Cover art selection

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This Wednesday, I’m one of the co-hosts, together with my wonderful fellow co-hosts Tamara Narayan, Chemist Ken, and Renee Scattergood.
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OPTIONAL IWSG QUESTION: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?
MY ANSWER: I play with images. I love looking at images, collecting images, and lately, designing book covers. I design covers for Wattpad writers and I design all my own book covers. That’s what my post below is all about.
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I haven’t written any fiction in March, which spurs an insecurity of its own, but I embarked on a big project. Over the years, I have written a number of short stories in several speculative fiction sub-genres. Most of them have been published in magazines, but I own the copyrights. Others are new stories, not published anywhere yet. I decided to get them all together under one roof and self-publish a collection of my stories. But it appears I have too many stories for one book. It would be a door-stopper tome. So I compiled three short story collections, one for each sub-genre:

  • Magic realism
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction

I’m going to self-publish them as soon as I finish the final editing, formatting, and the other tasks involved in self-publishing. All three will be e-book only. I’m not planning paper books. I also designed several possible covers for all three, but I can’t decide which covers to choose. I don’t trust myself – they are all my darlings. This is a classic case of artistic insecurity, and I need your input.

For the majority of those covers, I used images from the free image sites, mostly Pixabay and a couple from Public Domain Pictures. I also included two covers made with the classic art images: by John Melhuish Strudwick (1849-1937) and Francesco Sasso (1720-1776). Both artists are long dead, and the art is copyright-free.

All the covers are on a dedicated Pinterest board. If you have a minute or two, could you please, please, please click on this link, check out the covers, and tell me which you like best in the comments. They are all numbered for each sub-genre.

Please keep in mind that one cover for the science fiction book has a different title. It’s still the same book, but its cover reflects a particular story, and I named it after that story, while the other three science fiction covers use a different story for the collection title.

Thank you, friends.

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50 Responses to Cover art selection

  1. Julie Reeser says:

    I’d been wondering what you were up to as you’d gone quiet. Congrats on a great idea!
    Here are my votes:
    SF #4
    Fantasy #1
    MR #2

  2. Lee says:

    I love to play with images, too! Every story I write has a “cover,” short or long. The visual image is very motivating for me.

    Hard to choose from these, but my votes:
    SF #1
    Fantasy #4
    MR #3

    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

  3. cheriereich says:

    It’s fun to create covers! I like Fantasy #3, Science Fiction #1, and Magic Realism #3.

  4. Magic Realism three.
    Fantasy four.
    Science fiction one.
    I like all three genres!

  5. Thanks for co-hosting. I like SF-1; Fantasy-4, and Magical Realism-3. Thanks for co-hosting and good luck picking a cover.

  6. patgarcia says:

    You Go-Girl! That is a great idea. It’s about time I did something similar with my A to Z stories. Wishing you strength and the stick-to-it perseverance that you need to finish your mammoth project and let me know when it’s finished. I’d love to invest in an ebook of your work.
    All the best and thank you for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  7. nancygideon says:

    Thanks for co-hosting, Olga and presenting us with a challenge! Love your covers. My picks:
    SciFi – 1
    Fantasy – 2 or 4
    Magical Realism – 2 or 3
    Sorry about the split decisions but those depend upon what YOU feel represents them best. Good luck with the release!!

  8. Wow – you are very talented at cover design! The subgenre numbers aren’t showing up for some reason when I look at them so I’ll have to try to describe them. I like the pink cover for “That Pesky Magic,” the one with the woman with what looks to be flowers on her nose for “Twist of Luck,” and the one with the woman with short hair for “Gift.”

    Thanks for co-hosting this month 🙂

  9. spunkonastick says:

    Smart idea. I like Magic Realism #4, Sci-fi #1, and Fantasy #4. What font are you using? I think a slight change in font would make them all pop even more.

  10. debscarey says:

    Thanks for co-hosting, and what an interesting post & question. My votes are

    Science Fiction#1
    Magic Realism #3
    Fantasy #2 (or #4 if you want to go contemporary)

    Would love to hear what you decided on.

  11. Lynn La Vita says:

    I admire those that can create covers. Thank you for links to free images, I would love to vote, but I’m not on Pintrest, yet. Maybe, it’s time I joined!. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG April blog-hop.

  12. jenlanebooks says:

    You’re very creative! I like the butterfly and painted face covers the best.

  13. M.L. Keller says:

    What a fun side project. I could see how playing with a cover could inspire me to keep working on a project. Good luck with the anthology

  14. Wow. How to choose from so many beautiful book covers? Here’s my picks:

    Science fiction #4
    Magic Realism #3
    Fantasy #3 or #4 (I really can’t decide!)

  15. Erika Beebe says:

    Happy IWSG day Olga:) thank you for being a cohost. I like covers SF 4, Fantasy 4, and MR 3 minus the little seeds on her face.

  16. I like fiddling around with images as well, and I use Pixabay a lot. Thanks so much for co-hosting today. 🙂
    Here are my votes: SF #4, MR #3, and F #2.

  17. Jen says:

    I love the idea of taking your shorts and putting them into genre specific anthologies. Congratulations on getting them out into the world! I know it’s a lot of hard work.

    Here are my cover votes: SF #4, F #1 and MR #3

    Thanks for co-hosting today!
    ~ Jen

  18. I must be blind because I’m not seeing numbers. For Gift of Nibelung, I like the one with the circular space ship. With the other two, it almost looks like the image in the foreground is some futuristic gun instead of a space ship. Although the girl with the bluer ship is my favorite among the three.

    That Pesky Magic: I like the art image of the lady in red. The other art image is too greyish brown.

    Twist of Luck: Tough call. While I love the image with the roses, the one with the girl with vines/wires around her face is slightly more compelling.

  19. Hello, Olga. Congratulations on your new publishing project. For Twist of Luck, I prefer the woman with the flowers on her face. For That Pesky Magic, the woman in blue. For Gift of Nibelung, the first cover, top left on your Pinterest page.

  20. Thanks for hosting today. Here’s my vote:SF-1; Fantasy-4, and Magical Realism-3.

  21. Toi Thomas says:

    Thanks for co-hosting this month. That’s really cool that you’re about to release three short story anthologies. My votes: SF #4, MR #3, I don’t see numbers for the fantasy covers but I like the second one that looks like a young boy or tomboy’s on the cover.

  22. emaginette says:

    Exploring another creative area is a great idea. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  23. S.E. White says:

    Magical realism #3 has a unique, creepy vibe. I would be intrigued enough to click on it. For the other two, the more classical inspired covers look amazingly magical. Thank you for co-hosting for IWSG this month!

  24. Megan Morgan says:

    Sounds like you have a lot of work on your plate! Good luck with all of it!

    My picks:
    Magic Realism: #4
    Science Fiction: #1
    That Pesky Magic aren’t numbered, but I like the one with the girl with the pink hair.

  25. Those were tough choices.
    Fantasy #4
    MR #4
    SF #2

  26. Rosemary Reader and Writer says:

    Good luck with your speculative fiction big project, Olga.

  27. Thanks for co-hosting! Here’s my vote:
    Twist of Luck #3
    Pesky Magic #1
    Gift of Nibelung #4
    Good luck and let us know which you decided on!
    lisabuiecollard.com

  28. Patsy says:

    My answer to the question is – not enough! I will try harder.

  29. chemistken says:

    Fantasy #2
    Magic Realism #3
    Science Fiction #1

    Hope this helps. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

  30. cgcoppola says:

    Hey! Here are my votes:
    Fantasy: #1
    MR: #3
    SF: #1

  31. Victoria Marie Lees says:

    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG question this month, Olga. I like SF-1; Fantasy-4, and Magical Realism-3. Good luck with choosing a cover.
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

  32. E.M.A. Timar says:

    Hi Olga. I love manipulating art as well. I have only made covers for my NaNoWriMo projects, but I love fussing with art to give my mind time to think about my writing.
    My votes are Magic Realism – 3, SciFi – 1, and Fantasy – 4 or 2

  33. Good idea, creating a Pinterest board with all the choices. Beautiful and a lot of work. Reading your post made me realize I like to play with my photos (mainly organize them) when the writing gets too much. 🙂

    The answers and preferences you receive will widely vary and be subjective! Here are my choices:

    Magic Realism #4 (this image fits the title better than the other ones in my opinion and I’m not a fan of the colorful/more chaotic other covers)

    Science Fiction #1 (because the background and foreground don’t contrast as much as the others and I like the expression in this woman’s face, plus the “space ship” better than the other two)

    Fantasy #4 (I like the indoor/outdoor scene and the way the woman is dressed for this genre, compared to the other covers)

  34. Juneta says:

    Happy IWSG. Thanks for hosting. Those anthology projects sound great. Congratulations.

  35. NIcki Elson says:

    Ooh, that is a tough choice. But my favorites are Science Fiction #4, Fantasy #4, Magic Realism #3.

  36. RBH says:

    All the covers look great!

  37. Nas says:

    The covers are good. Yes, we all feel in the slump at times but we have to keep plodding on. All the best!

  38. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    Thanks for co-hosting, Olga. I liked these covers best: Fantasy #2, Science Fiction #1, and Magic Realism #3. I’ve used Pixabay and Public Domaine Photos for blog pictures, but it never occurred to me that people used the photos to make book covers. Well done! There is so much to learn! I really enjoy learning from all of the talented, experienced writers in the IWSG. Good luck with your plants publish!

  39. Renee says:

    Oh! I’ve been finding recently that I enjoy designing book covers. I’m not exactly an artist, but I still love playing around with the images. I considered taking graphic design classes at one point. I might still do that in the near future. It certainly can’t hurt. Good luck with your short story anthologies. 😀

  40. diedre says:

    Good for you! Anthologies are always enjoyable. You’ve some nice options, here’s my picks:
    Science Fiction #4
    Fantasy #1
    Magic Realism #4

  41. yvettecarol says:

    Wow, how cool! Beautiful covers. Good luck with self publishing! 🙂

  42. I’m voting for Magic Realism #4, Sci-fi #1, and Fantasy #4. Congrats! Thank you for co-hosting.

  43. Olga Godim says:

    Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to participate in my poll. I see that the majority prefer SF #1 and MR #3. For Fantasy, the opinions spread wider. Of course, in the end, it is my decision, but it’s great to know what kind of covers ignite most people’s interest.

    • cheriereich says:

      It’s neat to see what calls to different people. Also, you might want to consider, if you haven’t done so already, looking on various retailers at their bestseller lists in those genres. That might help get a feel for what covers would sell best.

  44. Denise Covey says:

    Hi Olga. Just got here.
    I’m going to self publish a set like this once I have my vampire trilogy done and dusted. It’s a great idea.
    I like:
    Sci Fi #4
    Fantasy #4 – but I found this one hard
    MR – #3

    Also, I’d give out more info on the cover, not just say SHORT STORIES. I’d say how many short stories each contains and I’d show the genre as especially MR and Fantasy, the covers could be similar. Just my take…

    I wish you every success with them!! Yay!!
    Denise 🙂

  45. I did something wonky, and couldn’t see the numbers/genres under each book after my initial look, so I commented directly on the three images I liked best. Hopefully, they were for the different genres. Good luck!

  46. Good luck with self publishing the stories. =)

  47. J.Q. Rose says:

    Oh my, you may even be more confused after all the votes on your book covers. I admire your spunk to write all those stories and self-pub. Wishing you great success in your projects.
    My vote–Magic #1, SF #1, Fantasy #5
    JQ Rose

  48. Chrys Fey says:

    I played around with designing a handful of covers when I thought of selling pre-made covers, but my talents are limited. I think I’ll save them or myself…or one day just try to sell the ones I have.

    Fantasy #2
    Science Fiction #1
    Magical Realism #3

  49. Lidy says:

    Thanks for co-hosting this month! And good luck with self publishing your story collections. As for the covers I choose:
    Fantasy tie between #4 and#5
    Science Fiction #1
    Magical Realism #3

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