Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Design, Write, Create!

Explaining today the process for cover design. Hold on to your hats!! 

Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What might you do differently next time?

I have a degree in graphic design. Business cards, logos, fliers, mailers, CD covers, banners, ads, and much much more all make up what I know how to do. But, best of all, I can design book covers. My own and other people's. It may or may not surprise you to know I am also an illustrator, photographer, and painter. What the hell, right?

I am a creative. My brain works differently.

My boyfriend (the best one in the world, by the way) and I often discuss how my head works in a different way. All creatives are like that, authors are probably the most browbeaten of the bunch because folks wonder, not only where our worlds come from, but how we can write some of the things we do.

It is precisely this different way of working that allowed me to design my own book covers. I decided on a watercolor cherry tree with a beautiful woman sitting beneath for the cover of Yassa because it's a love story at its heart. Yeah, it goes into murder, betrayal, and law, but it's really the relationship of Temujin and Borte that drives the whole darn thing. So my cover reflects how my heart felt at the beginning and at the end.

I love my cover because it's a piece of me. I put a lot of time into the watercolor illustration and design and I stressed over which fonts to use. It had to say, "Something is different about this book." I believe it does that.

When I designed the cover for The Abigale Chronicles - Book One, I thought about my protagonist and what she would want her diary cover to look like. I then approached a twelve-year-old girl who lives down the street from me and asked her for a handwriting sample. She wrote the word Abigale and I scanned and vectored it for something unique. You won't see that font on ANY other book. It's very personal and feels so much more authentic. I gave her a signed copy of the book for helping me. She'll get one of every new volume as well. It's the least I could do.

I see so many book covers today that could use a tweak or two where lettering is concerned. I have a few lessons on my blog; starting with this one. If you have ever wanted to know what a designer does and how much tweaking they do to your lettering, I urge you to check it out. Your typography is EVERYTHING. It's the first thing people notice. Forget about images or color. Many e-readers are black and white. Your letters count. Go peek at the lessons (there are 4) and you'll see what I mean.

I've considered creating a short book with tips and tricks on cover art design and how to use lettering for impact. We'll see. I wouldn't charge for it, of course (it wouldn't be long), but I think it might come in handy for some who are short on cash and want to design for themselves. I can even have a section of what NOT to do. That way, we won't end up with glaring color oopsies that make our eyes feel like they are going to burn out of our skulls when we look at them. Who knows? I might, I might not. If I do, you can guarantee the news will be HERE first!!

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Your covers are beautiful! I especially like the first one! :)

    1. Thanks! I worked very hard on them. I appreciate you taking the time to comment :)

  2. I think a short book for those of us who are artistically challenged would be awesome! I've designed a couple of my own, and that certainly would have come in handy.

    Love the covers, by the way. You are one talented lady.

    1. Well, your wish may come true. End of July/beginning of August maybe :) Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I love that..."I love my cover because it's a piece of me." That si exactly how I felt about mine. I would definitely love to read your short book with tips in re: design etc.


    Lisa x

    1. Yup. All my art resonates with me. I may put some up this week sometime. I illustrate and love it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. You make it sound so easy, Jo. It blows me away that even the stuff that you do make sound simple, I'm already lost and so far behind. It's a gift you have to be certain. I admire your talents and skills very much. I am blessed to get to see your creations.
    Crystal Lee

    1. Thank you, friend. Once a person has a learned skill, things do become easy :) Thanks for the blog love!


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