Evolution of a book cover

I’d like to start off by saying I have nearly 28 images I saved for possible book covers for Finding Fiona. My husband probably has 5-10. I’m showing you just a few.

First, I requested one from the lovely Fena Lee. I wanted to see what she came up with, and I assured her that if I used the cover for my ebook, I’d compensate her. She made me this:

Now, I really liked the picture (found here), but to me, this didn’t really say “Science Fiction/Adventure.” It seemed more literary to me. My husband took the picture and made this cover:

But we essentially had the same problem. It didn’t fit with the genre. Some people on Critique Circle forums suggest a superimposed face. They liked the fire image, but it needed more.

I played around with some models (found the stock photo on deviantart):

To a few people, the model seemed too complacent, not like she was a character in a story where her life is in danger. So, I found a new model from a stock photo I downloaded from istockphoto.com. The model looked a bit older, but when combined with the fire, she had the appearance of looking younger.

I really liked this model, but I also loved, loved, loved the book cover for The Venom of Vipers by K.C. May. I wanted the full face on the book cover. Well, I tried a few times to get the face to look good with the fire, but I finally handed it over to my husband and told him what I wanted. He flexed his mad skills with Photoshop, and gave me this gem:

Now, he gave me another book cover that looked almost exactly the same, but I asked him to increase the contrast to make the colors more extreme. I considered having “Fiona” bold instead of “Finding”, but “Finding” won. And now this is the official book cover! The only thing I might change: I may add a caption or a quote from a review along the top.

That’s how the cover for Finding Fiona developed. There were many more drafts, but these are the non-embarrassing ones 😉

3 thoughts on “Evolution of a book cover

  • I saw one of the early choices–I think it was the second one, or a variant on it–and I remember thinking: “Not bad, but missing…something.”

    I love the way it ended up coming out, great choice with the face and the glow on the font really pulls the eye to the title.

  • Hi Emily,

    You definitely ended up with the best one; it’s more dynamic and powerful. You stuck with some of the good qualities you started off with as well. Increasing the size of your name was a good idea.

    I can’t believe how little prominence the covers have on Kindle, though. All the detail gets lost and you can’t read anything small, which is often the author names and quotes. A great cover is still important for when you’re not using your Kindle or iphone etc …

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