|Rejected cover (with the old template on the |
bottom) because of lack of color
First of all, I don't do the cover alone. I do most of the conceptual work but have a graphic artist put it together and give it a nice polish. It's cheaper since he's not starting from scratch, but I know I need a professional to make sure everything lines up and people are getting a quality product.
(1) Load template. The template we use is based on Sourcebook's layout for books 2 and 3. It's a good layout, with a clear title and image and has a nice all-about look. The changes will be largely cosmetic between books. Books 5-8 all have the same fonts and the same general layouts. Most of them have the same pattern on the bottom half, though we changed it for book 6 and we'll change it again for book 8 because of the Japanese theme.
(2) Find public domain image to use. There's a ton of it online dating from the Regency period. Sometimes it's actually hard to find an image that hasn't been used for another edition of Pride and Prejudice or another published fan fiction. Some people prefer static images of say, a house or trees or something, but I prefer to have a scene of characters even if they don't look exactly like the characters in my books and never well. It's also important to be consistent with what my two previous publishers have done. I see a lot of people reusing the same images because they're popular so I try to avoid those. I also need the image to be a high-quality scan and large enough to fit neatly on the cover, and the image has to work as a square. This is the most difficult part of the process. I went through 4 hours worth of Japanese images for Book 8 before settling on the one I found in the first five minutes because I am a crazy person.
(3) Color scheme selection. At this point we've used most of the basic colors that look good on books (Book 1 is green, Book 2 is blue, etc). We don't want to directly re-use any colors. At this point Dave (my graphic designer, say hi to Dave everybody!) usually picks a color based on what we can't use and also what goes well with the image we picked, which is why Book 7 is orange, a color I normally would have thought would never work.
|Rejected cover (old template). Was not a square |
enough picture and only featured one person.
|Final cover choice for the image;|
The old template is still in place
because we haven't gotten around
to changing it yet.
(6) I order a "proof" copy, which comes and the spine image is like 1 mm wrong and Createspace says it's my problem and/or their system isn't perfect, and I fret about things I can't change for a while. So it goes.
I'm shooting for a December 15th publication date for Book 8. That is not in any way a hard date. My roommate is doing a last-minute final check on the text while I put everything into layout, finish the glossary, and try to find a way to pay my copy-editor. I hope she takes plasma or packages of Chrystal Light Lemonade. But I do hope for a mid-December publication. The eBook will almost certainly be available first because of technical things like shipping times and ordering proofs for the paperback. Watch this space for giveaways and deals coming up soon! I will discount Book 7 in the two weeks leading up to Book 8's release so people can get caught up.
In other news, I'm in Rabbinical school now, so there are additional reasons for me to be crazy these days.