I love playing around in Photoshop. I'm not a guru, or an expert, but self-trained with tips and tricks by my live in boyfriend. Every now and then, I get a wild hair to play with cover art. Sometimes I go basic and sometimes I want specific details.
One thing I've been playing with is text styles and effects. I was inspired by Jordan Castillo Price and his use of text styles for cover art. We don't see this often in book covers, lately. Most titles are somewhat basic, using simple gradient overlays or font for desired effect. Heh, a lot of the book covers I've made in the past are basic. For example:
Miles Away uses a simple font with blue and white gradient overlay. Basic is always good, though. There's really no need for so much effect in, say, a contemporary. But for a horror, sci-fi, or even fantasy, sometimes you want a more striking effect.
For my current WIP "Project Wasteland", I've been playing around with text styles. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to make a striking logo or title, and many of those can be used for commercial purposes (just make sure any texture you use is cleared for commercial use, too).
Here's one I've been tweaking. I'm not particular to this design, mainly because it doesn't match the original vision, however it's an example. What helps is to have a base image to go by. My base was the same font in a bright orange color - yeah, way too halloween-y. LOL
Even when not using special effects for book covers, it's still fun to just play with them. When you're looking around at tutorials, make sure you're not leaning toward styles inspired by games, movies, books, etc for commercial covers. There are tons out there.
What do you think about using effects on book titles? Yay? Nay?