Cover art for my third book has been quite a journey. But I have the finals now, which I’ll share with you after a little of the story.
The process starts with a cover art info sheet, where the author communicates with the publisher what his ideas for the cover are. At this point, not really understanding the process, I naively sent this back,
My best idea for a cover is a place setting at a table in the diner. Typical country dishes, a full or half-full coffee cup, etc. The place setting could then be enhanced with some of these objects, which play a significant role in the novel.
– The goddess pendant that George had made for Nimue
– The Celtic brooch
– A Celtic divining rune
– 3 Roman coins
– A roll of duct tape
– A reservation card at the place, “Reserved for the Yankee from Charleston”
and went on to take descriptions from the book about what each of those looks like.
Not long after, I went through the process of choosing the vial of love potion for Strange Bedfellows. That was when I learned that most of the images come from a database and are not personally drawn. Duh. Of course, no way could SMP pay for an artist to draw my cover.
But: what I didn’t do is go back and revise what I had sent in. Double Duh.
Anyway, here’s what I got back from the cover art department.
Our cover designer struggled a bit based on the descriptions you gave or preferred cover objects. I hope you can understand that we deal in stock images as cover designers, and very specific requests for a cover of objects that are unique or specific to your story are usually not feasible.
Along with this first pass cover.
OK, that wasn’t going to do. But SMP has always been extremely cooperative and easy to work with when it comes to covers (and pretty much everything else). They’d given me access to the database previously, and so I spent a couple of hours searching for useable objects.
Nada. Not a single thing that could remotely be called a broach or a Celtic divining rune. Duct tape was about it.
So we worked it out. Here’s the final cover (drum roll please).