Somehow, I’m going to have to figure out how to get other people’s opinions on my cover designs. I need to do a poll or something, in a place where I can get more than a response or two. I guess that probably means Facebook, but eh, that gets complicated, too.

This, however, is cover design number 3, and yes, I am starting to enjoy the cover creation process a little too much. I made it in Powerpoint, using a public domain photograph of lightning. I cropped and rotated the photo, so I could keep the palm trees and put the lightning on the left, and then tweaked. I think I enhanced the brightness by +20, and did something to the contrast, then nudged the color to the cooler side. I wanted to bring the green of the palm trees out and make the lightning look a little more magical than it did.

I then spent an endless time playing with the text and the fonts. Powerpoint does not exactly have the best font tools, and I didn’t go absolutely insane in the way I would have if I were a real designer. (To wit, the G in Ghosts is too far away from the H, in my opinion, but in Powerpoint, I would have needed to make them separate text blocks to nudge them together, and I was not quite willing to go that far. Six text blocks were quite enough.)

I took a quote from a review on fictionpress that was from someone who reviewed only at Chapter 33, figuring that review was for the whole thing, not just a piece of it. I didn’t want to be misleading by using a review that was just for a chapter. Maybe if and when I actually get ready to publish, I’ll ask a couple people for reviews that I could put on the front page. It’s not possible to read the quote on the thumbnail, I don’t think, which is a pity. But I suppose I can use a bigger image that then gets turned into a thumbnail? I’ll have to figure that one out.

I’m still trying to refrain from revising until December, but I have definite ideas about some big changes toward the ending. I think I’m going to try not to go crazy on most of it, though. These are just words 300,000-360,000, and if I get too obsessed with achieving perfection, it’ll join my first novel (oh, book of many names) in spending the next decade on my hard drive.

I really like this cover, though. I think for me, it’s definitely jumped ahead of both 1 and 2.