Coming up with a Book Cover

Book covers are tricky business. While I was writing that was one thing I never envisioned. Sure, I could see the character, each scene unfolding like a blockbuster movie, but an intriguing cover–nothing. I mean nothing. And for me that was kinda hard to accept being a former fashion major. Knowing what looks good visually comes naturally, I can dress people surely I can dress a book. Boy was I wrong.

I started researching book covers in my category, New Adult, and well, there were all kinds of girl-lusting-after-boy covers, or the hunky guy exposing his sculpted chest. Not quite my style. However, I read on NA Alley that book covers with people on them sell better. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of characters on the covers of books, I understand why this sells. We are so relational and want to connect with others. Seeing a real person on the cover probably draws interest just because of that fact. However, I still wasn’t sold on the idea. I’m a child of the 90s and I know just how silly people can look when fashion goes wrong. Seriously, these would have been models for book covers in the 90s.

90s fashion Will Smith 90s

And we all know what this looks like to us now. I just couldn’t.

So, I thought of all the cool campus type images I could use as cover art: buildings, mascots, book bags. Along with all the Reslife stuff like, key cards, duty logs, t-shirts galore.  But then there’s this little copyright issue I kept running into that killed the dream I had in me.  I’d have to get permission and pay for most of the images I thought would work best, which led me in a different direction. I wanted to have a picture that wouldn’t violate copyright laws but display something meaningful to the story. And I wanted to include a person too, but without showing their gender or fashion style. This is what I came up with.


How did you decide on cover art? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I have to figure out an image for the last installment of the Hall Speaks. 🙂

*image source: Will Smith picture from


2 thoughts on “Coming up with a Book Cover

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