Winning Cover Design – before, during and after

Update! The Kaleidoscope was just named the winner of InD’Tale Magazine’s  Creme de la Creme cover contest!

 

Many of you have asked about the design of The Kaleidoscope‘s cover, which is getting a lot of attention because it’s so pretty. It actually came out better than I’d ever imagined. Here’s a fun step-by-step look at how award winning cover artist Diana Carlile of Wild Rose Press and I approached it. Here are some before and after pictures.

First, let’s look at the after and then I’ll break it down.

The Kaleidoscope cover

Cover by Diana Carlile

Description: The elements on the cover evoke the storylines that weave throughout this suspense thriller full of intrigue and mystery. The graphic of the Los Angeles skyline including Hollywood, downtown, and iconic palms reflect the setting. The tree of life represents a crucial spot where many of the story’s pivotal moments take place, including the turnover of the kaleidoscope to the hero who must discover what gives it power. The jewel-toned backdrop are the colors seen by anyone brave enough to look into the ‘scope. The title’s whimsical font hints at the light-hearted tone despite dark moments, and the teaser line entices the reader to step inside for a page turning suspenseful romance full of old fashioned good vs evil adventure.

The Tree of Life

We searched through tons of pictures of trees, and once you read the book you’ll know why the tree is SO important. Here’s the one we chose.

tree of lifeSkyline

I wanted to suggest Los Angeles because most of the story takes place there. This graphic is not too overpowering and you have to really look, but once you do, you realize why it’s also important to the story…hint hint!

Jewel-toned backdrop

Finally, the background. This probably gave me more trouble than the other elements. Sometimes pictures are too “on the nose” and as the colors were important and the suggestion of what you’d see inside a ‘scope change, it wasn’t as important what shape they were in, because your mind can arrange them in your imagination. But it was important to suggest the colors and changeability. Is that a word?

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We played around with putting the purple at the bottom, but the yellow gave the illusion of a sun rising behind the skyline so we settled on this orientation.

One more element completed the look. When you don’t have people on the cover, I believe it’s important it’s not dull, so we added a star burst effect using this graphic to draw the eye and add some energy.


And then Diana brought the yellow “bleed” from the stained glass image into the text. It’s subtle, but draws the eye down to the title. She chose the whimsical font, which at first seemed a little steampunk to me, but really grew on me. Since the tone of the story is a bit lighthearted, it really works and now I love it.

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I hope you liked this look at how the sausage is made and I really hope you’ll take a look into The Kaleidoscope for yourself!

 

Click here to read a Sample of The Kaleidoscope

The Kaleidoscope - paperback 3D

Bev out!

UPDATE: July, 2015 The Kaleidoscope‘s cover won the InD’Tale Magazine Creme de la Creme Cover contest!

The Kaleidoscope releases!

perf5.000x8.000.indd “I love how the novel hits different chords; being at times inspirational, metaphysical and scientifically speculative even while following a thriller-like narrative.” EA, Reader’s Favorite reviewer

Wild Rose Press/Crimson is pleased to announce the release of

The Kaleidoscope

Here’s a sneak peek:

Harold turned over the Kaleidoscope, inspecting the precision detailing and excellent workmanship. Whoever had crafted it had an eye for beauty, a talent for working with metal and glass. He sighted down the shaft, admiring the tessellations of hues that fell into place. Then when he turned a dial, new images appeared. Green, gold, blue, teal and purple. It was stunning.

Could an object have magical powers? Harold had to believe otherwise. Every bone and sinew fought against any other possibility. But already the mysterious device he turned over, that now warmed in his palm, had begun to change his life. Where did this mysterious object come from, and what made it tick? What did it want from him?

Los Angeles city skyline silhouette background

Buy your copy in paperback or e-reader now from Wild Rose Press/Crimson or Amazon  and remember to tell your friends, and leave a kind remark on your favorite review sites Word of mouth helps an author tremendously.

Bev out!

Galleys, Ads and Cover Art, Oh My! – The Kaleidoscope

 What if advances in artificial intelligence, combined with mystical elements found in the earth, could produce inexplicable images of the future?

Kaleidscope

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on The Kaleidoscope‘s progress, so here’s a quick update. My amazing, thorough, talented and patient editor at Wild Rose Press/Crimson Rose (Suspense) and I have been hard at work polishing and adding sparkle to the final manuscript, and we’re thrilled that it’s headed to galleys! (Notice the clever usage of publishing lingo.)

And now the housekeeping portion of the journey begins. Ad copy, back cover blurbs and tweetable quotes must be massaged and tweaked so the book’s represented in its very best light. (See what I did there?…light…kaleidoscope…)

I’ll soon begin working with an artist who will consider my ideas, we’ll discuss the image, graphic design and layout to make sure the cover is inviting and representative of the story inside.

Of course I’m enjoying these steps (and giving my noggin a rest because writing is hard, y’all), but I’m most excited for you to read the story of Harold Donaldson and his unusual journey of self discovery with a colorful and crazy group of friends brought together by the magical, beautifully hand-made kaleidoscope.

Here’s a short bit from the manuscript to give you a glimpse of what’s in store:

Rhashan paused, hand on the divider next to Harold’s desk. “Say, wot’s this?”
Harold chided himself for setting the Kaleidoscope in full view as Rhashan picked it up. “Mind if I look?” Rhashan emitted a low whistle as he spun the dial and then froze, his breath rushing between the gap in his teeth. Slowly, he lowered the ’scope and laid it on the desk like a fragile vial of nitro. “Where you git such a t’ing?” He backed up into the mail cart, catching it as it tipped, spilling the contents.
“It’s just something I’m keeping for a… friend.”
Rhashan’s complexion swirled from espresso to latte, his focus on the drawer where Harold dropped the Kaleidoscope and closed it out of sight.
“Are you all right? Here, sit.” Harold realized the man wasn’t going to allow him to maneuver him any closer because of whatever evil he perceived lurked in the drawer, so he rolled the chair behind him and pushed down on his shoulders.
“Mr. Harold, I wouldn’t have figured you for someone who played wid other people’s mind.” Colorful beads strung along his dreads clicked together as his head shook side to side. “But whatever you’re trying to do wid that t’ing, you’re dabbling in something you shouldn’t.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harold was getting a little impatient with all this talk of warnings and being careful. “It’s just a toy.” Perhaps Rhashan didn’t understand how the glass slid around to vary the images and so he removed it from the drawer and started to explain the mechanics.
“Oh no, it’s more than dat.” Rhashan stood, banging the chair against the wall. “Tell me what you see inside.”
To prove a point, Harold put it up to his eye. “I see colors and shapes that change when you—”
“Oh, no mon!” Rhashan leaned away when Harold held it out to him. The metal had warmed, and something shivered from within.
“What do you think you saw?”
“I see myself.”
Stay tuned for more updates including the cover art selection for The Kaleidoscope
Bev out.