Images for Tales from the Annexe

Pictures for Several Thousand Words, Part 1

Somewhere in the process of becoming an indie author, I discovered I enjoy messing around with images. I’m not talking about the photos of my garden I post on the blog. I hardly ever do any post-processing on those.

But ever since I found out about Canva, an easy-to-use graphic design tool, I’ve been creating images to represent my writings. Often, I complete one or more long before I finish writing the novel or story to which they belong. The image-designing process must use different parts of the brain than whatever it is that transforms ideas into words.

When I published four of the stories in Tales from the Annexe as separate ebooks in 2016, I made cover images for them, and I designed the cover image for the collection years before I needed it. More recently, while writing the the new stories that completed the set, I created an image for each of them as well. I didn’t need cover images for these stories, but I did need regular breaks from writing them.

My first idea was to include all these images in the book, but I didn’t want to swell the ebook’s file size to the point it incurred a hefty delivery fee. Moreover, not all e-readers display images in colour. I decided to feature them here on my blog instead.

Below are the images for the first seven stories, which are by-products, off-cuts, spinoffs, or supplements (I haven’t found a congenial word for this concept) to the four novels of my Herbert West Series.

They appear in “chronological” order, i.e., the first three happen during the time period covered by the first novel. The fourth, fifth, and sixth happen between Books 3 and 4 of the series. The last story of this group takes place decades later, following She Who Comes Forth, the novel that’s a kind of sequel to the series.

ebook cover image for The Nexus
A 101-year-old professor reminisces about his most memorable–and dangerous–student.
Image for Fox and Glove story
To win a bet with his friend Alma, librarian Charles Milburn seeks the help of a dead man.
As if a relationship with a part-time necromancer isn’t complicated enough, what if it were more than friendship?
A climb up a hill near Luxor, Egypt leads to an encounter with bandits and supernatural entities.
One of the Fourteen ebook cover image
A chance meeting in a pub brings reformed necromancer Francis Dexter to a perilous realm between life and death.
Image for The Night Journey of F.D. story
Determined to confess one of his worst crimes, Dr. Francis Dexter is subjected to a terrible revenge.
Image for The Final Deadline of A.G. Halsey story
A dying newspaperwoman struggles to figure out what happened to her granddaughter in Luxor, Egypt, and to warn her of threats to her heart and soul.

Cover image for Tales from the Annexe

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37 comments

  1. I have tried Canva in the past, but my brain shied away from some of the complications.
    Your covers are amazing, Audrey, so I’m thinking of having another go!
    I would love to learn how to make one of those back and front covers for a paperback too…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an indie author myself, I’m quite impressed (and inspired) by your designs. I’m critical of most book covers, but yours truly succeed. Congratulations!
    Now, to look into Canva and start playing. Maybe it will even get me moving on revising the next book …

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love these images! And this is a great way to get people interested in your books. I’ve thought about trying Canva, but I’ve always shied away from it. Maybe I’ll have to give it a go. I would think, though, that finding free, uncopyrighted images to use would be difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lorinda. It’s a low risk project, if you use the free option (which I still do). One thing I like is you can upload your own images. I get a lot of elements (photos, illustrations, etc.) from Pixabay. They’re free and may be used any way you like. Canva also has a lot of design elements, many of which are free; others cost about $1 per use. The main thing is you can layer images, adjust the sizes, play with transparency, etc. I recommend it!

      Like

    1. I discovered that shape when I was starting out with Canva. It was among what they call “lines,” although isn’t really linear. I used it to provide a kind of amorphous background in different colours. Haven’t gotten as far as crayons yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those are stunning covers, Audrey. I enjoy playing around with cover designs for my stories too, like you sometimes well in advance of the story’s completion. I find it helps with the narrative. All part of the creative pleasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can really tell that you’ve been having a lot of fun working with images and ideas for your covers. That being the case, I would strongly suggest that some time, when you have a spare 15 minutes or so, that you watch one of the many Gimp for Beginners videos on Youtube, just to see if Gimp offers more options than Canva offers, especially for blending multiple images together. It has it quirks, but it is powerful, if you take the time to learn how to use the features you need. And the full feature Gimp is free, so you can’t beat its price.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Canva seems to be intended for creating images for social media and ephemera like ads, announcements, and invitations. I suspect Gimp has more features and capabilities; as you say, I should look into it if I want to get more ambitious with book covers. My next challenge is to format the print version of the current book, though. Thanks for your comment, Chuck!

      Liked by 1 person

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