HIDDEN SECRETS releases at the end of this month. I need to promote it. I don't intend to self-publish book one of my COUNTERSTRIKE series, (recently re-titled) FATAL ENCOUNTER, until May of 2019. For these reasons, I was NOT going to post my new cover. But I can't seem to control myself...
When I made the decision to self-publish this new series, I immediately stopped writing and started obsessing over covers. I was trying to put together a concept that fit with my outdoor scenery yet suspenseful vibe brand. I didn't want these to be exactly like my other covers, but I wanted them to be similar. I finally decided on scenes from the books where the heroine is running away from danger. Book One is in the woods. Book Two is on a rocky beach. Book Three is a pond near the heroine's cabin in the forest. Do you think I could find backgrounds I like with running silhouettes? Of course not. So, I emailed fellow Rose and cover designer extraordinaire, Alison Henderson, to see what she thought about adding a dark running woman silhouette to a background and to ask if she wanted to design my covers. She said "no problem." What a relief. But she also said she thought it would look better with a real person rather than the dark shadow I'd imagined.
And so the back and forth of creating the perfect cover began. So much thought goes into a cover. The concept. Images that convey the concept but also will actually work as a cover. It has to show up well in a thumbprint size plus attract the eye of a reader and make them click on it to read the blurb. I had a heck of a time finding background images that had a spot for the running figure, had a suspenseful vibe, but weren't too dark to show individual features, AND were cool and attractive enough to make a reader notice them. A tall order. We finally agreed on background images we both liked. Then, we had to find running women with the right coloring and the right clothes that could be dropped onto the backgrounds. Hello, 90% of the photos show women running toward the camera. Most all of them are wearing sports bras! Not what I had in mind for my heroines escaping crazed killers AT NIGHT in the dark and cold. We finally found images that work.
Putting them together is where Alison did her magic! She cropped the background, then overlaid mist on my running woman (very cool) to make her blend and placed her in the perfect spot after experimenting with sizing. She looked like she was floating. Yikes! I decided she'd have to move her forward to firmer ground, even though I liked the deeper placement better. Instead, Alison added a little more greenery at her feet to fix the "floating" problem and ground her. I was THRILLED with the results!
The final ingredient of any book cover is the lettering font, color, sizing, and placement for the title and author name. I did a little research into what the top romantic suspense authors use. Most were straightforward fonts, no cutesy or rounded letters. It has to reflect the suspenseful genre, after all. White was a no-brainer on this background. Size and placement were the next aspect to consider. Big name authors mostly use very simple backgrounds with their name at the top in LARGE lettering. The title is generally at the bottom. Authors without name recognition have larger titles at the top and their names in smaller type at the bottom. I decided to use a combo of this. Title at the top, but my name in equally large type at the bottom. Why tell readers, hey this author does NOT have name recognition? Maybe if my name is large, they'll think they SHOULD know who I am. At least that was the thought process I used. Alison found the perfect font and put my request for sizing into action, and we got it done on the second try. Amazing!
So, here it is! The final cover of FATAL ENCOUNTER. I love it! I'm forever grateful to Alison for being so accommodating and working with me to make my vision better than I originally imagined. We're a terrific team! What do you think? Did we do a great job? Does this look like romantic suspense? Would you click on it to read the blurb?
To check out my other book covers, visit my WEBSITE. And don't forget to pre-order HIDDEN SECRETS! Happy reading!