My debut novel, ‘A Monstrous Place’, has a double-sweet, kick-ass awesome cover. I literally could not imagine a cover I’d be more happy with for that story. I found my designer by running a cover competition on 99 Designs and I cannot tell you how relieved and delighted I was when his first design popped up.
Ah, but that’s not to say that first cover was quite right. There was still work to be done, and the concept evolved as I poked him more towards the right tone. I thought it might be fun to show you the evolution of my super-duper, holy-crap-that’s-one-sexy-hubba-hubba cover.
So this was the original design that popped up and got me all giddy. I mean, straight away, the thing looks legit pro. The only thing that bothered me was the girl; she looked too old, too sassy teen. My character was younger and it didn’t quite fit the tone I was going for.
MY EYES JUST GAVE THE DESIGNER A HIGH-FIVE. He completely nailed the tone with this one. The new character illustration was perfect, and I LOVED the way she was stood sideways on, looking up at the teeth. Also, the addition of that faded forest in the background really took the thing up a notch. The forest wasn’t something that I asked for, that was something the designer decided to add themselves. CLEVER DESIGNER. The change of blue also really enriched the look.
Uh, yeah, for some reason they changed my second name, but we’ll let them off for otherwise sliding a pile of hot-hotness my way.
Despite loving it, I had a few little ideas for tweaks that I wanted to see, so I offered up my super-expert thoughts and:
Well I really ballsed that up. As is plainly obvious, every little suggestion I offered up made the cover worse. YIKES. The new font? My idea. The lack of saliva on the teeth? My idea. The wider ‘monster eyes’ up top? My idea.
I am an idiot.
The one thing I did like was something the designer did off their own back, the addition of that ragged texture down the left hand side. SEXY.
(Oh, and as you can see, the title is different here. I changed the name of the book after starting my 99 Designs competition, so everyone had to tweak their designs if I asked for revisions. Sure that wasn’t annoying for anyone AT ALL).
So back to design number two we came, with the addition of the ‘degraded’ left edge that I liked from version 3.
And that was that, four steps to perfection.