Updating a Classic: Giving Solar System Blues a Cover it Deserves

I like to call Solar System Blues my first novel. Certainly it was my first serious attempt at self-publishing, and my first serious review. Because of this, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted for the cover, and just kind of used the templates that CreateSpace and KDP offered.

That has changed.


Self-Publishing Review had this to say on it:

The world building is subtle and the author avoids too much information dumping on the whole. This book is a quick read and is only 140 pages. While the action and mystery come at the reader fast, after you get past the first few pages, it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

In honor of the new cover, I’m doing a Kindle Countdown Deal starting July 2. That means between July 2 and July 5, you can get the ebook for the low low price of $0.99, and between July 5 and July 9, for the low price of $1.99.

Honestly, what do you have to lose? Click here to buy.

How to Compose Cover Art

This post from On a Wing and a Whim, via Mad Genius Club, is old (2014!), but the principles behind it are older, and that makes them, to my mind, trustworthy.

OK, now for ebook cover design, we’re going to focus on two layouts. They call them “The Z Layout” and “Perspectives Layout” in that handout, but I’m going to use the terms I was taught instead: The Hourglass, and The Triangle.

Why “The Hourglass” instead of “The Z”? Well, because it’s much easier for me to look at a cover, draw an X across it, and see what size font and image makes the whole thing feel balanced – the further away from the focal point, the larger the font needs to be. (Also, because I learned that term first.)

Important takeaway: your author name and your title should to be similar in size and the overall effect should be balanced from top to bottom. This is a rule of thumb, not a commandment, but it gives an idea of what’s pleasing to the eye, which is your primary directive.

For my part, I’ve been designing my covers with Adobe Spark lately. I like them, but might be I could use to absorb some design principles.

Always so much to learn.