A little about branding book spines for DIY Indie Authors

Thoughts on Entertainment, Writing

As an indie author on a shoestring budget, you may be wondering how you can make your print books look like they belong on your readers’ shelves next to the “big boy” books published with gobs of money and professional art departments behind them.

Using my Visual Arts BA powers and some slightly blurry photos of our booka nd DVD shelves, I thought I’d try to explain some of the elements of good spine branding. Spinal branding? Ouch. Sounds painful.

Let’s get started.

Spines of the AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER DVD boxed sets

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (Asian-influenced animated series)

Here’s the three-volume set of the marvelous fantasy cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

At the very top we have the logotype for the series itself, which any fan recognizes from the show’s intro sequence. But even if you’ve never seen the show, there’s a lotta info packed into that itty bitty logo: first, the Nickelodeon logo (in its signature orange) lets you know the station its from…and all that that implies (animation, kid-friendly, playful, positive energy).

Grey-Gold (Golden-eyed Penguin)

Art

A golden-eyed penguin swims through an abstract sea of gold textureA very very very very very very very long overdue commission for Frank Villarreal, a wonderful artist, banjoist, and penguin enthusiast.

Before this commish, I didn’t even know this species of penguin existed! They are really rad. With their semi-intimidating gaze it was hard not to cartoon one as a hard-boiled detective.

I believe the digital watercolor brushes are by Mastodon.Art user PolloMostro??