Sometimes it really does take a village. . .
Yesterday I told you a bit of the “science” behind covers, as well as the part authors play or don’t play in the conception and finalization. Today, a bit about the cover of When We Were Sisters and what an author, art department, editorial, marketing and various other players did to get there.
Really, shouldn’t this be simple? It’s what, a photo, your name and a title. How hard is that?
Before I go even a sentence further, I do need to admit that now that I’m self-publishing my backlist with new covers, I better understand the problems with getting a cover exactly right. At the moment, my cover designer and I are going over and over ideas for a book I wrote years ago. Unfortunately some of my ideas made scrunch-your-face-in-horror covers. Others were boring or confusing. We’re still working.
Luckily when the time came to create a cover for When We Were Sisters, everyone seemed in agreement. When We Were Sisters is the story of two foster sisters, Robin and Cecilia, reaching back into their past as they film a documentary on the foster care system. My job was to convey that story and the appearance of the characters to the art department.
While I sent in sample stock art for my characters as they appear in the novel, I also sent photos of them as children. In addition I sent covers of bestselling novels picturing children. (Two of those appear here.) I also sent photos with poses I liked, and stock art with no characters that depicted some other aspect of the story.
My editor thought children were the best idea, and I agreed. We were on our way.