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Friday, January 3, 2014

Evolution of a Cover - How I Designed the Cover for my Novel A Fallen Hero Rises

The cover for my second book, A Fallen Hero Rises, was my first attempt at a book cover. However, the road toward the final edition was a long one.

I spent hours and hours looking at free stock photos. There are dozens of sites that offer completely free photos or ones that require only recognition be given.  Here's a decent site showing you just some of the resources available.

In the end, I chose to purchase most of the graphics directly from Fotalia to avoid misunderstandings about copyright. For $40 you get 10 extra large pictures or up to 20 smaller size ones. That was more than enough for 4 or five book covers. It does take significant amount of time to wade through their galleries as their search engine kind of sucks. They also let you download comp images so you can do layouts with several options before committing to purchasing them.


I played around with images. Some of the mockups use professional models and are copyright protected. They were meant strictly for personal use and were never intended to be sold commercially. They served, however, for me get clear about what I wanted on the cover.

Mock up using .
Obviously, I didn't have the rights to use his image for a real cover

Mock up I liked but everyone else hated.
Also, it's a bit too homoerotic.

This got my thinking the right way but it didn't quite fit the story

Here's where I started getting close. Model from Fotalia.

Picture Sources:

Most graphics were purchased through Fotalia. The background image, the fur texture, and tail are from Pixabay. The font is Trajan Pro. Final image created using Photoshop Elements 12 with Premiere Elements and a Bamboo Graphics Tablet.

UPDATE: I redid the cover again. Click here for the process and final result: When To Change Your Cover Art

Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

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