Now that I am faced with self-publishing the next Steve Martinez mystery, The Riddle of Billy Gibbs, I have been thinking about a cover for the print-on-demand paperback as well as the e-book.
But there's one just a few miles west of our cabin on Lake Superior, a maple right on the beach that possesses a sturdy hanging limb. At this time of year in the Upper Peninsula, the trees haven't yet leafed out, so there could be a nice branchy silhouette in that maple.
So I drove out last night with the Pentax and captured several angles of that tree. Under it a young couple sat spooning, and there was also a barbecue kettle in the middle of the shot.
It wasn't difficult to get rid of the people and the grill with a little work with the Photoshop Elements clone tool. Then I applied the text, using the Stencil font to suggest the military subtheme in the novel.
Finally I attached an illustration of a hangman's noose found on the Internet and altered heavily beyond copyright worries. Reducing the noose to a proper size took a little research into the depths of Elements.
I'd thought whatever I came up with would be quick-and-dirty, something to tweak over the next few months before Billy Gibbs is published as an Amazon CreateSpace softcover in January.
But maybe it's good enough to stand as is.