Today, I'm thrilled to share with you all a fun guest post done by the one and only Laura Frantz! I hope you enjoy reading it and learning a little bit about what goes on behind the making of a book cover - I know I did. ;)
About the author:
Award-winning historical novelist, Laura Frantz, was born into a family who followed the legendary frontiersman, Daniel Boone, to Kentucky during the turbulent 18th-century and still resides there today. Passionate about all things historical, she writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Celtic themes. Her family lineage is Scottish, English, and Irish. According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." She is known for the depth of her characterization and research. The author is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.
~A Peek Into The Making Of A Book Cover by Laura Frantz~
I often say cover art is my favorite part of publishing, aside from writing the book, and this is especially true if the cover pops in industry lingo. An unappealing cover can sink a book as much as a stellar cover can sell one. Here’s a peek at the process and some questions readers ask:
*How much say do authors have regarding book covers?
Personally, my publisher asks my input over a year in advance of the book’s release. They want specifics of hero and heroine’s physical characteristics, historic dress, and a brief synopsis of the novel. The cover should reflect the tone of the story – humorous or serious, light or intense, etc. Ever read a book where the cover promised one thing yet the content delivered something else? The right cover delivers what it promises. Marketing teams study cover trends closely, especially bestsellers, and aim for a cover that the entire publishing team and the author are excited about. Sometimes a cover has to be redone, especially if sales and marketing think it doesn’t pop or appeal.
*Who is your current photographer for your new series?
I’m thrilled to have Brandon Hill (http://brandonhillphotos.com/) working on this series, a Seattle photographer who’s turning out more than a few exquisite covers in both general and inspirational markets. He’s a hands-on artist who has a knack for capturing just the right look and the right model for the cover shoot. Before the shoot takes place, he sends a portfolio of models and dresses for the publisher and author to choose from.
For Love’s Reckoning, the first book in The Ballantyne Legacy series, I was able to select the 18th-century dress and asked that the heroine’s hair be left down as it’s significant to the story itself.
*What do you like best about your current cover? Least?
Love the windblown hairstyle which provides a sense of motion and lifelikeness to the model/heroine and carries over from the first cover. Love the rural setting and the dark clouds which give a subtle warning that this book is not all warm and fuzzy. I’m not a big fan of the dress (just not my style) though it is period appropriate. I especially appreciate the pearls as they’re the ones Ellie Ballantyne wears in the novel. The best part is that this model (Cassandra Dietman) really looks like my heroine and has that same pale, ladylike quality true of genteel women in the 1800s. Last but not least, I really like the embossed font/lettering.
For a closer look at the entire cover shoot please follow this link: http://brandonhillphotos.com/loves-awakening/
*Any cover ideas for the next book in The Ballantyne Legacy series?
Since the next story is set in 1850 Pennsylvania in winter, I’m hoping for a snow scene J. This would be a nice contrast to the seasons of fall and spring on the previous covers. We’ll see what happens!
*Do you have a favorite cover out of your five books so far?
Yes, without hesitation I’d say Love’s Reckoning. It’s lush, evocative, and so true to the heart of the story. It’s also the only cover I have framed and hanging on my office/library wall.
*GIVEAWAY QUESTION for Love’s Awakening:
What current book covers “pop” for you as a reader in the general or inspirational markets?
Giveaway details: Enter to win a copy of Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz! Winner can choose a print or eBook copy. Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Giveaway ends 9/29.
How to enter: Comment below this post with your answer to the giveaway question (above), but be sure to sign into the Rafflecopter form below (it might take a moment to load) and click “enter” on the mandatory entry (commenting) and each optional entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!
All photography, photo illustrations and cover design by Seattle commercial photographer, Brandon Hill.
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