With Book 3 of the Not So Reluctant Detective series hitting the shelves last week, I thought it was a good time to discuss aspects of the previous novel in the series, Picture Not Perfect. In this post, I talk about developing the cover for Picture Not Perfect.
As Picture Not Perfect is book 2 of the Not So Reluctant Detectives series, I thought the cover would be a snap to develop. In order to ensure readers recognize individual books in a series, the covers for each book in the series should be consistent. Sounds easy, right? Not so much. The development started out well enough. We kept the background the same as the previous book Finders, Not Keepers. We also re-used the library card in the corner, which features my name and the series name. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for a cover.
The style for the title itself was easy. Well, at least it was easy after I finally figured out what to name the book. Naming novels is not easy, let me tell you. But that’s a story for a different day. I wanted to use a font that hinted towards the premise of the book and was reminiscent of the title – namely that a picture isn’t always correctly (aka perfectly) telling a story. I started researching fonts that resemble shattering. Within a few moments, I found the shattering glass font used on the cover. Luckily, my designer liked it as well.
So now I had the title, the background, and my name with the series name. Those elements a cover does not make. Unfortunately. At this point you’re probably wondering why I’m this deeply involved in designing the cover. Isn’t that what cover designers are for? Yeah, sure, if you can afford one. My husband, who has self-taught himself graphic design, is the one who actually puts my thoughts into an actual cover. And while he’s awesome at putting my ideas onto paper …er… computer file, coming up with a conceptual design is not his area of expertise. Although to be completely honest, he’s willing to take a stab at it. I’m the one who may be a tiny bit hesitant.
I went back to the actual novel itself as I feel it’s important for the cover to hint at what the book is about (not just some hot guy to drool over). The heroine of Picture Not Perfect is harassed by the police as they believe she was stalked by the murder victim. The theme of stalking comes back again and again in the novel. A-ha, I thought, I can incorporate something about stalking in the cover. My excitement lagged after spending hours going through stock photos of stalking pictures. I couldn’t find what I wanted, but my idea was now firmly developed. I wanted a picture of my heroine, Melanie, being stalked. This is when my designed really shined. He took my idea and developed it into a cover, which was a relief as I was about to tear my hair out!
And that’s how the cover for Picture Not Perfect came to life. What do you think? Did I maintain the same ‘feel’ for all covers of the series?