The Making of a Cover

These past two weeks we’ve been touting beautiful, eye-catching book covers, and talking about why they grab our attention.

Today, I thought it would be interesting to look at book covers from a different angle: the making of the cover.

Here’s an interesting video from Random House Books, talking with book cover designers about their designs:

Love's AwakeningBurning SkyHere’s a link to a blog post on Brandon Hill Photos that shows the cover shoot for Laura Frantz‘s new release Love’s Awakening (an excellent novel!) –

And another link to Lori Benton‘s blog post on the making of the cover for her debut release, Burning Sky (another terrific read!) –

I’d love to know your thoughts about the making of these covers.

Cover Experiment

Admittedly, I’m rarely swayed by a cover. While it may initially draw my attention, it’s the story description that will be the deciding factor of whether I’ll read it or not.

That said, I did a little experiment to see what initially drew my eye and then kept it there. I headed over to, searched by date for 2013, and then visually wandered through the pages of covers. These are the books that leaped out at me, encouraging me to take a look at the description, and why.

Burning Sky

BURNING SKY by Lori Benton – This is an historical romance like many of the books around it, but it’s design is decidedly different. The face is slightly faded (denoting mystery), and I like how the face and hair blend with the land and the sky. The one thing I don’t care for so much is the loop rug in the middle. To me, it doesn’t fit the tone conveyed by the rest of the cover.

A Heart Deceived

A HEART DECEIVED by Michelle Griep – I didn’t find this one on Family Fiction–for some reason it’s not listed there–but it’s one of my favorite covers of the year so I had to show it. Just looking at the cover gives me goosebumps. The dark colors, the leafless tree, the dormered house, no people. And, the author’s name also grabbed me. Love Michelle’s writing!

Rules of Murder

RULES OF MURDER by Julianna Deering – Again, this cover tells the world that this book is different. The colors, the lettering, the man. It all hints at Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. I’m definitely taking a second look.


RENEGADE by Mel Odom – I really enjoy a military novel, so the soldier on the cover immediately caught my attention. Here, the author’s name also piques my interest as I’ve enjoyed most of Mel Odom’s military novels.

The Living Room

THE LIVING ROOM by Robert Whitlow – Again, the green on black nabbed my attention, then the body seemingly floating adds interest. Having read may of Robert Whitlow’s works in the past also compels me to take a second look.

When Mockingbirds Sing

WHEN MOCKINGBIRDS SING by Billy Coffey – The muted colors and the lack of a person both drew me in. Hints at being literary.

Sleeping in Eden

SLEEPING IN EDEN by Nicole Baart – I immediately thought about Snow White when I saw this, my eye drawn to the apple. Combine that with the title, and you’ve got instant intrigue. Also, I’ve read a number of Nicole Baart’s works before, and greatly respect her talent as an author.


FEARLESS by Mike Dellosso – Can you say creepy? This cover gives me the chills! And screams “Pick me up!” Naturally, I did. 🙂 As a reader of Mike Dellosso’s works, I know the story will live up to the cover.

Fatal Tide

FATAL TIDE by Lis Wiehl – The blue on black drew me in initially, then I had to peer closer to see what the figure was–still don’t have that figured out, but nevertheless, it’s intriguing.

So, what drew me to the above covers?

  • Color. That’s the first thing I noticed on each cover, and often it’s a blue or green on black that draws me.
  • It’s different. Does the cover tell the reader that this story is different? I’m constantly on the lookout for stories that stray from the norm.
  • Mystery. Do the covers convey mystery? If so, I’m likely to take a second glance.
  • Familiar Author. If I’ve enjoyed novels by the author in the past, the author’s name will definitely catch my eye.
  • No person. Not having any person on the cover is very curious. It tells me that the cover may be literary, and my favorite reads are often literary.

When you’re looking at covers, what initially draws your attention? What will keep it there?