Friday, 25 December 2015

Ghost Song Covers - by Susan Price

A very happy Christmas Day to all our readers!

And a Prosperous New Year to come! 

Here's what I've been working on, in the run-up to Christmas...

This is what I've been slaving over a graphics programme to produce. A new cover for Ghost Song.
          The blurb on the back reads:
At white midnight, in the endless midsummer of the far North, Kuzma the bear-shaman demands a new-born baby boy from his father, the slave and hunter, Malyuta.
     Steadfastly, throughout the long summer night, Malyuta refuses.
     The powerful shaman, thwarted, leaves at last.
     Malyuta names his adored son 'Ambrosi' or 'Immortal.' But, as Ambrosi grows, the villagers begin to fear him.
     The bear-shaman still walks in Ambrosi's dreams and still calls him...
           The old cover looked like this:-

          I've changed the font, and the text colour. I've added a text-box to contain the blurb, and 'screamer lines' for the back.
          I uploaded it to CreateSpace for testing, and then altered it several times before CreateSpace would accept it.
          I had to mess about with the the measurements quite a bit. (I find that information on-line about how to calculate spine-width and bleed vary. The information about formats can be misleading too. I read that the cover had to be a PDF - but a PDF wouldn't upload.
          I found it best to follow what it says beside your book, in Cover Creator. It gives you the measurements and asks for a jpeg. For my 6" x 9" book it asked for a jpeg cover 13" inches wide and 9-50 inches high.
         Then the text was too close to the edge - the C/S price code overlapped the lower line of text on the back, and so on. But I fiddled and finessed and finally C/S accepted a cover I was happy with.

     I've given the interior a new look, too, by adding a symbol from 'the magic drum.'

         I've been working on a cover for Ghost Dance, though it isn't finished yet:-

        This is almost right. The C/S code box is too close to the lower line on the back, but I have enough room to move everything up slightly. As this book is thick enough to have spine lettering, C/S will add my name and the title to the spine.
        I intend to update the first book in the series, Ghost Drum, as well.

     I should certainly add that, in all of this, I've been guided, educated and helped by my brother, Andrew, who has just designed a new cover for Yvonne Coppard's e-book reissue of her 'Room For One More.' (It was formerly published under the name 'Beth Miller.')

Late-breaking news: CreateSpace has accepted Ghost Dance, so that should be available soon too. Then there will be only Ghost Drum to redo.

Find my website here.


Wendy Jones said...

Merry Christmas. I love the covers. I am in awe of your talent. Well done

Jan Needle said...

Me too! Merry Christmas everyone.

Chris Longmuir said...

Merry Christmas, Susan. I do like the change of fonts and colours in your covers. They are quite eye-catching.

Reb MacRath said...

Very well done, Susan. Just one thing confuses me: I'm still in the dark about CreateSpace and don't get the line about them 'accepting' it. Can you enlighten me?

Susan Price said...

Thank you, folks!

Reb, when you upload your cover image, it goes into 'review'. A little over a day later they get back to you, either giving you the all clear, or saying that, for some reason, it's unacceptable. There must be half an inch allowance at the edge of the cover, to allow for trimming of the paper book. If you have allowed a 'live element,' usually meaning text, to stray into this, it comes back to you with a Big Alarm Triangle containing an exclamation mark. And you have to move your text.

Ditto your interior file - CreateSpace can find various faults with it. Usually 'images that are less than 300 DPI (dots per inch), which will appear blurry when printed.' C/S won't allow you to complete your book until your files are reviewed and found faultless. Well, in the computer's opinion.

Lydia Bennet said...

Congratulations Susan, yet another brilliant use of your talents and those of your rellies, and a helpful post for others to follow suit. Merry Christmas everyone!

Dennis Hamley said...

Thank, sue. That's really helpful. The new cvers are marvellous. And I echo, although it's 1.30pm on Boxing Day here, best Christmas wishes to you all.

Nick Green said...

Was trying to use that cover creator myself the other day... But was thwarted by lack of decent cover art!

Love the Ghost World series. True originals, and those are rare as ice apples.