The Evolution of a Cover
I must say, one of the best parts of the author process is getting to work on the cover. People seem to love it, and I think it looks fantastic. I get a lot of questions asking how the cover came about, what sort of input I had, and how long it took to make. So here's a basic evolution of the cover!
Very early on, I pitched my friend Nate Hendricksen an idea of Gwendolyn standing in the center of two worlds. I described the characters and elements of the book to him, and here's what he came up with. This image really helped me imagine her world as I was going through the editing process.
When the book got picked up by Jolly Fish Press, they asked me what I had in mind for the cover. So I pitched them something similar, and sent in two very basic sketches I did myself.
They picked one, sent it to an illustrator, and came back with the basic uncolored first draft, to try out the basic layout. I leapt out of my chair and ran through the hallways at work when I got this. I showed EVERYONE.
I gave them some notes on making it text-accurate. I sent them the exact description of her dress, and the Lucrative Endeavour. I wanted a more sleek and modern monorail, and of course there wouldn't be any road markings, since the City has no cars. Here's what they came back with:
Wow! Now I just wanted more airships, and her hair needed to be more wild. So, another draft.
Nailed it! Then came the final details and rendering, and adding the title. I knew I wanted a sleek mid-century modern font to represent the City, combined with a more ornate serif font for the fairytale nature of Tohk.
The fonts were good, but I HATE the colors. I asked if we could do gold and green. So,
I still wasn't sold on the title though. It didn't really have the impact I wanted. So we decided to flip the fonts around, and add a little more depth to the "Marvelous Adventures."
And there you go! Now we have the amazing cover that graces the book. We even made a GIF: