Art & Craft: Creating the Perfect Cover.

Even though I’m still working on the first draft of my MG novel, being a visual person I wanted to create a cover for the book. I pictured this cover printed out, pinned on the motivational board above my desk, urging me on (along with pots of Earl Grey) to get this draft written.

To that end, I decided to forgo my usual play around with photoshop & actually invest in a cover. That’s right, I mean pay somebody to do it for me. Being unwilling (and unable) to invest too much cash I wandered across to fiverr.com.

I did a search for ebook cover artists, found one that had some great samples up and engaged their services. Now, for those who have never visited fiverr, there are all sorts of options attached to these ‘transactions. A basic cover cost me five dollars, incorporating several different elements/images costs an additional five dollars and so on. I went for the basic, no frills, five dollar option.

My wish list for the artist went like this:

  1. It’s an MG novel – aimed at primary school students.

  2. It’s an environmental-themed story.

  3. The main protagonists are an 11 year old girl and a boy.

  4. The title & my name.

The artist came up with a perfectly decent cover, but not well suited to the age group or theme I was aiming for. It was a good thing in the end though, as it motivated me to get off my behind and create my own image. That way, I don’t have to worry about copyright or anything of that ilk, and I can use the image as much or as little as I like. So, being a teacher, I got out my crafting materials & went crazy!

Seeing my book has an environmental theme (and I’m a Sustainability Teacher), instead of buying anything I didn’t already have, I went the recycling route with my collage:

  • The ‘base’ is a page from a sketch pad I bought at a second-hand shop.

  • The sky/background is made up of the inside of envelopes.

  • The tree trunk is an old cereal box.

  • The leaves & flowers are made up of remnants left over from a previous crafting session.

  • The girl (Lyssa) is drawn on an old scrap of computer paper.

The title, my name & the blurb needs work, but it's just added in with photoshop so can be manipulated as much or as little as I want.

Having the original picture on my pinboard inspires me more than just picturing it in my mind ever could. Moral of the story? Best five dollars I ever spent!

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