Monday, August 18, 2008

On the road to re-COVER-y

Mary Connealy submitted a covey of questions last week concerning how we develop our cover art. The process is different according to the line--for some books we use photography and for others we use artist-generated artwork. Since I only have first-hand knowledge of what goes into the development of our HPMysteries! covers, I will walk us through that process now and will let the other gals answer for their specific lines.

The covers for the Heartsong Presents--MYSTERIES! book club line are all hand-created by the same artist--Kirk DouPonce of DogEared Design. Six months to a year prior to publication, we ask the authors for some general ideas of what they envision on their covers (since no one knows a book as well as the author!). Of course, we make sure they understand up front that we may not be able to comply with their wishes, but I believe our authors really appreciate the opportunity to provide input. Based on the author's suggestions, the artist then provides a rough pencil sketch. We then run these pencil sketches by the author for their input and approval prior to finalizing the sketches by adding the color, border, and title information.

HPM subscribers know that we use a set variety of fun "frames" for our mysteries. Among our standard frame selections are a variety of curtains, gates, wood and glass doors. Because of the extra expense required for these templates, we are only able to add one or two new frames each year, but it is amazing how different these standardized frames look when matched with different story scenes.

I thought you might like to see the progression from pencil sketch to final cover art for three mysteries from our next release cycle. Don't these fun covers just make you want to dive right in and start reading? SKD


Lynette Sowell said...

(Jumping up and down inside!) I'm so excited because at last I can "see" my baby before it actually arrives. This is my first glimpse of the cover in full color. I love having input with the covers. For the Wiles of Watermelon, I actually submitted three different cover ideas and let the artist choose. And I love how they captured the storm. Nothing like making fruit a little threatening, huh?

Debby Mayne said...

What a gorgeous cover, Lynette! I know you must be super excited. The colors are rich and inviting.

Ausjenny said...

Wow this is so cool thanks for sharing.
Lynette I love the look of your new book. Oh just wondering if you got my last email

Myra Johnson said...

Interesting! Thanks for these vivid examples, Susan. I love seeing how the idea evolved into finished artwork.

Erica Vetsch said...

I had to show this post to my daughter who is interested in all things art. She thinks a job as a book cover designer would be cool, and I have to agree. Thank you for a glimpse of the sketches and a peek into some of what goes on between contract and release.

Mary Connealy said...

I attended this meeting of the Nebraska Press Woman and we gave awards to several different high school students for school newspaper work.

One of the winners drew political cartoons and while we sat their watching the presentation, this kid, a young girl, sat and scribbled just like she couldn't really stop her hands from moving. She drew pictures all over this disposable placemat that were so amazing.
That kind of talent I just do NOT understand. It's very mystical to me. I might write a book with an artist in it. It's intriguing to have that skill just flow out of you.

Cathy S. said...


I love these covers and have read quite a few of the books. They will look great on shelves but I haven't seen any on shelves. How does that work? When can we expect them in stores after being sent to the book club?

Maybe they're there and I've not seen them?

Cathy S.