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Small changes can change the mood of a book cover. The original cover is above. The author wants to add a wolf or wolf eyes to the picture to give more of a hint at the book's plot. But how I add that wolf or wolf eyes without changing the reader's perception of the book?
In Version 2, I overlaid the full wolf head over picture. This implies the wolf influences the girl and the whole story. The wolf and the girl vie for the main character position.
However if I change the wolf to just the eyes in the background, it changes the mood and meaning.
In the cover below, there are just wolf eyes. To me these eyes seem rather malevolent but that's my impression. It definitely implies supernatural and the wolf influence in the book could be seen as negative or a guardian. The wolf eyes look over on the girl and story. So the wolf sees all but is it looking out for the girl's best interest or looking out to keep the girl from hurting someone else's best interest? VERSION 3.
In the version below (Version 4), the whole wolf head has been integrated. As stated above, the girl and wolf are both trying to be the main character. But is that what the author wants? The wolf is neither negative nor positive in this version. But the wolf overshadows the story in this version. The head is bigger than the girl and facing the reader.
The wolf in this story is probably positive or neutral BUT the wolf effects everything. The wolf is the main part of the story.
In Version 4, Large Wolf Head,
In Version 5, the wolf head is small and located over the girl's head. The wolf is smaller than the girl. In this version, the wolf is more a totem or symbolic in the story. It implies, the idea of wolves is center to the story but the girl is the focus. With it being over her head, it implies it is hanging over her head.
VERSION 5--Small Wolf Head
Ah the white wolf (VERSION 6), angelic, sweet--definitely positive. The wolf is nearly see through so it implies fantasy or supernatural elements. The color implies goodness or angelic. The wolf is looking at the reader but remains close the girl like a guardian.
VERSION 6 White Wolf
In Version 7, the wolf is dark in color, the eyes are a demonic yellow and the wolf is moving toward the girl and reader. The wolf is aggressive and negative. The wolf is surrounding the girl but it's not good for her. The light ghosty feel to the wolf implies supernatural again...as does the yellow eyes that glow.
VERSION 7 Black Wolf
So small changes such as size, opaqueness and coloring of an image can change the impression of the story. The main image of the story doesn't change, the girl in a red dress at a garden gate looking out at a misty view under the moon.
The type of wolves and where they are located gives the reader different clues. So when you create your covers,think about what your images IMPLY to the reader. In this story, I have to ask the author, how does she want the wolves to be perceived in the story? That will tell me what is the right wolf.