Getting the cover for your debut novel right when you’re on the verge of self-publishing is not only pretty important; it’s also quite challenging! Here’s an update of where I’m at with the cover for ‘Leaving Sadie’, which hits shelves this summer.
So, the brilliant designer Chloë Keogan designed these three covers . . .
That was after we had gone through a number of concepts. When I posted the three covers on Facebook and on this blog I got some invaluable feedback on each one (thanks again!), as well as some butterflies in my stomach at the thought of putting this out there for people to see (can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when I finally publish the work!).
When we tallied all the votes we found that most people leaned towards cover 1, with cover 2 in a close second. Personally, I was leaning towards cover 2, and this presented me with a conundrum: How would I decide on the cover when I’m leaning towards one and most people are leaning towards another?
Well, Chloë suggested printing the covers and putting them on physical books I have in my apartment. So we did that. Chloë also brought along some alternative versions of each cover to try on for size. Chaos kind of ensued . . .
(Okay, I concede that doesn’t look so chaotic. Exaggeration can help sell a story, though)
As I looked at the covers, it occurred to me: something is missing.
And this wasn’t an oversight on Chloë’s part; she had delivered exactly what I’d asked for—she was right on brief every step of the way! This was on me and my direction/requests.
It was only when I held the covers (or fake Sadie books) in my hands that I realized they weren’t true to the tone of the novel; the story focuses on the often turbulent nature of relationships and the madness of the arts (and of course the madness that is family :p), but it does it with a wink and a smile—there’s plenty of playfulness in there. And that’s what was missing from the covers we had in our hands: a sense of fun and adventure.
Then Maria got involved . . .
(That’s Maria, my girlfriend. She’s a very beautiful and talented woman, and she can do an incredible dolphin impression. Anyway . . .)
The three of us sat down, drank tea and chucked around ideas. Then Chloë went away, worked her magic like she always does, and came back with a brilliant new design (something of a redesign of cover 1).
So, let me reveal to you the latest draft of the cover for my novel. This is close to the finished version; only small changes will be made in the coming weeks. Here it is:
Like it? Let me know what you like about it! Hate it? Tough shit, buddy!
Thanks again for all the comments and help along the way. And thanks to Chloë for being incredibly patient and for her unique talent. You can check out her work on her website.
More updates on the novel coming soon!
Until next time, I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar . . .