My Book Cover Failures

Book Cover Design, Wendy May, Flowers
Stock Photo:
Hi, it's Wendy May! Okay, so lately I've been posting about my photo design journey to creating my own book covers. I've shown a few book covers that I thought were okay. Not good, not wonderful, but passable. As in they don't appear to be scraps of DIY made in Microsoft's Paint program.

Wendy May's Book Cover Mistakes

Well, here's a step away from that to show you my absolute failures. This entry will focus on the various attempts I made for a Paranormal Ghost story I had written. The name has changed from Dark Rider to Dusk to Light. It'll change again one last time when I reveal the final cover design I've made in a later entry.

The Black and White Atrocity

Wendy May, Book Cover Design, Couple
My first attempt. Its absolutely cringe worthy isn't it? I know, I know it well. The placement of the pictures, the craptastic colors, to the circus storm gradients. What was I thinking? To be honest, I'm not entirely certain. The story doesn't involve a cozy romance. It's a ghost story with an interesting Happily Ever After ending. Basically none of the elements revolved around the genre. Fail!

Shirtless and Faceless Hunk

Wendy May, Book Cover Design, Hunk
Second attempt. Don't laugh too much. Okay, no, go ahead and laugh. I'm already there doing it too. Originally, the story had a few erotic elements to it. At that time I had thought that writing erotica was the first step into self-publishing I had to take to be noticed. Thankfully, that's far from the truth because I'm quite awful at it. Best to leave that wondrous genre to the experts!

To that end, I had attempted to research the elements of what the other romance erotica books had for their book covers. Shirtless, faceless, male hunk is basically all there is to it. I combined that with a spooky background to convey the supernatural aspects of the story. The font is atrocious though. Fail!

Supernatural Magic Couple of Doom

Wendy May, Book Cover Design, Couple
I deviated a bit from the sole shirtless guy to a couple. I added runes and a light blue background with a vivid image of the full moon. The font is okay but it is still atrocious. I'm getting better at it learning how to present the image as a whole. Due to the font placing and lack of photo manipulation skills on the woman; it's a huge fail.

Supernatural Ghost Glow Couple

Wendy May, Book Cover Design, Couple, Paranormal, Ghost
Font is as important as the cover design itself. This particular font looks exceptional when shrunk down to 100x100 which is a typical thumbnail size. Still not quite the font that shouts out 'Paranormal Ghost' story. I'm closer to what a paranormal ghost story book cover should appear as but there are many mistakes. Believe it or not, one of the bigger errors is the couple. Forgive me for being fickle but I should have glanced at their respective ages better. Basically, they are both too old. I hate saying it but they are also not handsome or beautiful. And 'normal' doesn't cut it to attract eyes to the cover.

I'll post the final ebook cover that is currently on the market. I hope you can learn from my mistakes. There's always room for improvement when learning. Remember, no matter what, don't give up.

urban fantasy short stories, A female with red hair stands alone while vibrant colors of magical elements surround her
Read Dusk into Light today

Update 1/1/2020: At last the final ebook cover. Urban fantasy features a strong female protagonist amid magical elements in the background. This genre changes but it will always have the main character front and center with either a city, moon, or magic. Last year the trend seemed to be on magical academies but it seems there's a shift toward magical prisons now. I suppose the females grew up, got in trouble, and landed themselves in jail. Ha! Honestly, I haven't read into that niche yet but it's an interesting premise to be sure.

Until next time,
Happy Reading!