‘The Master and Margarita:’ Cover, for New, English Language Translation of Bulgakov’s Classic Novel.

This is the Master and Margarita cover I made for my translation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s awesome tale of the extraordinary in 1930s Moscow, which will be published before the end of of 2017:

The Master and Margarita
Cover of soon-to-be published new, English translation by John Dougherty of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita ©2017

As I was in the final stages of editing, proof-reading and formatting this translation of ‘The Master and Margarita, I agonized over how to get a good but inexpensive cover to put on it. I initially considered using the graphics services provided through the website fiverr. In the process of coming up with a proposal to a graphic designer for the creation of this cover, I considered a sort of collage that would include some of the themes and iconic images that are presented in the novel again and again. After putting a list together of these things, I thought “hey, I can do this.” Not having any experience with this sort of design, other than a brief flirtation with the free image manipulation program Gimp, I decided it was time to purchase and learn to use Adobe Photoshop. I asked my brilliant and artistic photographer friend Jen if she had any tips, and she pointed me to Adobe Creative Cloud. This was appealing to me for its option to do a trial use, and not have to buy a software package up front.

So now I can photoshop! This translation project started out as an occasional exercise to keep up my Russian language skills, but has turned into a project that has unexpectedly led me to learn a whole host of new skills and software applications: use of Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, Calibre and Sigil; how to get an ISBN and register a book with Bowker. Fun stuff.

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