Beyond a good story, nothing is more important than the book’s cover (other than maybe the blurb, but that is a post for another time). Creating the book cover is an exciting, gut-wrenching process for an author. It is trying to convey the greatness of your masterpiece into one simple but striking visual image. And we usually don’t get it right the first time around. Case in point; the before and after pictures of my first novel, ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’:
The difference: the first cover is a product of my imagination. The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination.
In creating the first cover, I just kept thinking of more stuff the cover should have and telling the artist to revise, revise, revise. She did everything I asked her to do; her mistake. After seeing the final product I sat back, looked at it, and thought, “What in the hell was I thinking?” I paid the artist then hired another. My decision was validated by a friend’s opinion, “It looks like a vagina.”
The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination. I gave her all the same instructions I gave the first artist, and she plain out said, “no.”
I tried again, giving her the simple instruction of, “Water. Fantasy. Go.” And….voila. A vagina-free masterpiece. She came up with an attractive cover that pops against the black background. The design was easily mimicked for all books in the series; Air, Fire and Earth, and even the boxed set. Branding at its best.
She even did my vampire anthology cover:
Now that I am ready to publish a brand new series, I thought I knew enough about the business to take a crack at creating my own cover. For ‘The Rising’, a mermaid, young adult fantasy trilogy, I came up with several versions:
I sent it around. My husband and mom loved it. No shocker there – they are biased. But a few problems were quickly pointed out by the lovely ladies of Patchwork Press (my new partners in crime). In the first version, there isn’t a real ‘mermaid’ element, all of them look too similar to my New Adult series (branding across genres isn’t always the best idea), and they are not very typical of young adult covers – which may or may not be a good thing.
I searched the internet for images, and came across this one on Deviant Art (you’ve seen it in my previous blog posts):
Grr! (If you are interested, click on the book cover image to purchase and read and let me know what you think!)
Finally, I went back to the same amazing cover artist that did the Akasha Series covers, Keary Taylor. Turns out, she basically lives where the story takes place, and she was super excited to do a mermaid cover. I turned her loose on my mermaid pinterest page for inspiration, and I am so excited to do the final cover reveal. It turned out great! Here is a sneak peak:
Boo! I know – you don’t get to see the whole thing yet! Stay tuned for a reveal in mid-September. Book Review Bloggers can sign up here to do a cover reveal on their own blog, plus sign up for the book tour and an ARC. And be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list!