Thursday, January 21, 2016

Book Cover Design Part 3 - Back Covers Need Love, Too

In Part 1 of my series on the process behind the book cover design of my new novel, I wrote about the book cover designs that inspired me. Then in Part 2 I wrote about special covers I designed featuring my main characters' faces. Now for the final installment, I'm going to share a little about the process of designing the back cover.

First, it's kind of funny (ironic in an Alanis Morissette kind of way?) that with every milestone in the development of A Bitter Pill to Swallow I seemed to have contracted an ailment I needed some kind of pills for. It began with querying so relentlessly that my cold turned into pneumonia (azithromycin). Then when I finished my character illustrations I got tonsilitis (amoxicillin). When I finished my final draft, I had a cold (Benadry + Advil since that new cold medication doesn't work for me). Despite my bad cold, or maybe because of it, I stayed home and rung in the new year designing back covers.

What I realized when designing my back covers is that if it's done right, a back cover has all the information you need for all the other materials (like flyers and sell sheets) you need to market your book. The biggest challenge for me was working around the ISBN barcode which could not be moved in the Blurb Bookwright layout software when deciding where to put everything on the back covers of my paperbacks. Eventually I figured it out.

The fonts I used for my back cover copy come from the Noyh family. A few months ago they were on sale on MyFonts.com and I got a really good deal on them. Now the font family is selling for $160. What I like about Noyh is that it's still very legible at smaller sizes, making it ideal for small spaces like the back of a pocket-sized paperback. The font I used for my headlines is the same one I chose for the title, Rhea.  I chose Modum for my hardcover jacket text. Originally I had planned to use it for the body of the novel, but after using it in my advanced reader copies I didn't like the way it looked. Then I fell in love with Eureka, and chose to use that for the body of the novel instead. (Well, most of it. If you get a hard copy of the book or the PDF, you'll see what I mean.)

I took my author photo myself. The sweater I wore for it is a Michael Simon my mom bought for me freshman year of high school, fitting for the era of the story. And my colorful crochet earrings are from Etsy. Centering my photo below the synopsis and above the barcode area gave me just enough room for the author blurbs and my bio on either side of them.



Each cover design has a different blurb.


The hardcover editions gave me a little more room for my text and images.


I put the character blurb inside the front jacket flap of each hardcover.


And I put the author blurbs on the back. My author bio is in the back flap of each book jacket. 

I made an error when editing my author bio and ended up having to create a different edition as a result. The typo turned out to be fortuitous because during the time I was waiting to hear back from Blurb about removing the book with the mistake from distribution, I came up with ideas for last minute edits that made for an even better story. Just when I thought I was finished, my brain started acting like Lieutenant Columbo


It's amazing how adding a few sentences here and there can make a story that much better. Now that I'm all finished, it's time to move on to the next phase: marketing. I hope this series has gotten you interested in reading A Bitter Pill to Swallow. By the way, I am giving away free ebook copies to readers who promise to rate or review it on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. Feel free to email me if you're interested!

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