Creating the cover art

I am a firm believer that a good, well done cover can help sell a book. When I first started out as a self published author, I wasn’t as adamant as I am now. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to have two of my covers redone. . . But the question placed before me is this: how important is it to have your character match, not only just physically, but personality wise to the model on the cover?

While it would be almost impossible for the average writer to be able to afford the luxury of being able to have their characters match a cover model to a fault, it can be obtained.

I like to have my covers done prior to the story even being finished. Why? It gives me inspiration to write, and makes the character(s) seem more real.  While I don’t go after, say eye color to match the cover vs. character, the physical attributes, such as physical build can be obtained. But sometimes you have to “cheat” a little to achieve the end result.

I’ll use “Timeless Sojourn” as an example. In my mind’s eye I envisioned the main male character, Geoffrey with dark hair, physically well built and (of course) handsome. He was the easy part. The difficult part was when it came to finding my main female character, Anne. Anne posed a problem. She was quite a bit older than Geoffrey, so finding an image with a older female proved challenging. I could have used two entirely separate images and had them blended so they appeared to be together, and I didn’t want to use, although I could have, a female that was real young. Sure a lot of people probably would have never noticed that on the cover. But I would have. I spent hours peering over an endless collection of images until I came across the one that is now on the cover. The female model’s face is partially obscured by her hair, which made her intriguing and helped cover up the age factor. She’s not as old as what  I envisioned in my mind’s eye, but she is the best fit. The cover is my favorite out of all my books; the image of the couple captures the very essence of what true love is all about.

Now on to personality. . .I believe you can tell a lot about the personalities the images on a cover portray not only by the way they pose, but by facial expression and lighting.  I like the images for my male characters to be somewhat older and mature. Definitely not twenty something. The same goes for the female. If I didn’t use this criteria, the covers would never match the story inside that cover. Lighting, used correctly will enhance the image, thus helping the reader easily imagine and envision what the image portrays. Facial expression can be tricky, but it is easy to weed out the truly professional models from the newbies or the wannabes.  The better images come from models who know what they’re doing and what they are suppose to be portraying for the camera. Finding a couple to use is not always an easy task either to find that one perfect image with the pair in sync with the other.

Again, it all boils down to the writer. Some writers do not devote or put much thought and effort into their covers. Others, like me do.  The cover does reflect back on me after all as a writer.

 Guest post by Jamie Salisbury. Jamie Salisbury cannot imagine a time when she did not write. A skill that has served her well throughout her professional career. Public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, and special event planning all elevated her passion for writing.

An avid reader of histories, biographies, and romance, it's only natural that part of the products of her pen are historical romances featuring characters so authentic they spring forth from the page and shake the reader's hand. Many of her teen years were spent in Chile, but she and her family were forced out of the country when the political climate demanded it.

Taking the plunge to take her writing professional came as a result of a series of foot surgeries that left her with a lot of time on her hands. Unable to walk great distances at the time, she started writing as a way to pass the time. Her experiences of how dramatically her life had changed at first. Then the new world of e-publishing inspired her to digitally publish her first novel, Perpetual Love, rather than relegate it to the dreaded drawer. She couldn't be happier with her decision to grab the publishing industry by the shoulders and force it to pay attention to all she has to offer.

Two more novels have followed: Blood Lust and Tudor Rose, with more to follow soon.
Jamie now lives outside of Atlanta, but the love for travel has never abandoned her. Adventure, exploration, and intrigue permeate her prose to the core.

Jamie will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. I think you have done an excellent job on the cover for TIMELESS SOJOURN. It's beautiful, interesting & 'warm'. The cover models look like a loving couple.


    1. Good Morning Marybelle,
      Thanks for your comments on the cover of Timeless Sojourn. To date it is my favorite cover. That was part of the reason in my choosing this image -- the couple had that look that only a loving couple can express.

  2. Thanks for having me here on Writers and Authors today. I'll be stopping by throughout the day to answer questions and comments.

  3. I'm hereeeee :D
    I'm the opposite of you. I can't think of what my covers are going to look like until I've written the book. Then there's the fact that I'm limited to what I can ask for. You're free to do whatever you want, and I just LOVE the cover for Timeless Sojourn. As I've said many times before, that cover tells a story of its own before you've even opened the book.
    A lot of people say they don't read (usually) a book from its cover...But you and I both know that's not true :P

    1. Hi Natalie!
      I can't say that's always true - sometimes the cover comes towards the end of a book I'm writing - but not in the case of Timeless Sojourn.
      I'm with you a cover can tell a story before you've opened the book.

  4. I love the cover. That guy is real cute, I want him.LOL

    1. Ingeborg -
      Thanks for your comment. This cover is my own personal favorite out of all my books. The guy you refer to on the cover of Timeless Sojourn is Jimmy Thomas, cover model extraordinaire, who has graced the covers of over 3400 books.

  5. I have to agree with you on the importance of a good cover. While I am not influenced by the cover the buy the book, a good cover will usually attract my attention enough for me to pick it up to take a quick look-see! Just never know what might be hiding between those covers! Maybe Geoffrey?

    Since I bought my e-reader, I find I'm also attracted to ebooks with nice covers...again, probably won't influence my purchase, but I like to look at a good cover! Besides, they look pretty on my ereader bookshelves!

    OK, so you won't tell me a romantic thing a character said or did...yes, I'll keep reading! LOL. If your book was to be made into a film, who would you like to see play the lead characters?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Karen -
      Great comments!
      If Timeless Sojourn were ever made into a film. . .Hmmm. . .I could see Anne portrayed by Rita Wilson or Sharon Stone - Geoffrey - that's a hard one - there are so many to choose from, but I'm sort of sold on Peter Facinelli. . .
      And now that's open for discussion!!

  6. When a book has a good cover I pick it up and read the back of the book, and if sounds interesting I will buy it. So not only the cover has to look and fit the story, but the details of it. Jimmy Thomas fits in so many covers. =)

    1. Brava Ana!!
      I totally agree with the fact that the cover should fit the story - I've run across some that don't and once you get in and read the book I go and look back at the cover and shake my head!
      And yes Jimmy Thomas does fit well for so many covers.

  7. It's so distracting to see the same models (often in the same Photoshopped pose!) over and over again on covers, so I appreciate your approach.


  8. Anonymous -
    Thank you so very much for your comment! I (along with my fantastic cover artists) put a lot of thought and time into them! It's nice to get feedback like this!

  9. Rebecca Hipworth1 August 2012 at 12:48

    The cover is indeed beautiful; I love it. :)



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