It's no secret that authors rarely have a say in the actual design of their covers. Sometimes, if the proposed cover is really awful, an agent can convince a publisher to rethink it, but for the most part, writers write and the rest is out of their hands.
But... that doesn't mean I can't play with clip art, google images, and my photo-edit software. I've been in a mood to post a lot this week, so I thought I'd add another one to the list and let you in on how I approach making my totally-fake, wishful-thinking covers that would go on my books if it was up to me.
This one you've seen before, if you've read this blog for a while:
It's a fair reflection of the tone of the book, I think. There's the MC with her back turned to the darkened woods, inside a tunnel, with that spot of light at her hand. Arclight is literally about a world divided into light and darkness, so it fits. Even the girl's expression is perfect.
You may not be able to tell what it is in the tiny picture, but she's got the title "Premeditated" branded onto her arm in raised lettering. The guy beside her has the inverse branded into his, so they fit together like a macabre "best friends" set. Creepy, but perfect.
Wolf-Killer is obviously going for a "Little Red Riding Hood" parallel, and ideally, the title would be a scrimshaw on a bone knife held in front of her face, but there was no way to do that without drawing it off by hand, and... I was lazy.
This is how I see Blue:
It's a ghost story set around a tween boy, his little sister, and the entire community that exists on their street that no one can see other than her. I guess you'd call it a "boy book" because the boy's the main character, but I hope any kid could enjoy a story about finding your voice in a world that doesn't always want to listen. Even real kids can feel like ghosts from time to time.
And then there's Tamga:
It's totally different from any of the others. I like the semi-tribal motif and the tattoo-like birds. It took me a while to settle on a title for this one, and I previously had it tagged "Totem", but knew that wasn't the right connotation for the story. Someone suggested I look up Tamga instead, and it fits. This is a contemporary boy's story, but with a tiny bit of fantastic adventure dealing with the finding of an artifact.
Anyway, this is what I do when I need to step back from the actual writing part of writing. It actually helps me with things like theme and concept. I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but the 1st pages of each one of these are behind the tabs at the top of the page, if you want to take a peek.