Fairytale Book Covers

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
As part of building an online author platform this year, I've been coming up with different designs for the covers of my five Cornish Detective novels, as well as monkeying around with Celtic style fonts and producing banners to go across the top of significant pages.

I favour IrfanView to create images, as Gimp confuses me with its complexity.

I've been keeping an eye on trends in book cover design, mainly via the excellent The Book Designer website—site owner Joel Friedlander tackles more than just book design—his newsletter is worth subscribing to.

In the last year, there have been lots of covers with the title of the book in big capitals in separate blocks down the cover. It may just be a fad that passes, but it affected my design for the last novel I wrote. It opens with a murdered painter's body being found encapsulated in a concrete statue in an underwater dive park. The statue resembles the Venus de Milo.

Trawling through copyright-free image libraries, I chanced upon a photograph that resembles the famous statue, so I used it as a basis for a cover. It needs finessing, as the face is obscured and I'll try changing fonts and colours.


Researching book covers this morning, I stumbled upon a Latvian artist called Aniko Kolesnikova who produces book covers that are dazzlingly beautiful...collectible in their own right.

Fairytale Book Covers By Latvian Artist Aniko Kolesnikova
(click through Continue Reading to see all three pages)


Right! That's put me in my place!
Great cover Paul. It follows the rules of an eye-catching cover which is basically clarity- no small bits and pieces that causes confusion. You only have a split second to catch a person's eye and it is focusing on that detail which will attract the attention. In this case, you made the title that special attraction, not your name, not the illustration which is good because it means the title has predominance over all else. If all things had equal importance, nothing stands out and the eye simply rolls past.
Book covers can play a vital role in encouraging a reader to dip inside - especially if the author is unknown to them.

I've been hesitating to send my work to an independent publisher which accepts direct submissions, even though my novel ticks all their boxes... because I'm just not grabbed by their book covers.

I would LOVE to get my work published, but I want the final product to be visually appealing. That's even more important in the children's book market.
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