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Saturday, April 16, 2011

TOPIC: Do you have any ideas for your book cover?

To be asked for your thoughts and impressions on what should appear on the cover of your book is the most wonderful, exciting feeling - especially if it's your debut book!
Hair length/color (hero material!)

I experienced this process for the first time a few weeks ago. When I received the email from my editor (who mentioned she was off to a cover conference in a couple of days), my full-throated shout of delight scared my three cats silly.

What sorts of things do you submit to your editor? Well, some suggestions I made included:
  • physical descriptions of my characters (which I took straight from scenes in my book & I also included photos of models to depict their hair length/style/eye colour)
  • clothing (photos of styles of dress as well as armor, weapons, jewelry with examples of designs)
Eye color
  • tattoos/body markings/features (keep in mind I write paranormal so had to draw features of my non-human characters)
  • background settings (again I used descriptions taken from my scenes as well as photographs to depict the topography of major scenes in the book & flora)
Design on jewelry

  • diagrams (hand drawn sketch of a significant landscape within the book)
  • comments on tone of the book/colours (that need to be conveyed on the cover)
  • a 2-4 paragraph synopsis (a bit like a back cover blurb)
I put all this into a "mini-portfolio" (about 9 pages worth once I was done) in Word document then saved it as a PDF. A lot of fun and I'm happy to have had an input into this process.

Armor design
The good news is my editor had been thinking along the same lines, turns out we had similar ideas for the concept of the cover. Phew!

So, with the conference over and our ideas safely in the cover department's hands, now begins the wait to see what they come up with.


Did I mention how excited I am about this?

Rough sketch

I can't wait to see the finished product!


  1. How exciting, Kylie. Can't wait to see what they translate mini-portfolio.

  2. How fabulous! I've only been asked for comment after the first draft of the cover so how wonderful it must be to have some input! It must feel very real now :-)

  3. Eleni, I'm dying for the day my editor sends me the first look at the cover. Fingers crossed!

    Helene, I was really surprised to get some input. After being told at conferences for years not to expect a lot in this area, that the publisher took care of this side of things. So I was thrilled to be asked.