About a cover image

So I’m thinking about working on the new cover for The Taint soon. I’m still in the stage of coming up with ideas, which is tough because I suck at covers. I have a poor visual imagination and no flair for art. There’s a reason why I went into writing and not visual arts, and I’m probably going to wind up paying someone to do the cover for me.

But anyway, there are a few things that went wrong with the original cover that I want to fix this time around. Here’s the old cover for reference:

Cover for The Taint

Originally, I was pretty happy with this cover. And one thing that I still love is the font chosen for the title and byline: jagged, eye-catching, but still readable. It was an excellent choice. However, there are a few things that I now find problematic:

  1. The graveyard image misrepresents the setting and themes of the story. A misty graveyard suggests a ghost story, while the major setting of The Taint is a prison, and its nasties are vampires and zombies.
  2. While the image looks pretty good big, when it’s shrunk down it reduces to a muddy gray rectangle. I first noticed this when I was making my Facebook ad, and in retrospect I think this is pretty important. People browsing for books through an e-reader or a tablet are likely to see the image in a much smaller size than shown above, and this makes a big difference for how much the cover stands out and attracts.

I hope to fix both of these problems this time around.


  1. Oh wow…so yeah, that graveyard scene did not have me thinking of a prison at all. Perhaps the gate was meant to be a symbol of imprisonment?

    Also, I recently read a blog by Maria Zannini where she addressed some of the same concerns you mentioned, that when designing book covers, the resolution and size are not always taken into account so it can be shrunken and enlarged while still keeping the beauty of it’s details.

    Perhaps there are a few book covers that have caught your attention that you could reference when you sit to work on this – or discuss it withe the graphic designer you decide to work with.

    1. Yeah, I agree with all of these points. I’ve spent several hours digging through Flickr and deviantart looking for photos or art that pique my interest, and I think I have some photos that will serve as a good reference for what I want the cover to look like. And I have someone working with me who’s very good, so hopefully things will turn out better this time around.

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