Suzanne Cox sent me her book cover design for “Marked”. Nice idea, done in Gimp. I tried to recreate it in photoshop.

What I changed: I like the pale/whiteness, as it makes the red stand out, but the background pictures of trees is unclear and uncompelling (emotionless). I didn’t see a reason to fade around the top of the head so I just left it all wolf on the top half, then blended in some other tree pics that I thought were more mysterious.

The original cover had a border (stroke) around it – this is fine but I prefer covers that are all photo, so I left it off. Suzanne liked the title font (“Seans Other Hand”) so I left it. The original had some kind of bevel+shadow. I’m almost always anti-bevel, but I changed it to an inner shadow plus a red gradient for the text. Not a huge difference but I like it. I also made the text a lot bigger. Text can be small if it fits into the design, but with this much white space, there was no reason to keep the text so small.

It is entirely possible that the author will still prefer the original, which has more of a mysterious, sad and lonely vibe – I haven’t read the book yet so there may be elements in the original that I didn’t capture in these updates; however, since the book cover has to grab attention and sell the book, the cover matters more than the story. These new versions are bolder, with stronger contrast between light and dark, clearer images, more emotion and bigger text that’s easier to read… so while it may not as adequately capture the mood of the story, it will probably at least get more people to buy the book and begin reading.







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  1. I thought these changes to my cover were fantastic. I’ve decided to use the second one with the bluish-green forest because i though it went best with the story. What a great job Derek did. Reason 101 to get a professional to do your cover LOL

    • I am a writer, and just happened upon this site while searching for someone to correct my book cover. I just LOVE Derek’s work. I looked at a lot of the before and afters and loved his work even more. i like all of the work he has done on your cover…but i like the last one the best. It gets my attenetion, however they all get my attention but this one would stop me…make me want to find out what’s it all about. I most certainly will have to get the book

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