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The making of a book cover

Choosing book covers is like choosing what outfit you're going to wear to the bookstore. Do you go in footie pajamas with bed-head? Do you go in a grey, three-piece suit, wearing a nose-ring? Or do strap on a corset from the Victorian Age?

With WILLOW as well as HOTEL, I was asked for my input, which I benignly gave. I was hesitant because I was an art director in my previous career and never once was the process improved by the client saying, "Hey, I've got an idea!" That adage about a camel being a horse designed by committee was never more apt.

But when prodded I relented. And I didn't just send written ideas, I knocked out some rough (very rough) thumbnails in Photoshop.

And just like with HOTEL, my ideas might have been directional (at best) but the designs my editor came back with were 100x better that my ideas. That being stated, here are my roughs, and the eventual covers we had to choose from.


Here's an early design that we felt was too generic.


And now the good stuff, courtesy of The Book Designers.


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Reader Comments (5)

Very cool to get a glimpse into the process! I love this kind of stuff, haha.
May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristan
I think the cover is perfect...and it's definitely clear that they used some of your artistic direction and then ran with it. I love it.
May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatalia Sylvester
So - did you choose the third? I'm really drawn to the first two (maybe because red is my favorite color and they are so vibrant). They are all beautiful (including yours)! So happy for you and saw your deal on Publisher's Marketplace for book 2. Congrats.
May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Crytzer Fry
Thanks Melissa. The middle one with all the parasols was my initial favorite, but then the consensus was that it looks like women's fiction and may inhibit my male readers. The one on the bottom became my new fav. :)
May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
I initially liked the "generic" cover best, too. But then I scrolled down and saw the bottom one. LOVE that one!
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrissi Langwell

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