One of the most fun parts of publishing my first book has been the cover design process. When I opened the initial email from Hannah, Creative Director at Ambassador International, I was so excited! She sent me some great concepts, then we worked together to decide on the right cover for "Grace & Lavender." I thought it would be fun to show you the covers that I didn't select and explain why.
The vision I originally gave Hannah was for a store front, where the title would be the name of the store on the window. I envisioned it like a painting rather than a photograph. I told her I preferred not to use faces on the cover, because I wanted the reader to come up with their own ideas of how the characters look. I also gave her an awesome photograph of the Blue Ridge Mountains, taken by my friend Keith Sidden, who is an outdoor enthusiast and a great photographer/videographer (check out his Instagram), and I asked if it could be used on the back cover of the book.
The first option she sent was a store front textured to look more like a painting and colorized a lavender tint. What I didn't notice at first, is that she had taken the photograph of the mountains that I'd sent and made it a reflection in the store window. This was a really cool concept, but it didn't do the photograph justice and the store front was not like the one described in the book. (Unfortunately, we weren't able to use the mountain photo on the back cover either.)
At the same time she sent Option #1, she sent me Option #2 below. This is a very attractive cover, but there were two things not right about it. The girl does not look like the character Grace--who is smaller and has straight, dark hair--and, in the story, Grace never visits a lavender field.
I liked how she used a tag for the background of the title, and she actually managed to get the photo of the mountains on the tag, too! (But it still just didn't do the photo justice.)
I liked the lavender field and the tag concept of Option #2, and I mentioned possibly making the scene brighter, maybe with some sky. and making the field more dimensional. Option #3 below was very close! She put an arrangement of lavender in the foreground and the open field in the background. And it had sky which brightened up the look. But the tag didn't feel like a "boutique" soap store to me. It needed some touching up.
She also sent Option #4 with lots of sky and an awesome embellishment around the title. I'd sent her something similar that I liked from another book, and she delivered on it! But one problem was that the image is from a lavender field in France, not the foothills of North Carolina. The mountains were pretty, but they weren't "my" mountains.
Finally, we arrived at the cover image that is soon going to press! The tag used for the title background is perfect, and she even made the little string wrap around to the back of the book. The Blue Ridge are in the background and given a purplish tint. I love it!
There are lots of directions we could have gone with cover images, but I am very pleased with my first book cover, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for the cover of "Where I Was Planted", which will be in the Creative Design phase soon!
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Thank you for visiting my blog. I share devotional articles and musings about life, parenting, and the writing journey, as well as important news about my books. I hope you find something of interest here!
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