Thursday, March 6, 2014

Two Hats to Wear and Finding the Perfect Cover

Happy Thursday, everyone! I know I missed my post yesterday, but I have great reason. You see, I wear two hats: My writer/editor hat and my designer hat. When it's necessary for me to be in designer mode, I have trouble writing. Not just blog posts, but everything. I begin to think about typography and imagery. Photoshop plants seeds in my brain I have trouble shaking off until the design is done.

In other words, I can't write until my designer hat comes off. Well, I can, but it ends up sounding like gibberish and meanders in a billion different directions.

So, today you're getting a post about book design; because that's where my head is at.

Recently, I got a job editing a Poetry book for teens titled Tbinkerknese 101 (giveaway to come after publication), for the cover design and print formatting for that book, and the editing and cover design for a Young Adult Paranormal book titled Chasing Shadows (which I, hopefully, will also be doing the interior print book formatting for).

After a couple of weeks wearing my editor hat, I had to shift gears and put on my designer hat.

Now, it's probably pretty obvious to you that these two books are aimed a the same audience but have very different requirements.

Talk about your designer head-case! I was going back and forth between the two, trying to work out how to speak to the target audience without coming off preachy for the first, and too vague for the second.

It wasn't easy. But both of those authors now have 3 comps each to look at and choose from. Once we narrow it down to one, I'll move on to giving the cover finishing touches, tweaks, and creating the full wrap for each of them. Of course, my greatest fear is that both of them will come back and say they don't like anything I created. Then, I'll have to switch gears entirely and come up with a whole new concept to throw behind each one.

I stared at my blog yesterday, but the words wouldn't come. My brain was locked in design mode.

I know (from personal experience), when they see the cover they want, they'll gasp and say, "That's it! That's exactly what I love and what will speak to my audience!"

When you find the perfect cover or image for your novel, you know it right away. It'll be everything you hoped for. If you have a good designer, it'll be everything you hoped for plus some you never thought to include.

I love when my authors come back and tell me they found that little thing I added to the cover that speaks from the book. Yeah, I like to read the books I design covers for. I feel it gives me great insight.

I've studied typography for a long time. Still, I struggle with getting a handle on it. So I'm gonna start working on my digital swipe file and building things from the inside out.

I don't design book covers very often, I prefer to make the inside type/pages sing. But when I get the chance to design for a book I've read, the imagery on the front always speaks to the story inside.

So, here's your tip for today: Even if you have to go through ten covers, wait for the one that makes you gasp when you see it. That one will be the perfect cover, and you'll be glad you waited.

What's your favorite cover of yours so far? Who designed it? Give us links!

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



  1. That's it! That's exactly what I love and what will speak to my audience.

    Jo, you rock!

    I really do love mine. I say again... do you need me to send you a video of me happy dancing? My daughter says, "Please don't ask her to!"


    1. You're too sweet. Tell your daughter some things are worth dancing for (even if you can't dance), because they're just that freaking exciting :) Thanks for the comment, Tia. You rock, too! HUGS!


Play nice and have fun. If you're a jerk, I won't publish your comment. My blog. My rules. Thanks for taking the time to chat at me!

Comments have been temporarily disabled due to the astronomical amount of spam I've been dealing with. Sorry!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.