Ever wonder what goes into a cover?

When you see the final product, it’s easy to NOT see what went into it. Or to see it as obvious when it’s complete – when it’s anything but obvious as you are starting the cover design process.

Check it out.

Here’s The Navigators finished cover


Eye catching, bold colors (orange and black – worked for The Fourth Descendant, right Allison?) and a high degree of contrast. A young woman who’s pretty but not too pretty, and her expression is… what, exactly? Fear? Concern? Nervous determination?

Here are the images that went into it.


Here’s our heroine, “Missy” (above) – Melissa Mills, daughter of a powerful Tampa lawyer who happens to be running for mayor. She’ll accidentally upset that apple cart. Which might mess with his plans to become Governor…

Missy looks a little less concerned without all that contrast, doesn’t she? Amazing what context does to an image.


This is where it happens, Florida Mining and Minerals, Number 32 (above). An open pit with a hidden secret.

Maybe more than one.


And this (above) imagery is supposed to give that sci-fi feel, the time travel impression, without overdoing it. Clocks and gears, but again that bright orange glow that catches the eye. Because the story is only partly about a time machine, to the extent it is at all…

But I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Interesting to see how the designer incorporated the images into a cover that I can’t not see as The Navigators.

And according to my fans over on Facebook, my designer did a great job.

What was YOUR cover design process like?



18 thoughts on “Ever wonder what goes into a cover?

  1. This is a great cover and the elements combine seamlessly – which is an indication of brilliant design. My own experience with my book cover was quite unusual in that I actually appear on the front cover as the main character. I know we are all told not to judge a book by its cover, but we all do, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the old days when a book cover was something very plain and only had the title of the book on it, yes. Today, where it’s an intricate graphic and font and images, it’s designed for us to judge it and for us to judge it well. The person putting the image out there is trying to get you to look at it.

      With yours, it sure worked!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the cover. The combination is brilliant!
    We are often told never to judge the book by its cover unfortunately the cover does play a huge role in the success of a book. So I’m sure a lot of hard work goes into picking the right cover for a book.
    Your book sounds amazing, would love to read it. When does it release?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very soon… patience. I’ll let you know here very soon.

      If you look at the top selling books in any genre it’s almost like there’s a pattern or a recipe for their covers.

      Romance novels tend to have a slight montage, but action stories and mystery stories seem to have a high contrast color ratio and a lot of orange and then a contrasting darker color like brown or black. Other stories are designed to catch your attention with orange and blue, believe it or not.

      It’s all so interesting to learn about but the bottom line is, those things work for a reason and we need to understand that’s the case and rely on the experts that we hire to help us present the book in its best light so that it will sell. Sounds easy, but it sure isn’t!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This was interesting to know! I’m getting ready with my first novel, it’s in editing now. So I have been researching book covers, I am planning to hire someone to design the cover, but before that I should learn a thing or two about the whole process, so I can get my message across!
    Any pearls of wisdom for a newbie?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the explanation and the part about the psychology of the colors. I actually didn’t see all of the elements of the cover until you pointed them out but now I totally see how they fit in with the story. I think it’s a brilliant choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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