Monday, April 22, 2013

The Making of a Highlander Romance Novel Cover

Just Beyond the Garden Gate Cover Reveal

On Friday, I revealed a new cover at Across the Plain of Shining Books for my soon to be released self-published novel, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Unlike Janet discussed in the ‘In Search of the Perfect Cover’ and ‘More Cover Mania’ posts, I designed the cover myself. I considered hiring a cover artist, but decided the money would be better spent on editing.

Available June 2013
I had no clue how to start. I’m not an artist and I never used Photoshop. So, I signed up for ‘Creating the Perfect Cover’ workshop with Andris Bear and Lily Smith, and downloaded a copy of Photoshop Elements 11. The workshop was great! Videos were used to present the lessons. I created several mockup covers during the two weeks.

Where to start? The royalty free picture sites. My first idea was to have a background image of a garden gate and add some symbols from the story—tartan plaid, sword, a brooch. I found the garden shot I used at iStock. I didn’t really want a hunk on the cover, but the first lesson was to check out the books published in your genre. Gah! The majority had gorgeous Highlanders on the covers. After some perusing of the images at Hot Damn Stock—so not a chore—I found my cover model. Brooks Johnson. Doesn’t he look great wearing a kilt and holding a sword?

I used comp images to create the mockups. Good thing. The first model image I used didn’t work. I ended up selecting a different image of Brooks. By using the comps for the mockups, I saved myself from purchasing an image I didn’t use. Once I had the mockups the way I wanted them, I purchased the images. Then I played around with the text, trying different fonts and colors. Originally, the title was in teal. I liked it, but the instructors recommended bright pink. Wow. What a difference. The title popped.

I absolutely adore the cover for Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Hope you like it too.

~Dawn Marie


Ana Morgan said...

It's super, Dawn! Fantastic!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks, Ana! I was trying for a hint of mystery. Hope I succeeded.

Terry Spear said...

Really nice, Dawn! :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks, Terry! I've been having a ton of fun playing around with the cover designs.

Stacey Brutger said...

Very nice! Congrats!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks so much, Stacey. I working on the cover for the next story. Hope it comes out as nice. :)