book aesthetics!

Recently I came across a post on the Twirling Pages blog about making book aesthetics.  I’ve been thinking about doing this for my books, because I love seeing them on Tumblr.  I made them a little differently, using the programs I’m more comfortable with.

What are book aesthetics?  It’s usually a grid of images (or sometimes, gifs) that create the mood of a book or book character (or movie).  They’re really pretty and I’ve definitely found myself checking out a book I’m unfamiliar with based on a book aesthetic.  They’re a bit like a mood board.

First, you want to collect a bunch of images that represent a book to you.  How many will depend on how many images you want in your grid.  For mine, I selected 5 images and a quote.  The quote doesn’t have to be from the book, but could represent a character’s mindset.  I had a whole bunch of images I had found when I was redesigning the Wolf Point covers that worked well.

Hitchhikers aesthetics

My book aesthetic for Hitchhikers includes a couple of images of roads, because so much of the story takes place along the highway.  I wanted lonely-looking images that were dark and quiet, because that’s the feel of this book to me.  The quote, “Things would be better if I just disappeared” is from Hitchhikers, and it really encapsulates Dan’s mindset both before the novel starts and at a critical point in the story.

I found most of my images on Pixabay.  Then I decided to use Pixlr to edit the images into a grid.  I love Canva, but their photo collage templates couldn’t be customized the way I wanted.  The Pixlr web app has a collage component, and I selected a 2×3 grid.

Choosing a filter that will even out the photos and make them have the same tone is a big part of making a book aesthetic.  For the Hitchhikers aesthetic, I muted the colors in the images.  For the Dreamwalkers aesthetic, below, I used brighter filters.

Dreamwalkers aesthetics The quote is not from Dreamwalkers, but a lot of the story revolves around Kayla’s ability to dreamwalk, so it worked.  The bright colors work with the quote’s tones, and give the images an ethereal, dream-like feel.  Kayla is a lot more sarcastic and while the story can be dark, Kayla has a sense of humor, so the colors fit with how the story makes me feel.

Scavengers aesthetics

Scavengers has a bit of a similar feel to Hitchhikers, but Zeke is more optimistic and comfortable in nature, so I gave all the images a muted green tone.

Here’s the book aesthetic for Warriors:

warriors aesthetics

I really enjoyed making these!  I’ve always loved making book covers for my works-in-progress, but this offers a few more options.  I especially love the idea of making mood boards for each character.

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