The evolution of an urban fantasy novel book cover

 In current projects

I’ve been working on a cover for “The Watchers” for awhile now – based on the plot outline, I tried to include the three main characters: Eli is an angel (watcher) who self-medicates with spider poison for powers,  Meridith is half-watcher and Alchemist, and Ava is a half demon violinist. (At least I think so – I haven’t read the book yet but look forward to doing so). But the first covers I did, focusing on the main characters and the school, are a little too shiny.

So then we tried to darken them and make them more bad-ass – but that was hard because the pictures are so light. We also wanted to add a city scene.

That wasn’t working too well either. So I ditched all that and started over, focusing on one strong central character. These turned out pretty good:

So we tightened it up a bit, went for a less scrolly-font, and voilà! The final cover works pretty well. The moral of the story: creating a book cover is not a static process. Sometimes the first idea isn’t the best idea. If you get stuck, change everything! If it’s pretty good but you don’t love it, take some time off, search through picture sites until something grabs you.


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  • Reply

    I love the final result, Derek! (gotta love that stubble on his face too. Just the right touch!). Thanks for sharing your process with us.

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