Ask a Designer About Covers & Reveal

Becca and I are no good at keeping secrets, and everyone has been so incredibly patient with us over this book, so when when we saw our final cover yesterday we had to share it. So… Ta-da!

We are incredibly pleased with the job that our designer Scarlett Rugers has done here. It completely embodies the concepts of emotion and creativity, doesn’t it?

It is great to be one step closer to release. I know that most people have a date picked months in advance and carefully plan out each detail. We wanted this too, and months ago, targeted for an April release date. And then we found out that while Becca and I love working together, our governments don’t. Needless to say, we are snipping our way through red tape, but hope everything will be fixed soon so we can release this book. We haven’t given up on April, but likely we will have to push to May.

So…back to the cover. 🙂 We thought it might be great to have Scarlett on the blog to answer a few questions about covers to anyone curious about them. A good cover can do wonders and a bad cover can kill a book. But what constitutes a good or bad cover? How do trends change? What about colors, styles and what happens when a type of cover reaches saturation point? *cough cough floor-length ball gowns in YA cough cough*

Scarlett has a great eye and has created some amazing covers. This is your chance to pick a designer’s brain and ask about the most important things to factor in when creating a cover. Please leave any questions you have for her in the comments below! We’ll gather them up and pass them on to her to answer. 🙂


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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42 Responses to Ask a Designer About Covers & Reveal

  1. Anon, in answer to your question, Angela and I will be addressing this in an upcoming post. So stay tuned :).

  2. Deb Marshall says:

    Well…I am stopping to say that I LOVE this cover. So looking forward to having this in my hands!

  3. That is a great cover. CONGRATS!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just wonder if once your book is published will you remove the Emotion Thesaurus from the website?

  5. Leslie Rose says:

    Love the blue, black, and white action. Graphic-tastic as well with the word strips.

  6. Sorry i don’t have an intelligent question to ask, I just wanted to say how fantastic I think this cover is 🙂

  7. I haven’t got a question but I just want to say YAY! I somehow missed that this book was coming out but I can’t WAIT 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love the cover and can’t wait for the release.

    BUT, if it’s not too late, can you make the apostrophe a REAL apostrophe? You know, the curly one.

    See “The Mac is Not a Typewriter” by Robin Williams (not that Robin Williams)

  9. Ooh, awesome cover, you must be so excited! Can’t wait to see the finished product 🙂



  10. Awesome cover, cleverly designed for content.

    Can’t wait for the book release!

  11. How do you decide if the cover will be a photo of a real person in character?

  12. Karen Lange says:

    Great cover! Can’t wait till it comes out! 🙂

  13. Jeanie k says:

    With all the independent printing and self pubbing, my curiosity is: Are they charged to use additional colors? Many books seem to stick with different shades of the same color. I think that a contrast for lettering would make your book title/author name pop.How about the size of the letter printing? Sometimes you can’t see the author’s name or the book Title well, because of small print. Is there a rule of thumb? I think authors that are doing their own covers should at least hold the book 5-10 feet away and look at it.I received an ARC from an author, and the title blended in with the rest of the book.

  14. Thanks for the great post, and for the opportunity to ask a question. Here’s mine: I see there’s a strong trend toward photographic images as the basis for covers. I’m sure this is because of their ease of manipulation, and their clarity as thumbnails. My question is whether you think hand-drawn or -painted covers can still work for online marketing. And, if so, are there particular characteristics that will make them successful? Thanks!

  15. Love the cover!! How close to the description of characters does the cover artist try and get? Do they read the book to get the details or does an author include that description for them?

  16. Awesome cover. Can’t wait for it to be released. 🙂

  17. Mirka Breen says:

    Strong, good design.
    As my publisher is mulling over my MG cover, on which I have no say, I’m wondering if there are things that should NOT be on a cover. Examples of NO-NOs in design. This would be my question.

  18. Congratulations! That’s a wonderful cover. 🙂

    What are the best programs to use when creating a cover?

  19. Kelly Polark says:

    Wow! It looks amazing! Congrats!

    I wonder about how one chooses a font (what to stay away from) and font size?

  20. The cover looks fantastic!
    I was wondering what size and resolution does she normally use for covers.

  21. LOL The *cough cough* ballroom comment is what I was thinking about when I wrote yesterday’s QT post on creating covers.

  22. JC Piech says:

    Oooo exciting times!! 😀 Congratulations!

    Hmmm… the first question that came to my mind is, what are the 3 most important things to AVOID when designing a book cover?


  23. Southpaw says:

    Really nice cover.

    Here is my question. How do you avoid (or maybe modify) those cliché covers when all the best sellers are using them and selling?

  24. Awesome questions so far. It was so great to work with Scarlett. She did a fantastic job. I know she’ll have lots of information to share.

  25. Thanks everyone for the congrats and the questions. I’m really pleased with the cover, and so excited to have this book out. I hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations. 🙂

    Matt, the reason why we decided to parcel this book on its own is we wanted to add to it and make it stronger and even more helpful than what’s on the blog. If we put all the Thesaurus Collections into one book it would have been insanely long, and with no room for new entries. 🙂

    Hope everyone is rounding out their week and looking forward to the weekend. I know I am! 🙂

  26. Love the cover, ladies! 😀

  27. Just wanted to let you know that there is an award for you on my blog! Have a nice day!

  28. Ava Jae says:

    I don’t really have any questions…but the cover is fantastic. I love it. Congratulations ladies and good luck with your May release!

  29. First, wow…I seriously LOVE your cover! It’s perfect.

    Scarlett really does have some awesome covers. I love the one for How the Wishes Fell–so awesome! 🙂

  30. LOVE the cover! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Congratulations!!

  31. M.R. Anglin says:

    Congrats on your cover!

    Question: Why don’t I see many black covers for middle grade books? Does it make the content look too intense for that age group or is there another reason?

  32. Bish Denham says:

    Congratulations! The cover is fantastic. I’m so excited for the two of you I can’t hardly sit still. As for a question for Scarlett… I’m too ignorant to know what to ask.

  33. Anonymous was me. Accidental click.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t realize you were putting out a different volume for each “section” of the thesaurus, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense.

  35. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great cover! 🙂 I checked out Scarlett’s site. She has a great style – very clean and attractive covers.

  36. I love it! Can’t wait to own it!

  37. Love, love, LOVE your cover!!! Rock on, ladies!

  38. Love the cover! Awesome! 🙂

    Question: How long does it take her complete a cover from start to finish?

  39. Our baby, all grown up :). This was an interesting process. Can’t wait to see what questions you all come up with.

  40. I’m thrilled you’re putting this in book form!

  41. Awesome cover Angela and Becca! It really fits your book! So excited for you.

  42. I have no idea what kind of questions I should be asking in this department… I guess I’ll ask, do authors of a book often get to pick or influence the cover their books end up with? Are we allowed to contribute to designing it? Or does it all depend on who we’re working with and their own personal terms and conditions?

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