Friday, May 22, 2009

Take Cover!

Or better yet - CREATE COVER! Next step in the multi-step process of creating a book. Remember, I'm an indie author - this is my process - who the heck knows how they do it in NYC. All I know is, the two years it takes to get a book out there and into the hands of readers is ridiculously long, considering the process is not that extensive. ( as you can see by reading these posts and the time line ) But that's their thing.

This is mine.

So, for's how the cover idea was born: I was sitting in church one day -- yes, church -- and I looked over and saw this kid's face and WOW. I was like: He's my Matthias! Luckily for me, he lives down the street and my son plays with his brother and our families are pals.

I asked him if he wanted to be on one of my book covers and he ( and his mom, because he's a minor ) were totally into it.

These were some of the pictures I took of him that first day - first, to see if he was photogenic. He is. The camera LOVES him. Second, to see if I could get the "look" of heavenly concern on his face I wanted for the cover: Something beautiful, serene and in the clouds.

I sent a handful of these photos ( taken on his front porch and in my yard ) and tons of photos I'd taken of clouds and sky to Jennifer Johnson of Sapphire Designs ( see previ0us post ) and told her I wanted his face in white clouds. She came up with the gorgeous, perfect image that is now the cover of HEAVENLY:

I went back and forth on the kind of sky and cloud picture I wanted, afternoon sky, noon sky, evening sky, stormy sky - but ultimately went with the noon sky because I felt the colors captured the spirit of hope and heaven prevalent in the story.

We talked about colors and font for the title. Black was too harsh and white got lost in the clouds so we settled on gold which gives it an obvious, traditional feel.

I then toyed with making the cover black and white - since the themes in the story are serious.

But I had an idea for the series of books to change with color, and new the second book, PENITENCE would showcase a storm, so I opted for the blue sky and white clouds for HEAVENLY.

All in all, it takes me about ten minutes or less to shoot pictures. Jennifer creates a cover image in anywhere from 1 hour to three, depending on the details.

I then had Jennifer work her magic on a gorgeous dedicated website for the book: and was really pleased with the results there.

The cover step is one of my favorite steps.
I consider myself lucky to be able to choose what I want on a cover, and not be left mercilessly to the creative ideas of people who churn out cover ideas for a living and who may not do much more than read a blurb for inspiration.

I've seen some hideous covers - as we all have. I've had one cover blasted. ( Not surprising in this subjective world )

Next time, I'll show you the blasted cover and tell you what I did to change it and make it's sales triple!


jennsdaisypatch said...

this is cool. the process is kinda fun, eh?

Chicki Brown said...

Who could blast one of your covers? They're all so nice. Haters ...

jenniferlaurens said...

Some readers don't have anything nice to say and say it anyway, arguing that it's their opinion. That topic is for another post :)

Anonymous said...

Aren't they entitled to their opinion - good or bad?

DawnB said...

Interesting to see how it all comes together.

Mandy IReadIndie said...

oh some readers never heard 'If you don't have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" huh? that is one good post though. I enjoyed reading it.

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