Justine: (Is It?) All About the Book Cover, part III – The Reveal!

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The big reveal!

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! Continue reading

Justine: (Is It?) All About the Book Cover

Recently, Nancy debuted her cover for the first novel-length book in her series, and Kay posted about the redesign she recently did for a previously published book. I find myself in slightly different territory…I don’t have a book published (although it’s coming later this year), yet I’m already redesigning the cover. Why, you may ask?

Marie Kondo. That’s why.

My cover does not “spark joy.” Don’t get me wrong…it’s a pretty good cover. But as time goes by, and the more I look at other covers in my genre, the more I think Continue reading

Justine: Finding My Own Cover Models and Staging a Shoot (part 1)

photo shootThis will be the first in a many-part post (which will happen over several months) about finding my own cover models and doing a custom photo shoot for my future book covers.

It stems from a lovely conversation-in-the-comments the Eight Ladies had with Ron Miller from Black Cat Studios, who designs many (if not all) of Lois McMaster Bujold’s covers. He talked about the creative process and showed us, via a series of links, how he goes from a simple picture of his wife or daughter (frequent models for him) to the final cover.

This and other conversations on various Facebook groups got me thinking that it might be worthwhile to find my own cover models, because here’s the problem in historical romance: there is a lack of original stock photography (assuming one wants a lady or man in proper historical clothing…I could always go for the 80s prom dress look as some authors have done, but that doesn’t suit me). Continue reading

Elizabeth: Self-Publishing 101 – Covers

publish_buttonLast Wednesday we kicked off our self-publishing series with an introduction, followed by Michaeline’s wonderful interview on Saturday with Lois McMaster-Bujold.

There are many things to consider when thinking about self-publishing.  Since the comments of Saturday’s post included a discussion of the importance of book covers, I thought that would be a good topic for us to address this week.

Books are often judged by their covers.  In many cases, the cover can be the first (and possibly only) chance for a book to make an impression on a potential reader.  For an interesting discussion about designing covers, check out Chip Kidd’s TED talk “Designing books is no laughing matter.  Ok, it is.”

“A cover is a book’s advertising – it functions to tell the prospective reader something about what is inside, with respect to both content and its place within the greater population of books.” ~ Theophania Elliott

A good cover evokes a response in the viewer – an emotional hit.  It draws the reader in and embodies the book, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s a big job for something that someone may only glance at for a second or two.


A strong cover is all about marketing; its job is to attract an audience.  Your audience.

So, how do you know what will attract your audience? Continue reading

Justine: Looks Can Kill

book covers, eight ladies writing, justine covington, sarah maclean

A well-designed cover for “One Good Earl Deserves a Lover” by Sarah MacLean.

In this era of self-publishing, where anyone can sell their book on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, etc., it’s important to differentiate yourself from the masses. To separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. A key way to do that, aside from writing a freaking fantastic book and paying for professional book editing, is to have your cover professionally designed by someone who knows what they’re doing. That last part is key and bears repeating in big, bold letters:

by someone who knows what they’re doing

Continue reading