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Before & After: Cover Edition

I don't know why, but I've always loved seeing "before & after" pictures. Book cover re-designs, home renovations, makeovers (I don't even wear makeup!) - I find it all fascinating. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's human nature. 

Anyway, I thought it would be fun for you to see the earlier drafts of some of my book covers! 

Some were just concept art I came up with myself, and others were published covers that eventually were replaced with more suitable versions. And a few were rejected designs that never saw the light of day. 


The Natural Order

It took me a long time to find the perfect picture of a lemon tree for the cover of The Natural Order, and I was very proud of this homemade cover, the first one to appear in print. But eventually other authors suggested that the cover didn't really say "Young Adult," so I was missing out on my readers by incorrect branding. So I took my cover to a designer and asked him to improve it. The new color scheme is spot-on, and the series pops a lot more now. 

Beauty's Songbook

Beauty's Songbook has gone through a number of transformations. It started life as a NaNoWriMo novel, so its first cover was a very amateurish photo that I used to print the free paperback that used to be the reward for reaching 50,000 words!


The cover on the left was an early concept that I did up, but as much as I liked it, I lost track of where I found the image and only had this copy, with the green strip across the girl's face. The next cover was another concept I did up for the Kindle Scout campaign. Once I won the campaign, I paid for the rights to the artwork and brought a designer on board. 

The first cover my designer came up with was far too pretty for the somewhat dark book, so I worked with him (we went through several more drafts) to come up with the final published version, which suits the book perfectly. 

The Fall of Lostport

If you're reading this, congratulations - you're one of the very first people to see the cover for The Fall of Lostport, due out in October 2017! 

I had been planning to work with a high-end designer from the start with this novel, because epic fantasy is tricky, and it had to be perfect. Most of what I read is epic fantasy, so I could test the cover appeal on myself this time. 

The concept art on the left is just that - concept art. These are designs I played around with just to get an idea of what could be possible. The world has a very specific look to it, and I wasn't sure how a designer would pull it off. 

Well, my designer has blown all of my expectations out of the water with this cover. The look of the world is absolutely perfect, fiords and all. This is the sort of book that I would buy solely based on the cover (I rarely do that - The Name of the Wind, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and a terrible book that I won't name are some of my only cover-based purchases), and I can't wait for the official cover reveal! 

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