I think the most anxiety-producing element of constructing a book, aside from finishing the manuscript of course, is the cover. How do you create a single image that encapsulates an entire 300-page narrative? And what if the designer doesn’t have the same vision you have for the book jacket? These thoughts probably go through every writer’s head as the production of the physical book gets underway. In my case, I had no idea what I wanted the cover of my first novel with Bold Strokes Books, All Things Rise, to look like. I’m also not the greatest at selecting fonts. But what I did have was a very clear image for the main character of the book, Cole. I started with a sketch and then fleshed out the character portrait in black and white. The tones were all added using brush tools in Photoshop.
This brings me to the next uneasy spot in the process. What if when I send the character image to the designer she doesn’t want to use it? I was prepared for this and resigned to use the image of Cole I had created to promote All Things Rise online if the image didn’t end up on its cover. Fast forward a few weeks… all my worries were for nothing! Sheri, the cover designer at Bold Strokes Books, was fantastic to work with. Basically, I gave her a finished image of my book’s main character and she created my book’s “world.”
I love this cover image. I’m crazy about it. I keep it on my phone so I can show it to my friends, whether they want to see it or not (smile). Thank you, Sheri and Radclyffe! May 2015 can’t come soon enough!