The next Western Fictioneers novel to be published will be Jory Sherman's BUZZARD BAIT. I start with the right shape for a cover even if I end up covering it up with a full image. The color really doesn't matter at this point. This gives me the shape 6 inches wide and 9 inches tall, which is trade paperback size.
All of the novels published in The Western Fictioneers Library have the same text and logo at the top of the cover. Colors may vary, however. The black is easy to read on the orange/yellow so that's what I'll start with.
Next I need an image. I can't find just one picture that fits what I want the cover to say, so I'll add a blend of them. Over at shutterstock.com I bought this image (2847541). This doesn't feel like a blue book to me, so I took the photo over to a photo editor and played with it. I painted the blue over with a golden orange. You can find images to buy all over the internet, just search for them on Google. Never use an image that you do not have permission to use.
With the change in color I ended up with this image.
I added the hang rope image to the bottom of the cover.
Next I changed the color of the original rectangle to blend with the image.
Is it better to put the author's name on top or the title? I know there's been a lot of debate on this subject, but honestly I use what I think works best with the image. I'd rather have the title take two lines than the author's name, so space-wise I decided to put Jory's name on top.
I used akaPosse font for the text. This font was found just by Googling 'free western fonts'. It's a very visible font, so I think I'll use it on the title, too.
I want to give this a little more of a western feel. I go looking for a bull skull. I found the perfect one in a clipped photo, but it requires me to have my disc in the computer and I'm away from home, so I keep looking. I like this one, but I need it clipped.
Fortunately the program I'm using, Print Shop, allows me to hand crop. Adding the skull tells more of the story.
Now I want to add a little text, but the spacing doesn't work that well, so I copy the hanging image and crop the bottom, then copy and paste that section to add a little length to the pole.
This gives me added clear space I needed at the bottom for a little cover copy.
Add a few words to intrigue the reader, and I have a finished cover.
Jory Sherman's BUZZARD BAIT will be featured in tomorrow's Western Fictioneers blog, so be sure and come back.
The following are covers from The Western Fictioneers Library. All are great reads and a bargain at $2.99. Covers have Amazon links and you'll even find a few are on sale for only 99 cents right now.