what’s behind them. Titles too! Packaging can make all the difference. Excellent panoply of pulp if you will.


  5. Thank you, Susannah 🙂 I haven’t really tried to come up with a title for this story yet, I’m only about 12K words into it so lots of time yet for that.


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