This image is how I think my publisher’s artists view me when we’re deep in the cover creation process. I send images back for revision over and over. On my last cover, my editor politely told me I’d reached the endpoint and it was time to accept the work that was done. I suspect the artist’s words weren’t as polite.
I thought it would be fun to give you a peek at the cover creation process. I had to do some digging, but I managed to find early concepts of my four covers. Early covers are on the left, final covers on the right.
HIDDEN: This is where the concept used on all my covers began. Unbelievably, this image on the left is the first one they sent and I immediately liked it. I didn’t care for the tear under her eye. I loved the gold shade, but I thought the cover would pop better in red. I truly think the cover had a lot to do with the book’s crazy success.
CHILLED: I thought the blue was a good idea since the last book was red and this had an icy look to it. 90% of the book takes place on the side of a mountain in a blizzard. My daughter looked at the original and asked, “Why is there a ninja on your cover?” After that, all my editor and I could see on the cover was a ninja. I searched for a model online and found the eyes for the cover we used. There was no barn or structure in the snow in the book, so that part was immediately thrown out.
BURIED: I felt the brown roots were dull and dirty even though I’d suggested the concept. I thought the model was attractive and appealing, but my heroine has dark hair. I was afraid if they changed her hair to dark, it’d look like roots across her face. I couldn’t save anything from this concept. I think they sent me six different backgrounds. The forest background showed up on a different concept in a muted green shade. We stumbled across the intense green when my husband put it up on a monitor with a golden wash. I immediately sent the new color to my editor who loved it and we requested they make the eyes pop. Two proofreaders and I went through the manuscript in the final pass and changed my heroine’s eye color from blue to green because we loved this image.
ALONE: I picked the “handprint” background from about four concepts. I didn’t like the model in the orange cover because she looked traumatized and the image was too dark. I really liked the orange background, but I leaned slightly more toward the purple. For some reason the next few concepts kept coming back very pink instead of purple. I sent them back several times instructing, “Less pink!”
So what’s next? Good question. I have two more books scheduled to come out after ALONE. My editor and I have discussed launching a new concept. What do you think? Is it time for something new? Or should I continue in this vein? What author has great covers that you love?