I have a book cover! I am just over the top giddy about this. My guy really did an amazing job and was incredibly tolerant of the fact that I really didn’t know what I wanted outside of my photograph I sent him. He tweaked and nudged and reworked several times, but he got me here, which is amazing. So, if you are looking for some great cover work or interior design, check him out at Streetlight Graphics.
There were a few issues I ran into while working on this that I didn’t really think about. Book covers can be truly amazing, but… they are still restricted in the sense that you need to fit into what is expected of the genre. When I first started this project, I knew I wanted my own photo on the cover, but that was ALL I knew I wanted. I did know I wanted something more, but not what that something should be.
When asked to provide references to other books in my genre that had covers I liked, I really struggled because I don’t actually often like the covers in the genre I wrote in. Part of that is my book isn’t really a perfect fit for it’s genre. Well, at least one of them anyway.
It didn’t dawn on me that all of the cover references I provided were simply a photo with text over the image and maybe a little photo manipulation to create a specific effect or feel. The problem with that is the majority of the photos used on those covers were a lot more complex than mine, with more going on in the photo. Going that route with mine looked… really basic and as if I had done the design with my limited Photoshop skills, which defeated the purpose of using a designer for the cover.
In the end, my guy took my lack of direction and gave me suggestions and guidance to get me something I really wanted to work with, then perfected it. The design is still pretty simple, which I do love, but it still has the finished look and warm feel I was hoping for. It isn’t some epic artistic design masterpiece, but… it can’t be. Those are mostly reserved for fantasy or sci-fi novels. All the things I typically love about a really good cover just didn’t work for my genre.
Much like the editing process, the cover design process has taught me quite a bit about book covers. Also like editing, there are just some things you need to do or accept to make your book better, as difficult as that may be. In the end, it IS better because of those things. I accepted this wasn’t going to be some over the top fantasy art and I ended up with a beautiful cover anyway. One that fits the story inside. And I can’t be any happier about it because I LOVE how this turned out.