Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dark Edge: Cover

Covered Step by Step

Dark Edge is a collection of short stories and flash fiction. Some of them explore what it means to be alive. Some of them are just plain fun. 

The collection needed a cover that said "I'm fantasy, but also horror". It needed a cover that drew attention.

And since I didn't have enough money to hire an artist, but had some artistic ability, I created it myself.

The cover you see on the left is the latest version.

Trust me, it took hours for that to emerge from its humble beginnings.    

I started with an image that reminded me of horror novels. It was kinda creepy and mysterious. Then I inserted the text and played with its positioning.

I realized, I wanted a quote on the cover. So I sent out a few stories and got one from a fellow author, LM. Stull. (An amazing writer.) It was difficult to place; I wanted it to be in a large font, so that it could be seen from a distance. (So that it could be seen on Amazon.com.) I ended up splitting it into three lines.

I wanted my name to be big, but I decided to make it smaller than the title; "Dark Edge" is cool and will probably draw more attention than "Dmytry Karpov." (Until I'm famous, anyway ;)

I added "A Collection of Short Stories" to make it obvious that this wasn't a novel. I don't want to deceive people. (Though, ironically, my stories do that all the time.)

I chose a Gothic, but eloquent looking font for my name and title. I chose something much more simple for the quote; I wanted it to be easy to read.

Version One

Not bad. The cover conveyed horror, but, honestly, it wouldn't have grabbed my attention at a book store. (And it didn't remind me of fantasy.)

I started to think of ways to make it "POP" more.

I made the background darker, and the letters stood out more. I changed the color of the eyes, and they drew more attention.
Version Two

This was better, but too simple for my liking--two eyes on a black background. More images were needed to make the cover more dynamic.

I used one that reminded me of stars. It added a slight fantasy feel and didn't overwhelm the text.

That piece is attributed to Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep. (Don't worry. I may use it for commercial purposes.)

I also added a translucent black banner behind the quote, making it more visible.

Version Three

I was really happy with this version. It had presence. It had style. This was a cover that would make me buy a book.

However, it still needed a few touch ups. I didn't like how the "By" looked. Something about it was awkward, so I changed the font and it worked. I also tidied up some parts of the background.

In the end, I loved it

Version Four

That's a sexy cover.

If you have questions about the process, or would like to know more about the stories, ask in the comments.

The book, Dark Edge, is now available on Smashwords and Amazon. Check it out: 


  1. That is a fabulous cover! It's cool to read about your process.

    How many stories are included? Details! :)

  2. 14 stories are planned to be included. I'm contemplating adding a few more. However, I want to make sure that each story is worth telling.

    Many of them feature plot twists. The further you get into the book, the harder they'll be to guess.

  3. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for (1) sharing your amazing tales with me (more please) and (2) honoring me with a place on your cover. I know your book is going to be a great success!

  4. Thanks Patti Larsen and L.M. Stull.

  5. I'll be posting an excerpt this Tuesday. Make sure to check it out. L.M. Stull, you may have read this one.

  6. Very Cool Dmytry!


  7. Thanks EmeraldBaptiste. I love virtual hugs.

    *Hugs back*
    Dmytry Karpov

  8. What's the name of the font you used for your name at the top of your blog?

  9. Um I *may* have to read this excerpt? no, no I will *NEED* to read it! Can't wait :)

  10. Hey Jennifer Joseph,

    The name of the font I used is Yataghan and I got it online for free :)

    Now, L.M. Stull, you will *NEED* to read this excerpt, because even if it's a story you've already read, it'll be followed by bonus content:

    What inspired the story. Why I originally wrote it. What techniques I used. And what I think about it now.

  11. Looks cool! It's fun seeing the process you went through too. ;)

  12. New follower here. The cover looks very professional and the details of the process are interesting.

  13. Thank you YPBD. I am so, so, so glad to hear that.

    Best wishes to you.