A few months ago I posted about the problems I was having in coming up with new cover designs for my books. I wanted something that was slightly more grown up than the originals, Something Stupid was once classified as Teenage Fiction purely because of the pastel cover and I know that my novels have always appealed to older readers as well as younger ones. I thought about going to a professional cover designer but the ones I could afford were all American, very good but you only have to spend five minutes in an American bookshop to see how different their covers are to ours. My books are quintessentially English and I don’t think I’d be doing them any favours by making them look American. Of course if they were ever taken up by an American publisher who got behind them that would be different…
My husband designed several covers for me some of which were wonderful – the rubber duck with hearts all over it floating in the swimming pool was particularly memorable, as was the vortex with our cat staring out from it – but weren’t really quite the sort of thing for my type of light women’s fiction. So then I did what I’d thought of right at the beginning and hadn’t acted on for some reason, asked my brilliantly talented friend Theo Wayte to design me a series of covers for the three books, all different but with a common style to link them together.
Theo wasn’t a book cover designer then; she is now. See below. She’s an artist and a calligrapher who does menus, place cards, seating plans, illustrated manuscripts, certificates, awards, labels – anything in fact you want which needs fabulous writing and the eye to know exactly what goes where. There was a picture in Hello magazine of Michael Jackson at a huge party with one of Theo’s menus in front of him (gold writing on black card). Oh and she also makes things, personalised wrapping paper, stamp boxes, pen jars, greeting cards, book marks…. which she takes to craft fairs and go like hot cakes. As I said, seriously talented.
After a little bit of doubt if she was capable of doing it (ha!), Theo came up with this:
I just love it, it’s got that touch of difference I was looking for though it’s still indisputably feminine. It might not work as a cover on a physical book when stacked up on a table but it’s really going to stand out amongst all the other drawings, pastels and photographed covers in the women’s fictions section of the Kindle store. That’s what I need, for people to click out of interest, see that I have some genuine reviews going back several years and, who knows, they might actually buy it.