|Cover design by Anne-girl at http://scribblingskeyboard.blogspot.com/|
So, in February, I won a raffle hosted by Anne-girl on her blog. The prize was a "for fun" book cover designed by her. She contacted me promptly and we began working on this cover.
My job was to give her some info on the story -- something she could build a cover around. Her job, of course, was the artistic part.
This opportunity to have Anne-girl work on a cover with me was, in my opinion, a fantastic opportunity for me to walk through the steps. I've never had someone make a cover for me before. What would it be like?
After I sent my initial information to Anne-girl, she came back with a set of drafts that she had created -- different covers she had come up with based on the information I had given her.
Looking at those covers, I could see what "rang true" to my story and what didn't. I emailed her back with my favorite two covers and what I liked about them, and we went from there. That helped me to communicate better. I could see where I had neglected to give her necessary information. Looking at her pictures helped me to explain what I did want and make sure we were on the same page.
Here is an analogy of what happened (in oversimplified terms):
Me: Dear Anne, I want you to draw me a shape.
Anne: Okay, here are some shapes. Which one do you like? Or should I start over with different kinds of shapes? (She includes sketches of a circle, a square, and a triangle)
Me: Oooh, I like that round one, but I wish it had four corners like the square one.
Anne: Okay, here is a picture of a square with rounded corners. (sketch included)
Me: That's nice. Can you make that square longer?
Anne: How about a rectangle with rounded corners? (Sketch included)
Things I like about this cover:
---The girl's attitude: There is a place or two in the story that I think is captured well here.
---The dark background: The dungeon in my story was a dark place. It is deep underground, and the torches are not often lit.
---The light streaming in: this has a double meaning for me. There is a place in the dungeon where a small beam of light does stream down, much like the light on this cover. But also, the light is metaphorical because it is in the dungeon that my princess' eyes are opened to the world around her.
---The lantern: A lantern is never mentioned in my book, but I still very much like this lantern because of its symbolism. Lanterns are meant to search the dark, and they are meant to bring light. Both of these things are fitting, in my book.
---The pretty script: one of the drafts that Anne showed me had morbid lettering - it made me think of a horror story. I realized that I have a very dark title. The word "Dungeon" looks very good in "horror lettering". But the inside of my book is not meant to be dark and morbid. So I needed to offset my title with a pretty script. I like this script that Anne chose. It is serious enough to fit my book ("Comic Sans" would not have worked) but still light, elegant, old-fashioned, and pretty.
Anne was easy to work with, and I very much enjoyed having a cover done by her. Thank you, Anne-girl!
P.S. To see other posts on Dungeon, click on the label of that name. You can also find more info under "Works in the Wings."