Book Cover Design Ideas   

Screwing around with art is much more fun than editing my WIP, especially when, like me, you have written yourself into a corner. Stuck between what the hell am I doing and that sounds horrific, I’m at a part of my novel that seems like it’s one climactic scene after another. It’s causing me to second guess things that happened 50,000 words ago.

I suppose this is the ripple effect for writers. Something comes to fruition near the end and now I’m scrambling to better support it in the beginning. It’s all part of the process, especially for a newbie like me.

I do not have a title for the trilogy as of yet, however, for now, I call it Baltimore Zombies as a play on words. The story takes place in Baltimore city, a place I love and used to live in. My novel is about an infection that takes over the city. The government walls it in before the virus can spread. Imagine The Truman Show with zombies inside. That’s kind of my aim. The cityscape of Baltimore is unique with the Inner Harbor meeting tall buidings. I would really like it to be included on the cover in some way.

Scroll to the bottom to see my super amateur sketches. I can’t believe I’m sharing these!

I found this image on Pixabay where a man’s image is blurred as he jumps over a railing. I like the idea that this still image has motion to it. Being mid-air is also interesting.


The harbor plays a big role and so do tugboats. The water in the image below has a mirror-like reflection that could allow me to play with the lights and draw attention to a second illustration in the water. There aren’t a ton of free images of Baltimore online, but this one is so crisp and offers a beautiful contrast between night and artificial light.  Photo by Bob Burkhard on Unsplash

bob-burkhard-41360-unsplash (1)

I will hire a professional to do my cover when the time comes. In the meantime, I’m collecting images that pique my interest and storing them on Pinterest. Here are a few more from free sites such as Burst, Unsplash, and Pixabay including street art, comic book style, and more.

When I think about covers, I consider simple is best. The book below, which I had never heard of, is appealing due to the lack of color choices it offers. I’m considering this. the term Grisaille is when you use only a few hues in an art piece, usually, this refers to gray tones. It feels different than a lot of science fiction covers, more artistic, less busy.


Okay, as promised, here are three images I drew up myself with a little explanation about what they are.

Image 1: Main characters reaching for each other during a riot where the infected mix with unexpecting citizens. They are pulled apart and the male character gets bit on the shoulder. Might be my favorite.

Image 2: Main characters are raised above a burning city, smoke fills the air.

Image 3: Main character hovers over the city with her choice weapons (knives) in hand.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s