The book would likely have been finished long ago if it was written by someone who wasn’t a designer in a past life. Of course I must be absolutely in love with the cover or there would be no way I could proudly put it out into the world. My multiple attempts at the cover design were thwarted by a lack of inspiration although I tried my damn hardest to conjure some up. The thing with inspiration is it’s not something you go out looking for. Inspiration seems to be a lot like trying to find your keys; you find it when you’re not looking for it. And that is exactly what happened with the cover.
If you look to the right you can see a very wee version of, what I believe to be, the final cover design. I like it so much I don’t even care whether or not you like it, and that’s really saying something because I’m typically sensitive about my artwork.
I began playing with the cover design before I even started writing the book which is so absurd the only thing I can think of is a certain cliché about a cart and a horse. It also reminds me that I’ve been working on the book for over a year now and it’s high time to get it complete. Being a designer, the part I was most looking forward to was laying out the book. Maybe that’s the real reason I became a writer, so I could fool around with words on a page in InDesign instead of Word – man do I hate Word. I have no idea why I even used it when there are plenty of other typing programs available. Habit, I suppose?
Anyway, the cover started out simple because I’ve always been drawn to minimalism but it just didn’t feel right so I kept on wringing bad ideas out of my exhausted brain. Looking back I actually like the original cover better than the later iterations. It’s as it if the design had to get worse before it got better. Frustrated, I started looking online at things like, “top book cover designs” in an attempt to conjure up some of my that creative magic. As you can see by the fourth design it wasn’t really all that magic.
At one point I was convinced that sandpaper was really going to drive the message home but it just ended up looking painfully awful. The state of my book cover had me feeling a little blue to the point I was procrastinating the completion of the whole project. That is until a good friend came along and unintentionally saved my ass.
I was sitting on Rachel’s insanely comfortable sofa while we nibbled on takeout and talked about all those things girls who aren’t typical talk about like knee surgery and good literature. She was raving about a novel she’d recently read called Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and although she had given her copy of the book away it was imperative that I get my hands on it. Seeing as I hadn’t read a good novel in a while I thought I’d look for it at the library and I put the ePUB version on hold a few days later. Being an NYT bestseller meant there was a waiting list so I forgot about it for several weeks until I received an e-mail letting me know it was available. All ebooks must be checked out within 4 days so their rather aggressive you snooze you lose policy prompted me to download the book right away even though I should have been working on my taxes, which I was also procrastinating. I’m sure you can understand why I wasn’t exactly inspired to work on that either.
As soon as I opened the book I stared at the cover for a while. It was simple and minimal, two of my favourite things. I wasn’t even sure what the white stuff was, is that hair or paint? I didn’t care, I loved it and right then was struck with the lightening bolt of inspiration. I abandoned all hope of doing any work on my taxes and I dove right into creating my new book cover. I was so delighted with my handiwork I created the small image for my homepage and wrote this post, all in the same evening which is quite a feat for this full-time mom. I guess I also have to thank my dear husband who took our son out for BBQ ribs at a friend’s place so I would have some time alone. I suppose I should also thank Iain and Jill for inviting them over in the first place. All these seemingly disconnected people conspired to get this book completed.
I’m running out of battery and I want to post this before that happens (eeek 8%). So thanks for joining me on this little adventure and rest assured the book will be ready very soon.
[Early this morning I found a typo while reading this post on my phone. Now I can’t find it. Send me a note if you find it and I’ll fix it straight away]