The art for my first book is complete! Another step on the journey to publication. There will be additional iterations along the way, as I will need changes for physical books and might need adjustments for the final uploads to digital publication, but I’m checking this off for now.
To share a little about the process, I previously mentioned I reached out to three artists and was waiting on timelines and quotes. After selecting artist Jonathan Lebel, we started communicating more about what I was looking for in the image. I wanted a figure with a sword in a forest, with the forest showing subtle signs of going through a drought. The forest would be more of the focus than the figure.
I helpfully provided a detailed example of what I imagined it would look like.
First cut, I had to change the figure a bit, as the wings needed to be larger to fit with the story. Now she is wrapped up in them fully like a wrap dress or chainmail. We also went back and forth on font a few times, as this was about the book and not the art, so we needed the title to pop out at you. The first font selected also looked more like a romance novel, so we ended up changing that out.
The original flowy font had my test group (friends) thinking romance novel.
I researched other novel covers. The layout, the font(s) used, and the colors are all very important, as a cover is part of the book advertising. If I had to highlight only one lesson learned from this process, it would be to do more research about covers up front to determine more than only what I want the image to look like. The positioning and fonts used are just as important, and I will have more specific preferences for them at the start when I do this again.
I ended up going to Font Squirrel and searching for the Cinzel fonts for my cover. This is a font available for free download and use at &Discover. I described the font as striking with elegance when I was sharing it with my test group. The change was amazing and I loved how it fit the theme I was going for much better than before.
A big thank you to artist Jonathan Lebel for working with me on this cover. You can see his work on ArtStation at this link, and I’m sure it will not be difficult to spot the images that had me reaching out to him. He also provided the butterfly wings you now see at the top of my website pages. Should you happen to pick up my book once it is out, you can read all about those wings. More goals for 2021!