COVER PHOTO SHOOT:
These are some of the best photos taken for the cover, before photo editing and choices made. (Photos copyright Devon Trevarrow Flaherty, 2013.)
GENESIS OF A COVER:
Just sharing a photo of the very home-grown wings that were made for the cover photo shoot, which is happening or has happened by the time most of you will read this. (Wings pictured here hanging on the wall in Devon’s dining room.) We are headed to a small town main street with an eight-year-old and a pair of Chucks. Doesn’t it make you wonder?
Here is one of the photos from the photo shoot. For more photos, see the “Extras” drop-down menu, above. This is the photo that I believe is going to be used in the final product, but I am hoping to use other photos for other promotional things, like cards for readings or my web presence?
This is a completely remedial mock-up of the cover, made in Microsoft Paint. It’s simply the photo I think works the best with the title and my name imposed on, using the Cursif font for “Benevolent.” After doing this mock-up, I realize that I have made the photo too dark, trying to get the wing feathers to pop, but the red filter does work the best. Not back to the drawing board, but back a little.
Taught myself how to use an Adobe program that I got miraculously for free. Am super pleased that it is not too different from the PageMaker that I used to use when I was a literary magazine editor. (Note: Good authors will tell you to get a professional to take your photos and design the cover, but I actually have experience (as is being employed) in both fields.) Within 24 obsessive hours I come up with a cover that I like, that Kevin (the husband) likes, and that I think looks professional. It is still close to the cover I imagined over the past several years, but is more beefed up.
Post my favorite version of the cover here and there, send one to someone who promised to critique it, and then forget about it. Let it mellow. Concentrate on what’s inside the book; nearing the end of the editing process. (That, and my son has no clean pants nor do we have any clean cups.)
When the first cover doesn’t print up as pretty as we would like, we go back to the drawing board, recycle most the ideas, and come up with the final cover. (Pictured here with the spine.)
Some blogger tells me they can’t review my book because the cover doesn’t grab them (even though they liked the idea and the fist chapter, go figure), so I spend an evening playing with free online photo editors. Husband tells me to calm down and he loves my cover.
A year later (or less), I realize that I not only want to slap some award stickers on the front, but that I think the cover could look just a tad bit more professional. I also am getting a wee bit better at promotional copy writing, so I want to change what is said on the back cover. And hurrah!–my printer now offers matte finish. So cover update, releasing in May, 2014, if all goes well.
Launch post card for the reading at Regulator Bookshop in Durham.
Photo of an excited Devon holding the first proof of her first novel.