Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Making of a Book Cover: Remembrandt

People keep asking me if I got to chose the cover to Remembrandt or not. I kind of ho-hum around the topic because it is a yes-no answer. Any of you who know much about the publishing world, know that most authors have no say whatsoever in their cover.

After Walnut Springs Press offered me a contract earlier this year, they had me send them a list of some book cover ideas, along with a detailed description of all the characters and places in the book. I sent a list of about 5-6 ideas. Since their graphic designer was out of the office until the next week and would only have a few days when they got back to deliver some mock-up covers to Deseret Book, I asked if I could put some of my own mock-ups together. They said yes!

I spent a few days searching for stock images of the main character (a blonde teen with gray eyes) and scenes from Russia (one of the settings in the book). I came up with a few possible ideas and put together a couple cover ideas. BUT I still was't happy with them. Then a friend and fellow photographer (thank you, Mary!) reminded me that I am a photographer too and offered to help with a photo shoot. We gathered together seven or eight models who matched the description of the main characters in the book and clicked away at our cameras.

I spent the next couple of days editing photos, adding text, and layering images. It was a blast coming up with different ideas. Here are some of the many mock-ups we came up with:

Mock-up covers for Remembrandt by Robin King
My favorites were was the top left one, the black dress with the pink shoes, and the ones with fingers crossed behind back. The publisher also liked the top left one, along with the boy and girl on the bench, Unfortunately, the distributor wanted a more "suspense" looking over. Now that I look back, I totally agree with them. In the end, the graphic designer and Walnut Springs found another model (which is the perfect Alexandra!) and used the Russian scene from my favorite mock-up cover and combined them, similarly as I had done in the top middle mock-up above to get this:

Young Adult Romantic suspense

The amazing designer, Tracy Anderson,  added a little makeup to make her appear older (since she's 17 in the book):

Young Adult suspense and romance

At this point, I loved it, but my artist brother, Devin, noticed a crane in the city background, Alexandra's missing shoulder, and thought he could make the transition between her hair and the city more natural. Willow Springs gave me permission to make the changes and here's the final image:

Young Adult Romantic suspense
The final cover of Remembrandt



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