The Making of a Book and its Cover

After a book has been written, accepted by a publisher and contracts signed, it could be months or more than a year before a book is published. Depending on the size of the publisher, as few as a half-dozen or as many as 100+ books can be released in a month. The e-publishers can have a shorter to market time because they can omit the print prep and distribution that print pubs must take into account.

After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, it is placed in a queue and assigned an editor. The editor will complete a comprehensive edit, including story content and grammar/punctuation using the publisher’s house style sheet and/or a generally accepted manual (as in Chicago Manual of Style). Both of my publishers use Track Changes in Word  for editing. The manuscript is returned to the author to accept/reject/discuss the changes. A second edit is completed and returned to the author. After the author has completed editing the manuscript for the second time and returned it to the publisher, the ARCs are prepared for one last proof. I have been blessed with two incredible, patient editors.

At some point, the author will receive a Cover Questionnaire which asks for descriptions of the main characters, the period, and other pertinent info which might be useful to the cover artist. Depending on the publisher, the author can make suggestions about the cover content. The cover is a combination of  art, posed photos, and stock photos. The final cover is the publisher’s call. From recent experience, that first cover is when the reality of being published hits.

Robert Montclair, the hero in His Obsession, is tall but not bulky, a champion fencer. Some authors display pictures of their characters as they write. When I needed to select a picture to serve as a model for the artist, I chose Carter Oosterhouse, the TV host/carpenter. I love Jinger Heaston’s (Siren BookStrand) cover for His Obsession (Cover pictured on right). She catches their moods and the emotional distance between them perfectly. 

Throughout May, Regency Rakes.  Rita Bay

3 Responses

  1. Nice choice for model!! Love your cover

    • Thank you so much, Jillian. I’m one of those who doesn’t have an inspiration of a real-life person while writing. Had to come up with someone and, since i watch the home improvement channels, Carter O was a good choice. Fencers, like smimmers have a particular body type that I wanted to use – and he looks good. Rita Rita Bay “His Obsession”Siren BookStrand,April 12, 2012 “His Desire” Siren BookStrand,May24, 2012 “Into the Lyon’s Den”Champagne Books,August, 2012

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