Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fun with Cover Art: Designing a Self-Published Cover with Megan Mulry

Today I'm so excited to have USA Today Best-Selling Author Megan Mulry back to the blog to talk about her upcoming indie release, In Love Again.

Her debut, A Royal Pain was a USA Today Best-Seller and selected as one of NPR's Best Books of 2012. Her Unruly Royals books feature witty dialog, fashion to die for, and sizzling love stories. If the Shoe Fits is the second book in the series and her up-coming self-published release, In Love Again is the third. R is for Rebel will finish the Heyworth Siblings' stories and releases in February of 2013.

Here's the blurb for In Love Again:

The Marchioness of Wick is about to get a second chance at life...whether she wants it or not. After twenty years in a loveless marriage to a duplicitous British aristocrat, Claire Heyworth Barnes finds herself broke and alone. Encouraged by her dynamic American sisters-in-law, the shy royal decides to start over in New York City. When she lands a job with a famous interior designer, Claire accidentally reconnects with the first—and only—man she ever loved. 

FIRST LOVE... Benjamin Hayek has never forgiven Claire for the heartless way she left him when they were teenagers in the south of France. And even if he could, Claire's not sure she has the courage to contend with how he makes her feel. Can they build a new love from an old flame? Or will a bitter history and a complicated future stand in their way?

Megan's  offered to share with us she went through designing a cover for the book.


Hi Lisa, Thanks for having me visit Southerm Magic again!

One of the most enjoyable (and terrifying) aspects of self-publishing is the creative freedom. My traditional publisher, Sourcebooks, is very accommodating in terms of author input with cover art, so it certainly wasn't as though I was reacting to some prior confining situation. But for some reason, it still felt like a heady liberty. I knew I wanted to stay very closely aligned to the visual cues of the other three books in the Unruly Royals series—white background, single image, swirly font—but I also wanted to play around a bit. Here is a visual tour of my month-long creative descent into madness…I mean, process:

The Historical Version

The Menopause Version

The Tom Jones Version

Agent thinks image still menopausal but likes title…

...everyone likes bolder font and title...

…until brother asks, "What's a mar-chee-HOE-ness?"

(Title scrapped immediately.)

…become obsessed with the word tiara…

It's young! It's fresh! Quick! Think of more Tiara titles!

More! More! More!

Brighter! Cuter!

… realize this title and cover concept don't really send the right message after teen daughter says it looks like a YA royal detective comedy…

…start to lose steam on whole self-publishing business…

…start thinking of other writers and make tiara version of their covers instead:

The Jamie McGuire Version

The Maya Banks Version

The E.L. James Version

The Christina Lauren Version

The Lizzie Bennet Version

Ah! Finally! A title I love! That everyone can pronounce! With special hand-lettering by talented calligrapher Alexandra Haughton! But…alas, we were never able to smooth out the hand-lettering graphic file properly. So…back to searching for fonts and an image that didn't look so "bridal."

The Polaroid Version

…committed to title and font, but still trying totally different, last-minute visuals…

The Movie Poster Version

…maybe not totally committed to font after all…another last-ditch freak out to totally change everything!

…got a good night's sleep. Decided on final cover:

The Final Version designed by Kimberly Van Meter

 …I can breathe again!

Thanks for sharing this with us, Megan!

In Love Again Releases November 29th, but you can pre-order it NOW on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, or in paperback on CreateSpace!


Lexi said...

Holy cow, I'm exhausted and needing a glass of wine just reading about it! Love your final choice, BTW.

Jamie Farrell said...

This was hysterical. :-) Your final cover is beautiful!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Hilarious! And I love the final version. This whole hyperventilation-inducing scenario is going to be me next year. Yikes! ;-)

Megan Mulry said...

Thanks so much for commenting Lexi, Jamie, and Gwen! Good luck going through it next year, Gwen. It's totally worth it (but feel free to share any frustrations along the way). Thanks again for having me at Romance Magicians, Lisa! xx

Desert Sea Design said...

Thanks for showing this process off to us!
Our head writer has just finished her first book and is looking into self publishing.
She's having a NIGHTMARE of a time with the cover process.
This will help her