The Making of My Book Cover

As some of you may already know, aside from being a writer, I’m also a graphic designer. If you’re self-publishing your book(s) like I am, and you’re designing your book cover, or if you’re getting it designed, I hope this post will be helpful to you in some way.

The Design Process
Before getting started, I made sure to keep the following things in mind:
1. My book cover has to stand out as a thumbnail and as a large image.
2. The message has to be clear and simple.
3. The design has to fit my genre, which in my case is contemporary fiction.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted two things on my book cover:
Coffee and the color, mustard yellow. If and when you get a chance to read my book, you’ll see why.

Coffee: I thought of quite a few image ideas for coffee. I thought of using coffee rings, coffee mugs, espresso cups, coffee beans, coffee shops and the list goes on. Below are only some of the images I considered, which I took myself, except for the last one on the right.

Because my novel is a love story, I wanted that to be clear on the cover. The challenge was how to show that using a coffee image. I thought about using an image of a cup/mug with a heart shaped coffee froth/foam, but for some reason it seemed too common. Later, I came up with the idea of coffee beans shaped into a heart. I searched the web to see if they already existed and found a few online, but none of them looked right for my book. That’s when I decided to create my own coffee bean heart. In order to do this, all I needed was a camera and a bag of coffee beans that I would shape into a heart on a sheet of paper.

It took many tries. Below are only a few examples.

Mustard yellow: I always knew I wanted this to be the background of whatever image I would end up picking.

In February of 2012, I designed a few versions of my book cover. Below is what I originally picked as my final design.

In September of this year, I went back and looked at my original design and thought that the solid mustard yellow seemed too rich. I wanted it to be simpler but still punchy. That’s when I thought of adding the gradient.

Here is the final design of my book cover, front, spine and back. I’m still editing the copy on the back cover, so what you’ll see here is for placement only.


Designing my book cover was such a fun break from writing and editing. I would definitely do it again.

Book cover design for only $50

Do you need your book cover designed, but have a tight budget? I can help.

Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a Graphic Designer for 10 years. I know how expensive it is to get a book cover designed. It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to even a thousand, or sometimes even more.

So, I am offering my services…for free. Well, sort of. I am offering my Graphic Design services in exchange for your pledge.

As some of you may already know, I launched a small writing campaign on Indiegogo yesterday called, Poetry for Paris. The aim is to raise funds to help me make my writing trip happen. The idea is for every pledge of at least $25, I would write you poem. If you pledge more, there are other perks included.

Well, aside from the other perks, I’m adding a BONUS:
If you’re self-publishing your book, I’ll even design your book cover!

Here is how it works:
You have to pledge at least $50 for your name to be entered in a drawing.
One winner will be picked and the results will be announced on June 1st.
If you pledge $150 or more, you do not need to be part of the drawing. You automatically become a winner and will receive my Graphic Design services, plus, you get the other perks included in your pledge.

What to expect, if you win:
I will design your book cover! I can do just the front cover for e-books or design the whole thing: front, back and spine, or do both!
I will provide you with 2 versions/concepts you can choose from.
You get 3 revisions. This means once you’ve picked a concept, you get 3 rounds for any tweaks or any last minute changes.

We will be working together through email.
My services will be designing and laying out your book cover. If you need illustrations or images, you will need to provide those prior to me designing your book cover.

The day before my campaign ends, which is May 31, I will put all the names (only of the writers who want to participate) in a hat and pick one winner. The winner will be announced on my blog on June 1st. (Depending on how many join the drawing, I may pick 2 winners.) Detailed information will be emailed to the winner(s). The winner(s) and I can start working on their book covers, after I get back from my trip, which is in July.

What are you waiting for? Pledge NOW and get a chance to get your book cover designed for only $50.

Send me an email after you’ve pledged (at least $50) and let me know if you want to join the drawing.
My email:

If you just want to pledge without joining the drawing, any amount will do. Any help would mean the world to me.

For more information on Poetry for Paris, click here.

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Wow. A few days of not blogging feels like a year of not working out. Well, it feels great to back. It feels even better because
I just found out that the lovely Robin Coyle nominated me for the The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks for thinking of me Robin.

Blogging is fun, but it’s a lot of work. Learning that people dig what you write is satisfying. Getting comments on your posts can be inspiring. Receiving awards like this one is encouraging. It makes it all worth it in the end.

The rules of accepting the nomination:
Thank the person who nominated me. Done.
Include a link to his/her blog. Done.
Nominate fifteen blogs I enjoy and follow. Yikes. I don’t have 15, but see below.
Inform said bloggers about their nominations. Done.
Lastly, share seven things about myself. Done. See below.

7 Random Things About Me:

  1. I wrote my first poem at 14. I knew then that I wanted to become a writer.
  2. I wrote my first book as a novella, but later changed it into a novel.
  3. At one point, I wanted to become a professional poker player.
  4. Traveling inspires me.
  5. I’m a foodie.
  6. I’m obsessed with Paris in the 1920’s.
  7. I was a Graphic Designer for 10 years. I am so much happier now as a writer.

Here are my nominations:
The Canary
Sara Flower
Julie McKay Covert
Writing is Hard Work
Writing at Midnight
The Year of Wonderful Weekends
Lori’s Lane Blog
The Short and the Long of It

Thanks again for the nomination Robin!