The Making of a Book Cover

We do judge a book by its cover. That’s why authors often agonize over this step (and they should!) Indeed, it’s the first impression the reader has of what the inside might contain. As an independent author, I have complete control over this image. And while this takes more work on my part, I am happy that I do.

My cover artist is Kelsey Curkeet. She’s a professional artist in my hometown and just happens to be my niece. If I didn’t have access to a professional artist, I might utilize one of the many online book cover creators. There’s a ton of stock footage out there and that is definitely one way to go. I’m lucky that I can work with an artist to create exactly what I want.

Circle of Nine – Sacred Treasures will be released on November 16, but the book cover discussion began at the beginning of the summer. I had recently returned from a research trip to Ireland and had these fabulous photos of a dolmen. I knew I wanted this stone structure to have a starring role on my book cover.

The Kilclooney Dolmen near Adara in Co. Donegal is a megalithic tomb built between 4000 and 3000 BC. There’s not a lot known as to the functionality of the many dolmens that appear across Great Britain and northern France. Sometimes human remains are buried in the area and sometimes they are not. This mystery allowed me to have some fun in defining the purpose of this dolmen in my novel.

Kelsey likes to work from photo images and uses the Photoshop program to digitally “paint” the covers for me. This results in a high quality image with incredible dpi that allows me to resize and zoom in without the image becoming blurry. This isn’t important for a book cover size but when I create a promotional poster or banner this is definitely something I appreciate. When I first brought these photos to Kelsey, she created a rough sketch to show what she was envisioning. I gave my thumbs up to the image below.

The Making of a Book Cover

A number of weeks later we got together to finalize colors and position for the cover. I had given Kelsey the rough estimate of size at that point. I knew from my previous books in this series what the approximate width would be (based on page count). Using a computer program allows for instant changes, which is both incredibly satisfying and efficient. My only adjustment was to make the color of the robes on the figures in the foreground slightly more muted.

This is the final art. Officially, I have purchased this and can now use it for any of my promotional purposes as needed.

I then take the art and overlay the title and back cover and spine copy to make the paperback cover.

Here's the final version.

The Making of a Book Cover

Kelsey is a versatile artist who spends much of her day now working on her reclaimed wood projects. You can see these awesome pieces on her website at: EleventyOneStudio

If you're an author, I'd love to hear how you created your book cover design!







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