The Evolution of a Cover

Matchmakers cover 2Readers always ask me if I design my own covers.  A resounding NO on that!

One of the reasons I like traditional  publishing–where a publishing company buys the book and puts it out–is that I prefer writing to all the techie stuff.    With both Steeple Hill and FaithWords, I sent in a cover art sheet on which I made suggestions about scenes for a cover and described the setting and characters.  Then the editors took over, sent the pages to an artist, and she–the editor–worked with the artist.   And, voila, the cover was created.  I was happy with every one of them–except one.

I’ll use my first  published book The Mad Herringtons as an example.   I first contracted with a small, niche publisher in 1999.  The editor had an artistic friend come up with a cover.  The novel took place in England in 1812, during the dazzling Regency period, a time of waltzing, flirting, and house parties on huge estate.  That first cover started with a great idea:  a ball with the couples swirling around the dance floor.   Sadly, however, she had drawn a large chandalier on the ceiling of the ballroom that looked a great deal like an enormous pink spider.  The scene seemed like a horror movie with a mutant creature poised to fall on and consume the dancers.   Wish  I had a picture of this to show you.

That publishing house went bankrupt and I got the right back just as Mad HerringtonsAvalon opened their historical line.   Avalon sold our books to libraries so they were somewhat conservative and very lovely.  The plot took place at a country estate.   Here’s that cover.

A few years ago, I received my rights back from the-mad-herringtons-2Avalon which means I was free to publish this book myself.  It took me a while but I recently got in touch with By the Page.  The nice people there came up with this beautiful cover which will be sold to readers on Kindle, Nook, and most electronic readers.

Did that answer any questions?

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