Let me first say that I only had one goal for my book cover: I wanted to look at it everyday for ten years and never get tired of it. I couldn’t just like it. I had to love it.
Cory Clubb and I started working together June 11, 2013. I talk about him all the time on here because he’s just. that. good. Click on his name to go to his website, Go Bold Designs. He’s also got a stellar book that’s also a thrillah. It’s stellar. I know. I like read it and stuff. I think it’s safe to assume he designed his own cover.
I knew that for YA fantasy, a girl in a lush dress was totally in vogue, but I didn’t like any of these models for Bianca, my main character. So he threw this one into the mix for me.
My story doesn’t have anything to do with keys, but the progression of the Miss Mabel’s School for Girls banner began. I also decided I didn’t want my first initial as I originally thought, as you can see in the first three.
Per my brainstorming with him, he came up with following three mock ups:
Of the three, the last one (mock up # 6) is the one I liked the best. It spelled my name right, and the person looked like a human. Her eyes were very engaging. The banner was moving towards something I really liked here.
The only problem with this cover is, that while compelling, it actually features my antagonist. That’s a no-no. My friends also said she looked like a porn star. O_o
Back to the drawing board. At this point, DSR convinced me that I needed to go back to the basics and stick with what sells: young girls in dresses. (This is sometime around September). So Cory produced this:
At this point, I’m digging the banner.
The top mock up (mock up #9) was far too dark over her face, but I loved the magical, ethereal glitter across the front. He lightened it up for me and added some more swirls for more magical effect in mock up 11 (shown below.)
I sat on this for a week or two, showed it around, and got the response that people loved the warmth of mock up #10. However, I wasn’t sure I loved it. So he played around with it and sent me the following:
This (mock up 12 above) was the first full cover that I’d seen (he sent it to me 9.22.13). I squeed over the swirls and whorls on the back. The colors were good. Muted but still bright. But now I wasn’t sure if I liked her looking right at me from the front cover. He sent me another idea.
I didn’t like this one at all. (It reminds husband of that one artist that drew the campbell soup cans?) but still wasn’t sure if I was in love with #12, so he came up with another idea.
At this point, I had re-convinced myself to steer away from the “expected” book covers and do something I would love, so we started towards more of a textbook style cover. I loved the placement of the banner in mock up 16 (below) but didn’t love the symbols.
I also had the bright idea to focus on a woodsy kind of scene, since the forest plays a big role, so he tried these out on me. (This 10.29.13. A little over 3 months since he sent me the first mock ups.) But I didn’t love the pastel colors, even though I asked him to retain the pretty sparkles, which he did. Sigh . . . moving on.
At this point, I was percolating more and more on the ‘school book’ idea that he started in mock up 16 above, so I told him to send it to me in different colors and without the symbols.
This was moving where I wanted, so I sent him some tweaks and he came up with this:
This was definitely up the alley I’d been picturing. At this point, I needed some feedback, because I knew the ‘popular choice’ for the cover would have the young girl on the front. But I didn’t love it. I put up this blog post on December 12th asking for people to decide between mock up 22 (above) and #’s 12 and 14. I got a huge response, tallied all the votes and . . .
Mock up 22 tied with 12 (the girl looking at the camera with sparkles).
So I did what I wanted. I chose mock up 22, picked a few more tweaks, and Cory sent me this on January 1st:
So tweak away with fonts to get a more dramatic look that I liked infinitely better. This is where the imprint went on for the first time. The white box just didn’t do it for me, so I sent him another one and had him change the color of the font.
This was much better. But then I decided to change the wording on the front.
And huzzah! We have success on mockup 25 (seen below) in February of 2014. The perfect cover. So far I’ve looked at it everyday and never gotten tired of it.
Cory Clubb: the genius man of total patience.
Don’t forget: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls releases March 27th. THAT’S IN TWO DAYS.
There’s a ton of giveaway swag to be earned, and positive reviews popping up everywhere, so come by on the 27th and we’ll send you to Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, or iTunes, where you can purchase a paperback or Kindle version for yo’self.