For a writer, the publishing process has its highs and lows. Structural revisions can be trying or satisfying copy editing can be tedious or reassuring and doing promo interviews and blogs can be fun but also time consuming.

One aspect of the publishing process I always enjoy, however, is the creation of the cover. I think many authors do. It’s always fun to see how an artist or graphic designer has represented your story with one catchy visual image.  Seeing potential covers for the first time, refining those covers and ultimately coming up with the best one to market a story is exciting. Some publishers let the author have more say than others. I’ve been lucky in that my opinion has always been sought for the covers of my books.

The cover for “The Girl in the Hard Hat” is being finalized as I write this. Unfortunately, I can’t show it to you yet but hope to do a big reveal very soon. Originally, Random House was hoping to put a girl on the front wearing or holding a hard hat. My editor bought a hard hat online. It sat on her desk for a few weeks while they sorted out a photographer and a model. She got lots of comments from her colleagues about the type of authors she must have to deal with if she needs a hard hat to get through it all.

In any event, after the pictures were taken that still didn’t seem quite right. So Random House went back to the tried and true method of trying to buy images from a media company.  Eventually, after much trial and discussion they found the perfect model for my heroine, Wendy. Though unfortunately, she will not be wearing a hard hat for the cover.

I remember when “The Girl in Steel Capped Boots” came out, some of my male friends wanted to know how these models were chosen. They asked me whether I got to interview a stack of beautiful women and then pick one- you know, your typical male fantasy.  Unfortunately, I had to disappoint them and reveal that this was not the case, and “no” I couldn’t introduce them to the woman on the cover. I didn’t even know her name.

These days most covers are made up of a collage of pre-taken or stock images purchased from a media company.  Particular genres are given particular styles too so that readers will pick up a book and know immediately from the layout of the cover what sort of story it’s going to be.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my next cover with you. Watch this space because it won’t be long now…


2 thoughts on “Covers

  1. Great post Loretta. My first novel Blackwattle Lake is being published by Hachette and I’ve just been through the same cover process you discuss here. It’s a real juggle between finding an image that fits what’s in the writer’s head and what the marketing team know will work. And there’s only a limited supply of photos in the media libraries. I found I’ve had to adjust my mental image and realised that it’s all about the marketing. My 16 year old daughter did volunteer herself as a model but I don’t think she’d fit the bill either as the protagonist is 36! I’m happy with the final result though and can’t wait to see it in print.

    • Congratulations on your first book Pamela! Yes, it is all about marketing and what layouts they reckon will work rather than being technically correct. But I have still been very pleased with all my covers.

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