Everybody knows the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” As both a reader and an author, I say, “Yeah, right!” When we browse books whether in a physical store or online, we reach for the ones with a cover that appeals to us. Hence, a lot of time and money is spent on covers that seek to grab readers’ attention.
Since my first book was published, I’ve learned what it’s like to be involved in that process. All three times, I’ve been consulted about my vision for it but with the understanding that the publisher has the final say. In the case of Husband in Hiding, my idea didn’t fit well with the company’s, but I was thrilled with the one they first presented to me. It was this beautiful yet mysterious house façade, and they even asked me for input on the siding and colors. However, issues that are still unknown to me arose when it went to print, so we had to go back to the drawing board.
I’ll skip the details, but that drawing board was liable to give me a heart attack! I was shown a couple designs that I wanted to accept to keep everything chill, but I couldn’t. I was afraid it would kill my career, frankly, before it began. To my gratitude, my feelings were taken into account, and after a harrowing month, we settled on the intriguing one I have today.
With Forgetting My Way Back to You, I was given a form to fill out, where I could provide my thoughts. My concept, again, differed from the ones in charge, but they followed my suggestions about the characters’ attributes. It captured the essence of the story well…and it stirred up some hilarious debates among my friends about whom the characters were fashioned after!
That leads me to my brand-new cover for my upcoming book, Brother of Interest. The process was similar to my previous experience, with me having to fill out a sheet. I listed several elements they could draw off of, before I was asked for my ideal vision. I related that I always pictured a stroller with handcuffs hanging off of the handle, based on one of the book’s outrageous scenes. I didn’t hold out a lot of hope that they’d go for the unconventional concept, but to my delight, they did!
Needless to say, the production of a book cover takes much consideration and cooperation. It can be nerve-racking, too, especially when the time arrives to share it with the world. You get some positive feedback and usually, a little negative, but you can’t let it spoil the experience. Your cover is the ultimate representation of your story becoming what you always meant it to be—a book!