Creating the Cover: The House Always Wins

Friday, 24 November 2023

To create the background image for The House Always Wins, I started with Midjourney, an image generator that exists on the Discord Server. You can see my prompt on the right side of the image, asking for a single yellow shoe in a puddle in a scary, ominous industrial estate. 

I ended up with many images, some with one shoe, some with two, some with none at all. Some of the images captured the external of the buildings with spooky street lighting, others were internal. Eventually, I settled on this picture of a pair of yellow boots. I liked the reflection in the puddle and yellow walls in the background. 

The good thing about Midjourney is you can then ask it to pan up, down, left or right to change the aspect ratio of the image. I panned up to create a 5.25” x 8” book cover and imported it into Affinity Photo.

Here, I applied some filters until I was happy with the brightness, contrast and toning. I then increased the brightness and contrast on the shoes using colour dodge and colour burn brushes. I also panned left numerous times to generate a continuous wrap around image for the paperback. I added a blur to the backcover. Finally, I added the text using one of my favourite fonts - Josefin Sans, and to match the branding of the other books, altered the transparency of each line of the text.

So what do you think? I feel it is suitably ominous and mysterious, a great addition to Cooper’s deadly games series.