Monday, March 5, 2018

A Book and Its Cover

By Laurel Inwood from Kylie Logan’s Ethnic Eats mystery series

Last month we talked about book covers and how they’re created and I showed you the artist’s sketch for “Italian Iced,” my newest adventure (on bookstore shelves July 3).

So there’s the sketch above, and here’s the finished product.

Of course the colors make a huge difference!  But I've been studying the cover, looking at the differences, thinking what it must be like to be an artist.  One of the things I noticed right away was the addition of the pot of flowers on the right hand wide near the bottom of the picture.  Perfect!  It adds a pop of color, gives the reader a hint as to what season the book is set in, and tells readers something, too, about Sophie's Terminal at the Tracks, the restaurant I manage.  We're not a fancy place, but we do have a warm, welcoming atmosphere.  I think those flowers say it perfectly.

Then there's the cat . . . truth be told, cats play a major part in the plot of this story.  I won't say how because I don't want to give anything away.  Look at the cat in the sketch.  It's a tiny thing and because it's standing up against the wall, to me it looks frightened.  Now look at the cat in the finished cover.  It's strutting its stuff!  Love the way it looks like it owns the place!

Other differences?  Well, all that bread in the window, for sure, which adds a deliciousness to the scene.  Can't you just smell the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread?  And of course, the Italian flags in the windows.  Each month, the Terminal at the Tracks features a different ethnic food so these flags are the perfect addition.

If only we could get murder off the menu!


  1. Fun to see the sketch and the finished cover. Thanks for sharing. A question I’ve always had is how much does the artist know about the story? Sometimes it seems to me that the covers don’t really represent the books too accurately. Does the author give feedback after looking at The Sketch? Or the editor? Thanks!

  2. The answer to your question, Jane . . . it depends. For this cover, I did see the sketch. I've published 60 novels and this is the first sketch I've seen! As to how much an artist knows about the book, my understanding is that the sales department, the marketing department, and editorial get together and discuss the book, then give the artist suggestions, so really, the artist doesn't know anything more than what the artist is told. Maybe some of the other authors out there know more about the process?

  3. I love seeing the process from sketch to cover. It looks really good!!

  4. What intrigues me is how the cover artist creates the image out of layers, so s/he can edit it piece by piece. Want a pine tree instead of an oak? No problem--peel out the oak and stick in a new tree, without disturbing the rest. Oh, and bring that cat forward so it's more noticeable. BTW, I purchased the sketch for the first cover with my name on it from the artist (and it's not exactly like the final version, but close).

  5. I never knew that about the layers, Sheila. Interesting stuff!

  6. Does the author give feedback after looking at The Sketch? Or the editor? Thanks!

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