Well, friends, after several months of market research and improvement of my Adobe CC skills, I have finally stepped into the amazing and exciting world of catching the attention of a reader at the book store…book covers!
My first released book cover is for Maggie Marr, the beginning of a six book romantic suspense series set in Hollywood. I love doing a series because that means I get to design a little series logo and make the books feel like a set. I love a good challenge!
For the first book, I began with the genre: Romantic Suspense. I did a lot of research on what that means when it comes to a successful cover, and then I started looking for the perfect images and fonts. I had already designed Maggie’s name logo, so I had that element. I wanted to use blue because the character has blue eyes, and I chose this model because he has light eyes, easy to make a deep blue.
My first draft looked like this (left). Definitely blue, definitely noticeable…
I was pretty happy with the main image, but we knew that the same image had appeared on at least two other books (rightly so, he’s a great cover model and it’s an incredible photo) so I wanted to make him look even more different from the previous uses. I’d already manipulated the image quite a bit, adding a dramatic feel. But also, this character is a former marine, so I added a hint of tattoo. I also removed his hands from the image completely, to help bring the viewer’s focus to more important things…his eyes!
I added the series logo design, did more Photoshop magic and voila! Done, right? Or so I thought… Then came the long process of creating the full flat for paper books.
I learned so much in this first digital to print experience. I learned that even though I thought I understood color management in Photoshop, I was missing a few details. For instance, the blues I chose were just not going to be as vibrant in the paper version, no matter what I did. I spent days making minute adjustments and researching color management…but basically, I was out of luck.
When we got the proof back from CreateSpace, to my horror, the blues had gone…PURPLE! That was NOT my intention for this book, so I went back and did even more research and color profile adjustments. I’m so grateful to have seen the proof and had a chance to address the final color issues before it went to print.
At the same time, I received some notes on the cover. Since I was color correcting anyway, with Maggie’s blessing, I decided to make further adjustments. I finally came to peace with the colors and I’m very happy with this final cover.
I’m honored that Maggie is taking a chance on me as a cover artist! So…would you notice this book? And would you buy it?