Zombies invaded our home!

Okay, not really. But the other weekend our good friend, Gabe, came over so I could help him with the artwork for his new ebook.

Yes, he wrote an ebook, Zombies Ate My Film Fest, in less than a month. I’m so impressed. I’m still in the middle of reading it–finding time to read with twins is far and few between–but if you’re into zombie books, and even if you’re not like me, this book is great. Really, for 99¢, it’s worth it. Plus, it’s based in Austin and an homage to genre films and pulp fictions. How cool. If you know anything about the Fantastic Fest held here in Austin every year, you will most definitely get a kick out of it. There are tons of hidden cameos too. Who knows, maybe you’re in his book.

So when Gabe asked me to do the artwork, I of course said, “Hell yes!” Gabe already had an idea for the cover so it was pretty easy to execute. I think we did the whole book cover in less than 2 hours. Here’s how we did it.

I sketched a few layouts, and once he picked one, I designed the film pass that would be used in the cover photo. The film pass was designed to mimic other film festival passes using Charles’ shaky face as the main character’s image. It was important that the pass be simple and the type be large since it would serve as the ebook title. And of course, we had to make it a VIP pass. After the pass was to our liking, we printed, cut, and stuck it in an old lanyard. It looked pretty darn good for half an hours work.

Then we ran outside to take some photos for the cover shot.

We put the pass on the concrete in front of my condo–it looks just like a parking lot–and positioned our bodies with our shadows attacking the lanyard. Or were the shadows attacking the person who just dropped their film pass? Again, we had to make sure the film pass was large enough in the shot so that the book title on it took up a majority of the real estate. After about 30 photos, I was sure we got at least one that would work. For some added effect, we pulled a Pollock and splattered a blood concoction on plain white paper. That shot would be altered and added to the final cover image in Photoshop.

Once we downloaded the best photo, I opened it in Photoshop and stuck to the Kindle Direct Publishing guidelines. Then I added the author credit and blood-splatter-shot by overlaying it on top of the film pass. We wanted just enough blood but not too much. After tweaking the color of the main photo and enhancing the lighting around the pass, we were done.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Yeah, my first ebook design.

Zombies Ate My Film Fest ebook cover

To help make the book a success, I also did a flyer, business card and website design (the website is still in the works). Within the first day of its release, Gabe already sold a ton of books and was written up in PopCandy, a USAToday blog, and the AustinPost. Whoo hoo! Congrats Gabe.

Zombies Ate My Film Fest Flyer and Business Card

Zombies Ate My Film Fest website design

2 Responses to “Zombies invaded our home!”
  1. Katy Maurer says:

    The cover is fantastic! I love it, excellent work!!

  2. Joseph says:

    The cover was incredible. I already viewed it on zombiesatemyfilmfest.com, but it was cool to hear how you put it all together. Such nice work! I cannot wait to work on our upcoming website together!

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