Cover Art

Posted by on July 9, 2008 in business of writing, girl's guide to witchcraft, glasswrights series, magic and the modern girl, season of sacrifice, sorcery and the single girl, uncategorized | 6 comments

Readers often ask me about cover art – how I choose what goes on the cover of each of my books.  The answer is very simple – I don’t.  I don’t have any say in the cover art; it’s created by a trained artist, coordinated by  in-house-to-my-publisher art directors, all with careful input from my professional editor, subject to the recommendations of her professional marketing team.

I’m extremely lucky – I’ve loved all of the cover art for my books, and each of the covers has accurately represented the words within.  (Okay, I wasn’t thrilled about the leather bikini on the priestess in SEASON OF SACRIFICE, but I understood its purpose.  And I hadn’t known that Rani Trader was blonde until I saw THE GLASSWRIGHTS’ APPRENTICE.  Or that she had discovered the magic of the WonderBra in THE GLASSWRIGHTS’ JOURNEYMAN.  But each of those covers worked for each of those books.)

I’ve been particularly pleased with the Jane Madison book covers.  Their “Bewitched” stylization accurately tells readers that the book is fun, flip, frothy – not deep thinking, by any stretch of the imagination – but also a bit stylized and intelligent.  I also love the way that the three covers work together, creating a common look and feel (to borrow a term from copyright law.)

Yesterday, I completed the “Art Fact Sheet” for THERE’S THE RUB.  I got to complete sheets for each of the Jane Madison books as well.  My publisher’s online form asks for a synopsis and for answers to five specific questions (mostly, about any symbolism in the title and the text.)  I get to describe the major characters. 

And then, I sit back and wait.

For the first time ever, I have a really clear idea about the covers for these books – I can picture a design that I think would be *perfect.*  I sent a separate email to my editor, describing it in words (I can’t draw stick figures….)  I don’t expect to see it on the final books – just because I write the books, and just because I read a lot of books, doesn’t mean that I know what sells books.

But I’m eager to see what they come up with!

Mindy, waiting, likely for a few months….


  1. I think that’s interesting to know how the work on deciding what to put on the cover of books, because there is such a wide variety of covers out there (and sometimes, after you read the book, the cover just proves that the artist had never read the book them selves…)

    Does make me wonder though, when they do reprints, how they decide what new art to use and why.

    • I don’t know the answer, re reprints, exactly. I *do* know that they contemplate new target audiences. For example, when we’ve discussed reissuing the Jane Madison series for a YA audience, we’ve looked at covers that are wildly successful there, for similar books (or for huge audiences…)

  2. Be sure to post the PDF when you get it! can’t wait to see!

    • But of course! 🙂

      RUB won’t be out, though, till 2009, so it’ll be a while before I see a cover. (insert muttering about long lead times 🙂 )

  3. I absolutely love your covers!
    They send off such “fun” vibes that makes someone pick it up. Can’t wait to read THERE’S THE RUB

    • Thanks so much!

      As I said in my original post, I am thrilled about all of my Red Dress Ink and Mira covers!

      THERE’S THE RUB has actually been renamed – it’s now called HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH, and it’s in stores now! HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH is the story of Kira Franklin, a stage manager who discovers a magic lamp with a wish-granting genie inside.