There are hundreds of blogs and books on cover design; many of which I have read. Some of these educational blogs and books stress the use of symbolism, while others counsel using people on the cover because the story is all about the characters. Others advise to avoid images of characters, claiming readers like to imagine what the characters look like, concerned my images and the reader’s might not be the same.
The design for the trilogy covers went through many incarnations. I think at one point, I had 14 different designs. I narrowed them down by asking friends what kind of book they thought the design represented. Here are a couple ideas that went away quickly.
I liked the idea of the crystal on the cover but those weren’t quite right. From here, I was able to narrow it down to three basic ideas. I needed a design that would cover each book with its own story yet carry the theme throughout the series.
The finalists were:
In third place was a series of landscapes:
I thought the forest images set the tone for outdoor adventure. Book one starts in the spring and is all about growing. Book two begins in autumn and changes direction radically. Book three covers more than the winter, but like a brand new year, the Survinees step into a brand new world.
In second place was a series of people.
This series was a bit more complicated and may appear in the condensed version of the trilogy as I’ve been rethinking the idea of using people on the cover.
I chose the first image because the uncertainty in the model’s eyes reminded me of Kairma always asking questions. The second model looked just a little devious as Kinter could be at times. The last woman had a futuristic air about her reminding me of the mountain community from which she came. From here I had to use my Photoshop skills to create a fictional people who fit the story. When writing the Healing Crystal Trilogy, I had very distinct images in my mind of the various characters. I spent days prowling through the stock photo websites, looking for interesting faces that fit my vision of my characters. Once I found what I wanted, I printed the pictures and taped them on my office walls to keep me focused.
The winner was a series of crystal apples.
Book one shows the crystal on a pedestal. In the beginning of the story the crystal is a powerful religious object revered by everyone. Ignorance is bliss, and in book two, the peaceful community of Survin is damaged beyond repair thus the apple falling off its pedestal. The crystal on the cover of book three is now held by a globe stand. The conclusion of the story is international.
Once we settled on the apple of knowledge imagery, we tweaked the covers by changing the blue to green on Book Two, and using a rainbow of color on book three showing it as globally inclusive. You will notice the font was changed. I was using a publishing company that offered cover design. It was IUniverse who changed the font. While I prefer the font used on my name I wasn’t really crazy about the title font.
Next week: The Candy Store cover dissected.