Everyone knows that book covers are an important part of a novel. But have you ever wondered just how book covers are created? Once again, I can’t speak for other publishers, but at Barking Rain Press, it’s a very collaborative process between the publisher, the author, and the artist.
The process starts by the author completing a document called “Cover Art Guidelines.” This document includes the title and author’s name as it will appear on the cover, a list of any key elements in the story, a brief description of the major characters, the time period represented, and any other pertinent information that might assist the artist. That document serves as a template for the artist to begin his or her work.
In my case, the publisher assigned the cover to Craig Jennion, a Senior Artist for Barking Rain Press. A member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, Craig has been working as an artist for more than 25 years. I knew The Hanged Man’s Noose would be in good hands!
I mentioned earlier that the process was collaborative. The first step was a series of very rough sketches, from which the publisher and myself would select a “winner.” Here’s what that looked like:
After a bit of deliberation, we selected the one marked with an “X.” That decision allowed Craig to come up with his initial cover concept:
We were almost there. Almost. The blueprints represented the building plans of the greedy real estate developer. The cocktail peanuts and napkin are something you’d find in a local pub like The Hanged Man’s Noose (ah ha . . . maybe you didn’t know the book was named after a pub!). But the wood was too light, as was the drink (in case you’re wondering, that’s a Treasontini, the Noose’s signature blueberry martini). I sent along a photo I’d found on Pinterest that was my idea of a Treasontini.
This was what Craig Jennion came back with. I hope you like it as much as I do.
The Hanged Man’s Noose is scheduled for release on July 21st. Click here to receive the first four chapter free and get a 35% off coupon to buy the book!