People often ask me if I have input into my book covers, and the answer is, Yes, I do, but I don’t get to see the cover beforehand, nor do I get any sort of final approval. So the unveiling of a new book cover is always a moment of excitement, tinged with anxiety. (What if the cover is terrible? What if I absolutely hate it? What if it doesn’t fit my story at all?)
Luckily, I have loved almost all my book covers and most of them have suited my stories very well. This is not too surprising, as there is a thorough process that is followed for every single book.
Shortly after completing the revisions on a story, I am asked to fill in a questionairre called the “Art Fact Sheet.” This is my opportunity to communicate with the Marketing Department and the Artists who will be designing the cover for my book.
I start by providing a description of my main characters (which is sometimes a challenge as I often don’t know certain details about them myself. Since I focus mainly on my character’s personality and interior thoughts, I may not even have selected an eye color! So at this stage, I may need to retroactively give them one!)
Next I write a synopses of the story (which is always harder than it sounds) and finally I suggest 3 “possible” scenes for the cover. More often than not, my scene suggestions have made it to the final product, and this is the case with the cover for my upcoming release, book one of the Fox & Fisher Detective Agency trilogy–Perfect Partners.
Since the Detective Agency is so central to all the books in this trilogy, when I completed the art sheets, I envisioned showcasing each couple in front of the brownstone where the business is located. Since the stories take place at three different seasons of the year, I suggested we use fall colors for Perfect Partners, spring colors for The P.I. Contest and winter colors for Receptionist Under Cover.
So far it looks as if the artists have agreed with my suggestions and I love the covers they created for book 1 and book 2. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the cover for book 3 which should be available shortly. Will it also showcase the Fox and Fisher Detective Agency? Will they use the winter colors I suggested? More importantly, what will Nadine and Patrick look like?
Check back in a few weeks and we’ll all know the answer then!