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The Evolution of a Book Cover

Or everything you wanted to know and more . . .

I have a new book cover. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen way more about this cover than you ever wanted to know, but I thought it might be fun to share how I got HERE from way back THERE. The need to change came, of course, when the publisher with whom I’d been under contract decided to eliminate several books from their publication schedule—including mine.

In a former life I was a graphic designer. I’ve gotten rusty over the past 11 years, and Adobe programmers stand still for no one, so I didn’t feel qualified to re-design my own cover. I talked to an illustrator and other designers, and hadn’t come to any conclusions about which way to go.

The final cover is shown above. I really liked the concept below, which the publisher’s designer came up with.  I was not comfortable, however, with the price they set for me to purchase it. I decided to give it a go myself. They informed me they owned the copyright for the design work. I decided to start from scratch and create something similar, but not too similar. (Okay, it turned out quite similar, but only after I had a revelation along the way. More on that later.)

 

After some false starts, with chocolaty wooden spoon designs, and a storefront that was absolutely a bakery rather than a chocolate shop, the in-house designer and I settled on the design above. This is what I’ve been promoting for the past 8 months. It fits the genre, but has few hints about the story. And I begged for a bit of bling, but was thrilled, for the most part with the bling-less outcome.

When the publisher said they’d be willing to sell me the cover, but had to get me to the right person, I made some tweaks, since I wanted the original title back, anyway.

Upon learning how many smackaroos the “copyrighted” cover would cost, I started from scratch. I purchased the black graphic (above) for the overall shape of the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I simplified the shape and added awnings. I liked that there were upstairs windows, because, in my story, there are some mysterious things happening in the attic. I needed to re-do all the windows, though, to make them work.

 

 

 

 

 

New windows and a dancing couple upstairs. A friend suggested “glitter” and I remembered about that bling I’d begged for. I added the gold foil letters.

 

 

 

 

I continued to play with colors and fonts as I added chandeliers. I decided the smooth foil letters translated better than “glittery” ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, BINGO! I stumbled across this graphic, which is quite obviously where the the in-house designer began with the “copyrighted” design. I purchased the graphic and was now free to use whatever I wanted from it, including the facade shape at the top. See those adorable flags? They’d been covered up by the book’s title before. I had to use them, and they are my very favorite element!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This part is kind of funny. See all those cute little chocolates? I spent well over an hour putting all of those on the trays, even though no one will ever see them. They’ll be about the size of a pinhead. But if you look really closely, they’re in the right window of the shop. That’s the cool thing about vector art. You can infinitely resize it, without turning things into a blur.

 

 

 

 

Eventually, I got to the final product. The colors are warmer, the shop windows say “chocolaterie,” there are people dancing in the attic, with little flags fluttering above them in the breeze. I have the shiny gold letters I always wanted. This cover tells the story of my story in a way I didn’t know I could hope for. I’d thought I’d have to hire out everything but the writing, to be taken seriously as an indie-published author. Yet another example of how Impostor Syndrome can mess with our heads. I did the cover myself, and it turned out just fine.

Don’t forget! Join Tana’s Insiders Group to learn about upcoming books, events and giveaways. Sign up, and be entered to win the most delicious cookies you’ll ever eat!

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The Good, The Bad, & The Delicious

I’ve been waiting a month to make an announcement. I can let out my breath now. (Breathing is always a good thing.)

The Frustrating News (I won’t say “bad news,” because I am a true believer in “things happen for a reason.”)

I signed a publication contract at the first of the year. My book was to release in September 2017, then it was pushed back to January 2018. With the new publication schedule, I was to have begun working with my editor in August. As it turns out, the publisher was going through major staff and policy changes. They felt their schedule was overloaded by fiction titles, they were cutting back. My book was out.  After a month of wheel-squeaking, I just received my publishing rights back.

The Good News

Well, the best news is that I probably dodged a bullet. No one wants to work with chaos.

No. That’s not the best. The best is that I’m going to indie-publish this book, through my own company, SRE Ink. I’ve hired an experienced editor, I’m working toward keeping my cover, because I love it, and I’m taking my original title back—because it was always more clever than the one they came up with. It’s all good. AS LONG AS THERE IS CHOCOLATE will still release in January!

The Delicious News

I’d started a giveaway, and I had to postpone it because of the above conundrum. Now that I have the rights back in my hot little hands, it’s time again for the GREAT COOKIE GIVEAWAY!

Why cookies? Just look at these cute little shops, owned by Brown Butter Cookie Company, in Cayucos and Paso Robles, California. (Their brown butter sea salt cookies are to-freaking-die-for!)

The heroine in AS LONG AS THERE IS CHOCOLATE, Kate Hannity, restores a shop with this much history and charm, and opens a gourmet chocolaterie.

A little nepotism. My family of origin was very complex. There’s a story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls–Traci, Kim, and Christa. From a legal standpoint, they became my step-sisters for a decade or so. From the standpoint of my heart, they will always be my little sisters. Traci & Christa are business partners, who together own Brown Butter Cookie Company and The Cass House. (From very complex families of origin, my brothers, sisters and I turned out okay.)

While I’d been deciding which chocolate company to partner with for the giveaway, it was Captain Awesome Man who asked, “Why not your sisters’ cookies?” (He is brilliant. I should marry him.)

To enter the drawing, become a Tana Lovett Insider, and be the first to learn about more giveaways–and my upcoming books & events. (Don’t worry. This just means you’ll receive my newsletter, and you can unsubscribe at any time.) Not a cookie person? You have no soul, but sign up as an insider, anyway. These cookies make terrific gifts!