So! My bro Scott (yeah, there are more than 2 Cram bro's - tremble in fear) actually finished a horror novel! (Available on CreateSpace and Amazon.) He asked me to do the cover, so I thought I'd do a quicky post on the process.
It's a zombie novel, and it's got a real 1980's tone to it (IMHO). Especially those disaster/apocalyptic type novels where you follow several characters/groups over the course of the novel until their disparate threads inevitably collide. So when we talked about cover designs I had in my head a certain kind of 80's horror novel cover that was mostly negative shapes - like paper cutouts. The title of the novel is The Well of Trees and that, combined with the zombie angle, informed the first design - hands as a forest sitting on top of a skull.
(The plane is important in the book too, and I just wanted something up there to break up the space.)
I sent it off, but as I was looking at it I started thinking that the red didn't really work for me. And I started worrying about how the title and credits were going to fit in. So while he was looking at the above, I knocked the following together:
No need for the plane with that layout, so it's gone. I like the green better with the blue and like how Scott's name kinda double's for eyeballs. I think this is my favorite of the bunch.
Got feedback. Not liking the skull so much. Like to see just the hands. Maybe some different background colors - say orange. And how about some stars in the sky? Might give it some depth.
No problem, says I. Versions 3 and 4:
Scott loves the orange one - and I kinda like it too. It's simple, but I think that will work in its favor on a shelf. The orange will be really bright and the white hands will pop. We decide to go with this one, but remove the plane to the back cover and add the stars.
Just for giggles I do a version with a green background.
For some reason, this also works. And it looks kinda good and creepy, especially on a screen. After a little more back and forth we decide to go with the green cover:
Scott jokes we'll do the orange version for the international edition. All in all a fun distraction from paying work and a way to use some creative muscles I don't get to all that often. Check out the book if you get a chance - it's not bad!