How do you know when you found the perfect photo for your cover? For me it’s simple: the photo speaks to me. It’s instinct, it’s finally a face to a name. It’s that amazing hero(ine) you’ve been writing about, but never seen his/her face. All of sudden you see an image and there he/she is, staring at you and telling you, “Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?” That very moment your heartbeat turns into a drumroll, butterflies dance in your belly… it’s love at first sight. Nothing more.
Each one of my covers has a story worth telling, but this post is about my latest novel titled Me Tarzan—You Jane and its journey to finding the right cover. A bunch of my author friends recommended Regina Wamba at Mae I Design. She’s an artist and photographer with a ton of covers under her belt for New Your Times Bestseller authors to less famous authors. A look at her covers and I was hooked.
Sometime over the summer I contacted Regina and she agreed to design my cover. I admit that the entire time between us signing the contract and the deadline Regina and I agreed upon cover delivery I was so darn curious I’m surprised impatience didn’t kill me. My fingers itched each day to ask about how does the cover come along, but some part of my brain (the one that has the common sense center in it) kept me from doing that.
At one point Regina sent me a few drafts. I liked them, but I didn’t love any. That gut instinct, those butterflies I mentioned earlier didn’t bother to flap their wings.
October 15th couldn’t come any slower. I remember checking my email a thousand+ times the day before, and each time disappointment hit me like a cold shower. Then with each bit of disappointment came a bit of scolding at myself for wanting something to happen before the deadline. That what’s deadlines are for, right?
Bright and early on October 15th, the first thing I did even before I got out of bed was to check my email. No email from Regina. As the day progressed I became more and more antsy. I had posts aligned on my blog about the cover. I had a cover reveal booked on ATOMR site. I had an order of paperback books I was supposed to place. Around 2pm I was a mess.
About to go into a meeting I sent Regina a message saying that I’ll be in a meeting for an hour but able to check emails. She replied and said she’s ready to talk. And I was like, “Uhmmm, ready to talk???? I thought today was the day to receive the cover, not start talking.” Half an hour after our phone call she sent me a few drafts. So spot on! One of them especially stood out for me. From that draft until the final product a few days passed by. I eventually received the promised cover.
I give Regina props for nailing it. She blew me away with how well she captured the novel’s vibe—corky, funny, with a dash of heartache and happily-ever-after. How well she envisioned Lucas and Jane, my main characters. How her attention to detail for the font, color and size brought this cover to perfection.
As for the butterflies I’m happy to report they still dance to the tunes of my happiness. Can you see them?