Production Values and Book Covers

In September, I didn’t know much about multimedia production. I didn’t know how to edit a video, and I didn’t have access to the right software to do it. I didn’t know much about how to edit an image, never mind creating one from scratch. I didn’t know anything about sound, and I knew next to nothing about web authoring.

Yesterday, I had my final ever lecture as a Multimedia student.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m an amazing artist, but the past couple of semesters have taught me a lot about how to work, how to pick up new tricks, and how to improve in the areas I consider myself weakest, while playing to my strengths. For a web project, I knew the code well enough to make a decent site. Then, I went and added some video production and photography to the mix to make the site more like something I’d like to be producing regularly.

With that in mind, I’m going to start redesigning the covers for my current titles on Amazon. While I’ll be busy with my thesis project this summer, I plan on making the time for myself to pick back up my writing to a production level I’m happy with, while revamping the look of what I’ve already published.

I didn’t think I really could do it, and then two things happened: a friend showed me the artwork as part of her thesis project, and I took it upon myself to improve the aesthetic of my animation project.

still image from animation assignment

I’m not an especially good artist, but I can do something that every child learns how to do as they start drawing: I can trace an image. Taking actors for inspiration, I redesigned the characters in my animation; Jesse Eisenberg and Vincent D’Onofrio became… this.

I’m not 100% sure when we can start sharing our work with the public, and I’m not 100% finished working on mine yet, but last Tuesday forced us to up our game, with Monday’s work efforts contributing to my decision to really push myself to re-do my covers. One of the groups in the year are working on something that included Celtic designs, which gave me the little bit of inspiration I needed to make my ideas for the new covers of Balor Reborn and The Hounds of Hell work. Given the fact that I can trace and redesign people’s faces – albeit at a flat level, right now – I figure that I can at least create something a little more visually appealing than what I’ve currently produced.

For me, the fairly awful book covers I was producing always held me back in terms of releasing anything new. I didn’t want to keep contributing to the mass of bad book covers. I want to create something that at least looks like the artist knows something about design.

I have a lot of plans for the summer. I have a lot going through my head, I finally feel like I’m good enough to do some of it. It begins with book covers, but it’s going to go so much further.


About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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1 Response to Production Values and Book Covers

  1. Pingback: A Website-To-Be | Paul Carroll

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