Laura Haley-McNeil

9/24/17, Cover Design

9/24/17, Cover Design

Hello, Everyone!

Autumn has arrived! I hope you’re enjoying beautiful fall weather, those few short weeks when the temperature has cooled and the leaves display their autumnal colors. On the weekends, my husband and I like to walk along a canal that traverses our city. The road paralleling the canal is a popular lane that attracts walkers and bicyclists and joggers. The trees along the road are enormous and turn gold in the fall. We can look across the meadows and see what looks like a garden of red and yellow and orange. The falls here are quite spectacular, and like every season, seem too short. We usually see snowfall by October and though the winters are mild compared to the Midwest, the trees stay bare until April. Fall is our last chance to see color before frosty white paints the landscape.

This is a good time of year for me to stay buried in the family room with my laptop on my lap, also known as my desk or office, and write. I’m finishing another book, the 6th book in the Crystal Creek series and find that I must hire a new cover designer. My previous designer, Rogenna Brewer, is also a writer and has decided to retire her cover design business and focus on her writing. She writes military romance, in case anyone is interested in that genre and would like to read her books. She’s a very good writer. But that brings me to the next phase of my writing career – it’s time to find a new cover designer.

I had thought to rebrand my next 6 books in the series with a different title. The first 6 have the words “her heart” in the title. I wanted to focus on a new phrase for the next 6 books and with that focus on the changes in the titles will come a different style for the cover. Although I hadn’t planned to switch cover designers, my designer’s retirement has come at a good time when I’m ready to change my brand. A cover designer was recommended to me by another writer who is part of the boxed set that I’m participating in. The cover designer and I have been corresponding. We are in the early stages of the negotiations. I’m very concerned that my new designer can create print book covers. Although I rarely read a print book, I’m in love with my kindle, many readers will only read print and I want to make sure that they have a book with a well-designed cover. I’ve had problems before when the cover wasn’t the correct size and the formatter had to make spine adjustments to accommodate the page numbers, which worked fine, but something I’d prefer to be correct initially and have to adjust when I’m publishing my books. My previous books have a mountain scene and because the books are set in the mountains, it seems appropriate to have something similar for the next 6 books. The cover for Book 5, Risking Her Heart, is my favorite. I love the way the hero is holding the heroine and the way he’s looking at her. What woman wouldn’t want a man to look at her like that? I can’t wait to see what the designer creates for the next book.

I posted a request for a cover designer on a website that forwards the information to other graphic artists. I received hundreds of responses. Though I tried to emphasize that I needed someone who could design a print book cover, everyone seemed to think s/he who could to that or that it wouldn’t be hard to learn. I’m no graphic artist, but I have to think it takes a little bit of skill to create a print book cover. The other requirement that I wanted was someone who knows and understands the design for romance novel covers. Many people think that romance is pornography. I write romance. The models for my covers have to look like they love each other, not that they’re looking for a one night stand. I want characters who might be someone I’d see walking down the street, not hanging out at a New York sex club. And if you do hang out at New York sex clubs, I hope I didn’t offend you, but my market is geared toward a different segment of the population. There are plenty of books geared toward the pornographic market, the one night stand markets and the New York sex clubs markets. Those covers don’t make a secret of the books’ contents. Romance novel covers should depict the same content.

Maybe I’m make it more difficult than it needs to be. I’ll work with this designer. I hope she works out, but if not, I have a few hundred other designers to contact and try to explain the type of cover I need.

I’m sure it will work out and that I’m worrying needlessly. The picture I’m posting for this blog is the cover for the book that will be included in the boxed set. If you’re on my mailing list, follow me on twitter or on Facebook, you’ll receive the preorder links. If you buy the boxed set, you’ll receive 20 books for 99 cents. A bargain price for a set that will keep you entertained throughout the weekend!

I hope you have great and wonderful week, that your fall is beautiful and that you find time to curl up with a good book!