Tuesday, November 17, 2015

~ Three's A Charm! At Least In Steven Novak's Case! ~






Howdy! Today I wanted to chat about the making of the cover for the third book in my ROMANTIC KNIGHTS TRILOGY. When I first started thinking about covers for these books, I had an idea. Three books, three main characters, seemed like a no brainer. I asked Steven Novak, my cover artist, (novakillustration.com) if he could put half of their faces on the blade of a sword, either like a reflection or an etching, and then make it look like a laser sword. 

Book One, LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT, was the story of Darius and Maggie's love affair and had Darius on the cover. The very first cover Steven sent me was perfect! I couldn't believe that he had gotten it so close to the way I visualized it in my head. The only change I asked for was to bring the color up a little. 

Book Two, LADY OF THE KNIGHT, has all three characters, of course, but it revolves around Maggie and some tough choices she has to face. This time the cover creation was harder. The images I chose just weren't working well and the red background color we started with made her look angry. But, after some work, I was pleased with the final product. (The full story is in an earlier blog post. http://forthecoverconscious.blogspot.com/2015/02/join-me-for-cover-work-and-another.html)

       





Book Three would be Orion's story. He is both looking to clear Darius' good name, and make amends with Maggie. Here's a blurb~



Maggie’s grief is nearly crippling.

She’s afraid she may never find happiness again, especially when someone seems to be targeting her loved ones.


For Orion, no other woman is like her.


So to take his mind off Maggie, he continues to investigate The Eleven. Will he find evidence to confirm his suspicion that all is not as it seems on the Grand Council?


Can Orion, Maggie and The Forgotten Ones take on The Eleven and win?

The Eleven members of the Grand Council hold all the power. Can the ragtag group Orion gathered help him to restore his Master’s good name? Or will taking the risk mean losing the people he loves? One thing’s for certain, it’s bound to be a Knight to remember.


So, Orion in a sword, right? Not that difficult. Here is what Steven sent me:


Good start! He's keeping the branding consistent with the way the text is set up, and the general sword image. But this is the character's right eye, where the other two were the left. Also, the hilt is reddish, not like in the others. 





Okay, now we're more in line with the other covers, but I'm starting to wonder about the red. The book is about fighting the forces of evil, so it works in that sense. But it is also the last in the series and ends on a note of peace, as all is resolved. Red doesn't seem to fit that. I ask Steven if he can do it in green.



I'm liking it, showing it around to a couple of people, getting them to vote on what color they like better. Of course the vote is split somewhat down the middle. I'm thinking that someday I may want to do a boxed set of the trilogy, so I decide to put them together, to see if that clears up the green/red issue.






Now, this is a matter of taste, of course, but I feel like the green, purple, blue are all kind of soothing colors and the red just doesn't match the mood. I asked Steven for one more thing. Could he make the green darker. Here's the cover.





And voila, the final product! But poor Steven is not off the hook yet. I need a teaser. I send him some images and quotes to choose from, and he came up with this...




Love this, but, you know, I'm me, so...I ask Steven to make the right side more black than green and then backlight the book. I also want the print larger, even if he has to make the book smaller. Here's the final. 




So, a lot goes into making teasers and covers, especially if you're picky, like me. But the reward is having something you are satisfied with, or even thrilled with. I will forever be grateful that I found, and chose to work with Steven. He's got a great eye, fabulous imagination, and, above all, is patient. 

So what are your thoughts? Would you have chosen differently? I did see one thing that I would still change, if I hadn't already paid Steven months ago and had the book up everywhere. There are two question marks after the tagline. 

Here's a little teaser I did for the whole trilogy.











12 comments:

  1. I did the same thing to poor Alison with the covers of my self-pubbed books. Tiny tweaks here and there until I was satisfied. The final product looks great, MJ!

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    1. Thank you! I think I would hate being a cover artist. Especially if I felt the "improvements" they were making were actually taking away from the cover I had created. I am grateful every day for Steven. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Jannine, and for reading!

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  2. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's fun! Feel free to stop in any time with one of your covers, Diane! You have some great ones! Thanks for being part of my day! :)

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  3. Wonderful!

    I really like the green too...it's softer and blends better than the red.
    Congratulations!
    PamT

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    1. Thanks, Pam! It's funny how much you have to fuss with things until you get them just the way you want them...or maybe that's just me... I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to stop by and chat with us! Have a fabulous rest of the week!

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  4. Yes, I think I was a Red vote, but then, I love red, but I agree, the green works best. Steven is amazing and I'm so glad you referred me to him. He is extremely gifted and patient. Great series...eye catching image quotes.

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    1. Yes, he's done some great work for you, too. I'm glad I could point you in his direction! Thank you for visiting with us today, Alicia!

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  5. Very Cool! I have used Steven Novak as well and love his work! The green is perfect, MJ.

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    1. Steven rocks! He makes me look good, and I could use all the help I can get! ;) Thanks for stopping in, Kim!

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  6. I love the trio with the final green. All the covers are wonderful. The sword knocks it out of the park and pulls all the novels together.

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    1. Thank you! I think Steven did a wonderful job! I'm so grateful to have someone so talented to work with! I appreciate you stopping in!

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