A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today I'd like to talk covers. Book covers that is:)

First I'd like to thank Lady V for stopping by yesterday and giving us her wonderful gift of contests all in one place. How great is that? She is the promo guru of contests so keep that in mind when you are having one. Lady V performs a wonderful service to us all. She promotes our promotions!

I'd like to discuss cover art and with that I'd like to share my newest cover. You may remember, I mentioned some time ago that I sold two more stories to The Wild Rose Press, and we've just completed the editing process of Bestial Cravings, a Black Rose Rosette Companion story to Curse of the Marhime as of yesterday. Coincidentally, I received my cover art, as well. As always, I am very satisfied with my artists at TWRP. They have an awesome art department but I will get into this more a little later in this article.

The cover is the first thing anyone sees when perusing books. It is the draw for the reader to pick up your book. No matter how great your story is, if the cover is ho hum the reader may never touch the book. I will tell you that I, myself, am attracted to a cover before I even notice the title. Cover art is so very important. In a lot of cases, the author has no say in what goes on the cover but in my experience many of the presses today do ask for your thoughts on what you'd like to see on your cover.

I've had the opportunity with all my books to be involved with my covers. The first book I'd published was a real eye-opener when I got to deal with the cover design. Being a small press, they didn't even have an art department, so I was on my own. I researched graphic artists and discovered that no way could I afford to even think about using a professional artist! Though disappointed and concerned that my first book, my baby, would go out there in less than perfect wrapping, I began to call upon all my contacts and peers for advise. I soon came upon a peer writer at the press whose wife dabbled in graphic art and offered to give it a go.

After discussing my ideas, she went to work but the design just didn't work for me, and she opted not to proceed with the project. So there I was again. How would I find an artist? At least one I could afford. Afterall, I was a struggling writer with no marketing dollars.

As luck would have it, we had a very talented author who also did graphic design and graciously offered to do my cover for me. We finally decided on a design, and I had a cover. It wasn't perfect and came out on the artsy side, but it worked for me at the time, though it really didn't capture the story's theme or mood as much as I would have liked.

One year later, I contracted my second book, Curse of the Marhime, with TWRP and discovered what it was to have an awesome graphic art department behind me. I still remember the day I received the cover art for Curse. I stared at the file for several minutes afraid to open the file. Afraid of being disappointed. I hesitantly clicked open and couldn't believe my eyes! The cover was better than I could have ever thought. It captured the essence of my story and exactly what I had imagined my heroine to look like! I was in awe. Then I was in tears. Tears of sheer joy. My cover artist for Curse is Angela Anderson.

After I calmed down and could actually think again, I did two things. I sent the cover to anyone and everyone I could think of, and I emailed Angela to tell how beautiful that cover was. I also asked if she ever free-lanced. She did! So I asked my previous publishing house if I could revise my cover art on the book I'd pubbed there. They agreed to allow it, and I hired Angela who once again did an awesome job capturing the essence of yet another book. I've since pulled the book from the publishing house to get it into a more romance oriented environment as though they gave me my first chance in the publishing world, they really don't publish romance books. SciFi/fantasy and craft books are more up their alley. They graciously returned my rights, so I will be persuing publication elsewhere. So I really can't post the cover for that one to show you at this time. Trust me when I say it was perfect.

I want to note that Nicola Martinez is the present cover artist for my new upcoming release, Bestial Cravings, and she designed my banner here on this blog and on my website. These women are absolutely the best. The entire art department rocks! Just take a look at all the covers on the catalog pages at The Wild Rose Press. I dare anyone to beg to differ with me.

All these covers turned out great because of two things. Specific author input and very talented artists. At TWRP, they want your input and will even allow you to send in stock photos to show them what you are looking for in characters, background, etc. One thing that needs to be said, though, is that no matter how specific you are about your characters, remember that the artists can not always be perfectly specific with things like hair color, style, eye color, etc. because they are dealing with stock photos. They will always work to get as close as possible, but there are limits.

Another key note I need to make here is that once a cover is done, it will not be changed. This rule is mentioned over and over again to authors because there is so much work that goes into a cover. The artist spends hours even days looking for just the right stock pictures, then because a cover is never just one picture, they spend hours layering the photos to create the perfect cover. That is not to say if something is wrong such as title, spelling of author's name or some technicality they won't change it. Of course, they will. Remember always be as specific as you can down to the fact that the heroine is the vampire and the hero is the werewolf. All these tidbits are so very important to the artist. They haven't read your story, and they don't know your characters, mood, or theme. You have to tell them. That is why you fill out the Manuscript Information Sheet. That is what they follow and use as their guideline to your perfect cover.

I hope this is helpful to you and, by all means, if you have any questions on the subject, I would be happy to answer them from my experiences.

Thanks for dropping by and taking a read, as always.



  1. Oh, wow, both of those covers are gorgeous, Dayana! Angela did mine for Seduced in Seoul, and I couldn't have been more pleased. I think she must be psychic! And I'm familiar with Nicola's beautiful work, as well. TWRP's cover artists rock! I can't wait to see what they come up with for the Got Wolf? stories.


  2. I know exactly which book you are referring to and you are so right. I can't wait to see the changes you make and the new cover!
    I agree, the first thing that inevitably grabs me is the cover.
    And TWRP's cover artists really are amazing. The care, and that is what it takes.

  3. Afternoon D~
    I know exactly how you felt. When I got the cover to my book, Eden's Black Rose, I printed out a copy that morning and took it to my CR-RWA meeting and showed it off. Nicola created perfection. The second thing I did was a mass E-mailing to absolutely everyone I knew. The cover won raves reviews from everyone. Even my daughter... after all her friends said the girl on the cover looked just like her:) As for TWRP cover department? They are top of the line. Every cover that comes out gives a person insight before reading page one.
    As for your new book cover? Sweet! Best of luck with it:)

  4. Both covers are beautiful, Dayana! As a graphic artist myself, I can vouch for how difficult it can be to come up with the right look for a piece, whether it's a book cover or an advertisement. Choosing stock photos, color schemes, fonts...hopefully, the result appears as if it were effortless, because the creation certainly wasn't! ;)

  5. Both your covers are gorgeous, Dayana! I was lucky enough to have Nicola Martinez design all three of my TWRP covers, one for Black Rose and two for American Rose. I'm very pleased with all three.

  6. The new cover is beautiful!! When is Bestial Cravings coming out? I definitely plan to get a copy.
    Also, thank you so much for letting me blog with you yesterday, for the lovely comments in this post, and more importantly, for being my friend which is the greatest gift I could ever hope to have.

  7. Just FYI... you're the featured blog at LASR today.

  8. Stopping by from LASR, and so glad I am. What a gorgeous cover! Best of luck with the release.

    Have a nice day!

  9. Popping over from LASR. You are right. TWRP covers are the best!

    Have a great day!

  10. Hi, LASR featured your blog today, so I figured I'd stop by and check it out. Very nice. Interesting article about book covers, by the way.

  11. Beautiful cover and just wanted to say "thanks" for being part of LASR :-)

  12. Hello Everyone!

    Helen, yes I agree about Angela's talents for seeing right into your head in regards to covers, Nicola is right there beside her, LOL And I will say that your Seduced in Seoul cover is hot. BTW I am going to pick that up for a read as soon as possible.

    LOL, Mary Yes and you would be absolutely correct. Since the novel was my first and written so long ago I need to do some revisions. It's so amazing how you grow as a writer from book to book. Always something new to learn, always a better, stronger more imaginative way to communicate a point, action, or scene.

    Hey, Jack! What a high when you see your story displayed on that cover so appropriately. It is just mindboggling to me at how the artist can do that.

    Hi, Cari! Hmmm...another graphic artist among us? Here that ladies? Perhaps you'd like to drop by and talk about this subject one day. I'd love for you to.

    Susan! Yes, I love your covers as well. Eternity Waits cover is awesome!

    Hi, Lady V! hmmm...don't have a date yet for Bestial Cravings release but the edit process is complete. I'm sure I'll know any day now, LOL

    You are so welcome and so deserving of all the kudos, my friend. Isn't it wonderful how we can meet life-long friends in cyberspace? And maybe one day we can actually get together on a personal face-to-face level.

    Thank you all so much for your constant presence here. I so love your company!

    Sarita, Liana, Margay, and Judy! Wow! what a nice wake up call and a wonderful surpise. Thank you all for dropping by and please make a habit of it. I'd love to have you here anytime. Thank you, LASR, for spotlighting my blog today!

  13. Wow, the two book covers are awesome, Dayana! It seems to me that TWRP does have great artists to do the cover art. Your covers just jump right off the page. And the nice thing is they also show the essence in your stories. Great!

  14. I came over from LASR and I enjoyed your post about covers which can be so important.

  15. Helen's right, the covers are fantastic! I agree Dayana, giving specific instructions on your vision to the artist helps the process a ton. Thanks for posting such a great post!