Sunday, September 16, 2012

Designing Book Covers by Aubrie Dionne

Aubrie Dionne is my guest blogger today as part of her blog tour for her new novel Haven 6. I published several of Aubrie's short stories in Emerald Tales, so I have no hesitation in recommending her work to you. She also designs book covers, so I asked her to speak about that.

Although I’m primarily an author, I do design book covers for fun. The process is actually very easy. The hardest part is buying a nice program to create the font and manipulate the images. I use Adobe Photoshop.

Then, I get my images from Sometimes it takes me hours to look for the perfect image. My eyes feel like they are going to bleed! You have to be creative in your search words. If you want an illustration or digital graphic, then you click the top box for photographs out. If you want a real life picture, then you sort the images by clicking off the box for illustrations. You can search through both real photographs and illustrations if you’re not sure what you are looking for.

You can get free fonts all over the web and install them very easily. But, Photoshop does have a number of great fonts. I play around with the picture, the title and the author’s name to see which placement is better around the image. Sometimes the words look great right in the middle, and sometime they look better on the top and bottom. A tagline is a great to put on a cover, or a quote from an author who liked the book. I usually put the tagline or author quote in a different font than the title and author’s name.

After I find the right font and placement, I use “blending options” to manipulate the quality of the words. You can add a “drop shadow” and “inner shadow,” make the words look like satin, or look “crunchy”. You can change the color of the font to match the cover, bringing the exact color from your cover to the words. It’s pretty cool.

I’m most concerned with making the cover look professional. Too many covers nowadays are just words slapped on top of an image. I try to match the words with the image and make it look smooth. I’m not a professional, but I do enjoy doing it. Now, since I’m with bigger publishers, they design the covers for me. Haven 6 was designed by Heather Howland at Entangled Publishing. It does take some of the pressure off me and allows me time to write. But, sometimes I do miss designing!

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in November 2012. When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She's a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity.


A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it's final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that's supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.

When Eri's team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth's colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander's intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

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She's also giving away this necklace.

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