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Control:

Many authors create their own book covers. This gives them complete control. I give these authors a lot of credit for having the ability to do their own. I don’t do my own, but feel lucky to have found a cover designer and artist who sees my vision.

Onward to the New: Branding

In December my newest book was published. The same designer did that book cover, too. See how it matches Cowboy Boss and his Destiny? Awesome, huh?

AvailableBonus Book #1.5 in the series

Vision

The first time a new cover draft pops up in my email, I’m ecstatic and a bit nervous. Something from my imagination is right there. This happens with each new draft I see for the first time. It takes a little while for it to sink in before I can comment to myself. Is it how I want it to look? Are the characters in the right place. The title?

Choosing my images for the cover beforehand helps the characters, setting, etc., to be real in my mind. My designer sometimes uses her images with mine to bring in her own creative design, and this is great because she also adds her vision—her creative expertise.

Watching it materialize throughout a couple more drafts is exciting. Even one item added, taken away, or moved can make such a difference. She also gives my series books a brand. Have your found it?

In the case of my cover for Heartbreak’s Reward, what you see now is the very first and only draft. It was perfect, and there was nothing to change or move. This cover was the easiest for me to decide on, but maybe the most difficult for her to create. I have been fussy at times. The couple on this cover is an exclusive image, meaning that particular image won’t appear on another book. Similar yes, exact, no. I paid dearly for that option with no regrets.

Upcoming Year:

2015 handwrittenMy first book cover to come out in 2015 will be a challenge for both of us. But, after all, she did win Best Artist of the year via Predators and Editors Poll.

This book is the fourth in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight. Dane, the youngest brother at the ranch has a rocking story. I impressed myself with this one.

 Trust

I say a challenge for both of us because I know what I have in my head for this upcoming book. Not to sound like a spoiled brat, but I want it to be this way. LOL. Okay, I do sound a bit like a spoiled brat. She already said, “I’ll try.” Well, that was months ago when we talked about it.

She’ll have the final word because I trust her judgement. Hmm, after talking to her last night, I can see this vision isn’t going to happen as I would like. This is where you have to trust the person in charge of a book cover that will be seen by who knows how many readers.

Stock Photos: Images=Vision

Often, I do ask her opinion of images well in advance to see if she can work with them before I fall in love with an image and purchase it. Some have been turned Tristan's Destinyaway. It takes hours to search for the right image, yet I know it’s the right one as soon as I see it. My redhead and little girl on Tristan’s Destiny was exactly what I had been looking for. To find a cowboy who hasn’t been used over and over is not an easy feat. The reason for the next section…

Special Request Shoot: Exclusivity

The new cover model coming up did a special request shoot, so you can see how important it is to me.

You might see images I have posted as my “Dane” on my book pages, Resizedbut that doesn’t mean he’s the same hero who did my special shoot. *Wink* I’m selfish with him and refuse to share right now. Don’t hold it against me.

*The muscles work on the guy alone in the picture, but he’s not the real Dane I’ll be using. I don’t mean to burst your bubble. I wouldn’t do you wrong. Trust me. This guy was going to be my Jase until I discovered the current cover model on Heartbreak’s Reward, Grigoris Drakakis.

I made the right decision with Grigoris.


So, folks, this is some of the things I do to acquire my book covers. I’m sure it sounds a lot easier than it is…but you try pouring over stock photo sites hour after hour. Especially the sexy heroes and couples shots. 😉

Thanks for reading.

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@maryjdressel
Yes, this is me before I added “McCoy” to my author name.

*This image came from Romance Novel Covers.