Creating a Book Front Cover

Mt latest novel, Nebrodi Mountains: The Billionaire and the Mafia, recently reached the stage where the front cover design had to be finalised. I suggested to the publisher’s art department that it could be a picture of the real Nebrodi Mountains modified to make them mysterious, and I attached the following as a sample:

Nebrodi Mountains

The art department came back to me with the following. “I am attaching two cover design samples for your review. I thought that, rather than just have a lovely mountain landscape on the cover, that we shoot for something a bit more dramatic. I keyed off of the subtitle: “The Billionaire and the Mafia,” and selected a figure that might represent the mafia and a figure that could represent the American billionaire. I purposely made the “mafia” figure darker and more malevolent. Please let me know if either of these cover designs will work for you.”

and

To this, I responded, “I like the first one better that the second.  The brown colouring in the second looks unexciting, and the billionaire is too young. The first one has possibilities, if the man is a handsome, black billionaire, early 50’s.  His slightly superior attitude is good.  Could his suit be a blue blazer, his shirt be whiter, his tie dark red, and can you fit in a gold watch?  The mountains need to be largely green – no snow cover – and I think they should look real and take up more of the picture.

The artist responded with: “I am attaching a new jpg proof for your review.”

My comment on this was: ” We’re getting there! I think the man is too young, and I don’t think he would have a scar on his cheek.  Attached are some photos that fit my picture of the billionaire. I think all of them are copyright, but I can tell you who the copyright owner is, if you’re interested. The mountains in the background need to have more character (visible details) and look more like mountains than hills. (I sent him three sample pictures if black men.)

The artist responded: “Here’s a revised cover proof…

My comment was, “I understand that the orange colour scheme is thematic, but it doesn’t work for me. Could you do the mountains in natural green and the sky in natural shades of grey/white with threatening storm clouds and perhaps a stroke of lightening? With this change, the subtitle, The Billionaire and the Mafia, should probably be in black, same font as ‘Nebrodi Mountains’.

He responded: “Here’s the latest incarnation…”

And I said, “It’s excellent! I assume you’ll eliminate the watermark across the man’s face.”

So, that’s the cover.

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