The Making of a Book Cover 2.0

Honestly, I don’t remember why or when I decided that Ben Porter needed to be an underwear model a la Marky Mark in the 80’s Calvin Klein ads. Maybe it was just so I could do the research. Very arduous research, as you can imagine.

But, to the cover. This time around I knew my genre–Romantic Comedy– and I didn’t have to find a designer because Lana at Bookcoverology did such an amazing job with the cover for WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. And I had a slightly better idea of how the process should go.

For instance, I now know how useful a Pinterest board can be. For book one, I emailed her folders of images. This time I could just collect them on boards. (I know people have been doing this for years but I’m not a particularly visual person so I never got the Pinterest thing. Now, I get it.)

In addition to the actor/model Ben Porter, FORGET ABOUT ME is about Lucy Minola: an Italian-American vet tech with a gorgeous full figure. She wears scrubs at work, of course but her curves come out of hiding when a co-worker helps her find a vintage red dress to wear to an opening night party.

Then there’s the dog that brings them together. If you’re not an animal person, you’ll probably hate this book. Between the dog training and the veterinary hospital scenes, animals are all over it. Puck–the stray that shows up on page one–is especially important, so of course he needed his own board. Benji from the movies series of the characters’ childhoods was an inspiration, then I just went nuts pinning expressive terrier mix faces.

Another important element is the mixtape. When Lucy was a carefree teen, she was obsessed with mixtapes and making them for Ben was a key feature in her seduction of him back when he was just her big brother’s best friend. (You can get that story in the FREE ebook SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED by subscribing to my news or joining my FB group Wicked Smaht Retro Romcom Readers).

Finally, for some reason the image of the Coppertone ad where a dog is pulling on a girl’s bathing suit would not leave my mind, so that went in an inspiration board, too.

Then I sent that all to Lana and came up with this first sketch.

I loved a lot about this. Probably top of the list was how Lana incorporated the Coppertone image idea by having Puck tug on Lucy’s sexy dress. There were a few small adjustments like making Lucy’s hair curly and switching locations of the tag line and sub-title. My PR advisor suggested a more intense yellow background to make it pop even more. I’d wanted the mixtape on the cover–maybe with the tape in a heart the way the phone cord was in WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR–but Lana felt it would get too busy. (Instead she created this image, which is on the back cover and at the top of every chapter.)

We did have a question about Ben. Should we see the bare chest that he’s so famous for? So Lana made the above changes and tried losing his shirt.

However, that didn’t work so well in the stylized illustration style we’d chosen for the series (see the Mukai drawings and Aha video inspirations in my first post about the cover of book one).

So I looked further for poses that might give us a hint of Ben’s torso and sent these guys to Lana.

And she came up with this lovely version.

On October 22, you’ll be able to have your very own copy in ebook, paperback (available for pre-order now) or audio format! You can even buy a signed paperback directly from me here:

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