Most publishers, The Wild Rose Press which is mine included, ask their authors to fill out Manuscript Information and Cover Art Sheets to accompany completed manuscripts. In my case, for the recently released On The Surface. Book 1 in the Brothers In Blue series.
The Manuscript Information Sheet is self-explanatory and contains pretty cut and dried information such as the dedication, praise and reviews, blurb, excerpt, brief author bio and keywords. I won’t bore you with the details of those items except for the last one. Keywords. For On The Surface, I chose rebel hero, framed heroine, secrets and betrayal.
The Cover Art Sheet, obviously used by the artist to design the cover, can be a little trickier to complete in that it makes you think about your manuscript beyond the main characters and story itself.
Starting out, providing physical descriptions of the hero and heroine, is easy enough and can be as simple as blonde hair, blue eyes, slim build, and such. Casual to formal dress. Jeans, tank tops and T-shirts. That kind of thing.
Then there’s time period, season and setting. Again, easy peasy. “Present time/contemporary. Spring through Summer at the Rest Easy Bed and Breakfast on fictional Cascade Lake, a resort town in Northern Michigan. Also, some scenes take place in Metro Detroit.”
Next up is tone of the book. In this case, I entered “Deception, concealed identities. All is not what or whom, they seem with the undertone of big city crime set on the backdrop of a beautiful resort town bed and breakfast.”
Then we come to the question of what is the most important element of a book cover? Person, place or object? Animal? Couple? If couple, in what pose? I take that to mean what is the main component that explains what you’ve written? My reply was “A landscape of a lake. The title, On The Surface, refers to the deceit of the hero and heroine regarding each other and their relationship.”
Final question. What is the story really about? After months of writing, re-writing, editing and re-editing the story this should be a piece of cake, right? Not necessarily. Following much deliberation, I came up with “Deception and pursuit of vengeance by the hero. Independence from an abuser for the heroine.”
Whew! Done and done!
As many of you know, this is the finished product. And I must say I’m thrilled with the result.
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