Wow, nearly a month has passed since I posted about my desire to redesign the book cover for my first-in-the-series historical romance, His Lady to Protect. You can view a recap of what I didn’t like about the previous cover (and examples of what I was looking for) here, and a first take at the redesign here.
But this post is about how, with the amazing talents of my designer, Mariah Sinclair, I have a book cover that SPARKS JOY! Mariah has been doing covers for awhile. She owns the site The Cover Vault and specializes in cozy mysteries, paranormal, and WF. She’s only recently broadened her repertoire to historical romances, but I think she’s done a bang-up job with mine. She offers both pre-made as well as custom covers (but she just announced that she’s closed to taking reservations for custom covers until August…she’s booked until then).
Before we get to the final design, though, let me walk you through where I ended at my last blog post, and where the cover design went next.
These are the first proofs Mariah came up with:
I was quickly able to rule out the white text. The gold she used has a tarnished look to it and it appealed to me immensely. I also preferred the image on the left that has a more zoomed out view of the couple, because it allowed for more of the text to be on the red swag background, making it easier to read.
I asked her to jazz up my name, adding a few little swishes and swirls, so it wasn’t quite so boxy, as well as try to make the image seem more “painterly.”
The next challenge was incorporating both my Beggars Club logo (which she was redesigning for me), as well as a pull quote (which I hope will be replaced someday with a testimonial). For the logo, I wanted to add something with swords (sort of manly, evoking honor, plus most of them were involved in the Napoleonic Wars in some form or fashion). I showed Mariah some ideas and she ran with it.
Here’s what she came up with next:
I definitely thought she was on the right track. I loved the painted effect of the couple, and loved how she made her dress “fade to red” at the bottom. She did a great job on my name, too.
But I wasn’t satisfied with was the logo. Not so much the logo itself, which I thought was pretty good, but its placement on the cover seemed to me like it was thrown in for the sake of including it. And I wasn’t thrilled that the pull quote was obscuring his forehead (again, read my last post for my cautionary tale about selecting artwork images that are cropped). So I asked Mariah for some further changes.
Here’s the next iteration (she sent four, but these stood out):
Again, I thought we were getting close, but the logo seemed like it was just thrown on the image. Everything else sat right with me, except the logo.
Then I noticed the fourth image she sent…where she basically said “screw the logo” and used text instead, and THIS is the one that sparked joy:
There it is! My new book cover! Now that I have the image, I’m using some amazing tools like Book Brush and DIY Book Covers to create my own FB headers, images for my website, and book videos.
And that’s my book cover journey! Mariah and I have planned out the dominant colors for the remaining covers in the six-book series. The font will remain the same, and we’ll use the Beggars Club logo on the spines of the hard-copy books. I’ll also use the logo in my own branding, as well as the font for my name.
Thoughts? Did you have a different favorite? Does the style of the cover grab your attention?