The cover design evolution for a poetry book

When I first began thinking of a concept for my cover I found myself scrolling through Pinterest having searched for “vintage book cover”, “antique book cover,” and simply “poetry book cover”. I loved so many different designs but nothing inspired me like I was hoping. I decided to draw inspiration from the title Afterbirth, and adding a tree of life to the cover center and an easy filigree of twigs surrounding it; the bottom of the cover felt empty so I added hands that were placed as if to catch a new life. 

I excitedly shared 4 color variations on Twitter and asked my followers to vote on which would become my book cover. I couldn’t choose which one I liked best! After a week-long poll, my followers chose the winner—the green version was voted on and won by a landslide, blue in second, and then…

And then I decided I didn’t like it.

I wanted something that felt more evocative of me, something that would catch my eye and call out for me to read.
From now on I will approach book cover creation a little differently. Let me explain why…

1st and 2nd cover designs…

I should have done more market research on book covers and looked through online retailers catalogs for other poetry book covers.

This would:

  1. Help me to understand what my future audience wants to see
  2. Help me to understand what I personally felt good and confident about when it comes to the final product (and putting a bit of myself out there in book form)

Then came my second cover design. I made it in a state of panic when I realized that I didn’t like the first cover anymore. I wanted something with a simple and timeless design. I opted to use one of my favorite photographs I took while in my favorite place on earth. I added a pretty blackletter font and painted a lilac arch over the corners—it felt intimate and a little spiritual to me when I finished. I didn’t just like the new cover, I loved it! 

1 and 2

Though I loved the second cover for a few days, the feeling that something was still off came creeping in once more. It wasn’t doubt, it was intuition.
I never showed my second design off and slept on what I was to do in order to bring my final design to life.
It took so long, I began to question if I should just hire an artist to create a cover for me but I was set on crafting my debut book on my own.

Surely, with my wild imagination, I could think of something, right?

It takes a wild imagination to create such a thing as a book

I took the back of an old Moffat, Colorado public library book I bought from a thrift store in Crestone and asked my kids to help me put golden star stickers on it.

18 stars on the front cover and 4 stars on the back, which makes 22 in all (lucky numbers of mine.) When I uploaded it to the procreate app I adjusted the hue and saturation of the photo; I added a typewriter font for the title and my name in handwriting.

No question, this is it! 
This is the cover of my book.

From an illustration, to a photograph of a place I call home, to a simple and lovely cover design my children and I made together. 

The evolution is complete!

Thank you for reading!

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