Part Five: A Cover that Leaves You Speechless
Never judge a book by its cover.
Yet, it’s the eye-catching covers that draw a reader’s eye in the bookstore when they are perusing the shelves for their next favorite author.
I knew from the start, before I had even finished the first draft of Fire Wolf in 2013, that I wanted a book cover that I loved as much as I loved my story. I wanted something organic and alive, so I went on the hunt for stock images licensed through Shutterstock for artwork that I thought would meet my needs.
I had no doubt I could pull off designing a cover that I loved. I worked as an editor for a newspaper for many years, and part of my job was creating visually appealing graphic and layout design. Photoshop has always been a friend of mine.
This is what I came up with:
My early cover wasn’t bad, but it also didn’t meet my expectation of something organic and alive.
Fast forward to 2014. A friend revealed the cover for her fantasy novel, which completely floored me. The artist had hand-drawn her cover to depict the dystopian elements of the book, and having read the novel, I couldn’t believe how much the cover reflected the novel. She gave me the name of the artist, and I approached UK artist Janice Duke to see if she could bring my vision of Fire Wolf (Fire & Reign) to life. I sent her a copy of the cover I had designed and explained what I hoped to see.
I was in love from the first draft copy she sent me:
By the time I reviewed the final version, I knew I had scored a cover that I would love for the life of my book. Five years later (2019) as I prep for publication, I am still just as much in love with the cover as I was the day she sent it to me to review.
Best production choice I’ve ever made. Thank you, Janice, for your beautiful art.