do, please, judge a book by its cover | nanowrimo 2015 covers

NaNoWriMo 2015 is upon us in less than three days! Have you plotted and planned? Are your characters all ready to fall in love or be ripped apart or slay the dragon? Have you let your daydreaming get to you, imagining what it would look like to see your name on the shelves with the best? I have, without hesitation… okay, with some hesitation. I wasn’t too sure, until mid-October, whether I would participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. Last year, a lot of life-related issues kept my best friend and I from reaching our goal, and it was a blow to my ego — my first “loss” in the six years I’ve been giving my soul over to the literary deities and muses so as to bleed out 50,000 words within 30 days. I finally decided that no, I wouldn’t let last year’s bad luck and emotional turmoil spoil the fun I’ve had every year throwing new characters into new situations, sharing excerpts and gripes and milestones.

Plus, and here’s where I get to the point: it means that I get to design a cover for my novel! One of my favourite, random little hobbies, is graphic design. I’ve been messing around in photoshop programs since 2003 (even before then, if MSPaint can be counted). For the most part, the art I make is for myself; collages to depict characters, certain scenes, moods; digital journal pages to clear my head of thoughts; and every now and then, something fandom-related. It’s a medium that I like to think I’ve grown talented in, and I love when opportunities arise for me to share my work with other people. NaNoWriMo is a great outlet for this. On the forums, there’s a gorgeous little section called NaNo Artisans, where artists of any make or measure can come and offer things such as character sketches, personalized soundtracks, and, as my luck would have it, covers!

This year, I wanted to get back into the spirit of NaNoWriMo and include myself in the forums and chats. I started that journey off in the Artisans forum, asking other writers to tell me the synopses of their novels, so that I could, with a little inspiration, create something that they could use to motivate themselves and do that thing we writers love to do: imagine ourselves on the shelves. Over the last week, I created 36 mock book covers for some amazingly talented writers. I had an amazing time with every design, wanting to do right by each author and the world they have ready and raring to go come November 1st. I hope above all hope that everyone is successful with their 50,000 words this year, and that maybe a few years down the road, I get to see their book on a shelf somewhere (likely, without the cover I’ve made, but hey, at least I can say I helped inspire them a little back in the day).  

Here’s my personal Top 10 from all of the covers I did!

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