Who created the cover?
Scarlett Rugers – and I’d wholeheartedly recommend her.
How much input did you have?
Quite a bit, in terms of both the overarching concept and the little details, although the designer also used lots of her own ideas. The cover was designed from scratch and the designer was keen to ensure it fitted both my novel and my personal tastes – plus I’m quite a picky person! I’ve just looked over my old emails to refresh my memory on the process of designing the cover and we seem to have exchanged about twenty emails over two weeks!
What was the process to have the cover created?
I started by filling out a questionnaire which asked me about the book, about existing covers I like, about whether I wanted it to be like other covers in the genre or quite unique and about what I wanted the cover to convey. At the same time, the designer read the draft of my novel, which I personally found really important. She then came up with three or four high-level ideas, out of which I had to pick my favourite. The option I went with was described by the designer as:
“Using a single image of a beautiful woman with flowing hair in clearly expensive attire. she has a pin on her chest the symbolizes the Cavaliers. There are two healed puncture wounds on her neck- which does not follow the normal blood trails that you see on a standard YA vampire book, but simply a suggestion the reader may or may not pick up on immediately. Behind her are the sweeping grounds of Oxford”
It’s the perfect example of our back and forth that I then requested that instead of a woman with a puncture mark, I’d prefer a glamorous man with blood on his mouth – the vampire rather than the victim.
The designer then went away, found suitable pictures and worked her magic. She sent me lots of emails showing my different options for some of the details, for example whether the title should be on a shape (as it now is) or free floating, and perhaps most memorably, just how much blood the vampire should have on his mouth. I have all sorts of proofs saved that look like the final cover but have subtle differences.
For the sequel, I went straight back to the same designer. I was keen that the covers looked quite similar (it had exactly the same design, but a different colour scheme, a different historical character and a different view of Oxford), so there was less discussion about style and concept and more about exactly which pictures should be used.
Are you happy with the end result?
I love my covers and most people who come across them seem to too. There are several people on Goodreads who have the books listed under categories such as “ooh shiny” and “by its cover.”
Is there anything you would change?
As discussed above, I think the covers are beautiful. The only slight problem with them is that some people have pointed out that they made them think the books were historical (which in some cases put them off and in others led to disappointment), when they are actually contemporary paranormal. In retrospect, it might have been better to have had a picture of a vampire in modern formal dress, just for genre clarity, but we found that there were copyright issues with most suitable modern images.
What do you think the cover says about your book?
The tagline for the book (and the name of my blog) is “A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal” and I’d hope that the formally dressed man, the view of Oxford in the background, and the subtle hint of blood combine to show that this is a story that includes all these elements. I also think that the cover looks very classy and polished and I’d like to think that the same could be said about the story inside.
Published by Self published on Oct 17, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
Find the book: Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads
A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal…
The Cavaliers are the most elite society at Oxford University – rich, powerful, and beautiful. No one realises that they are no ordinary students, but a group of aristocratic vampires from the English Civil War. For four hundred years they have groomed the most promising students to run the government, police, and finance in the way the vampires wish, granting them eternal life in return for absolute obedience.
When Harriet French arrives at Oxford University from her working class northern state school, she’s prepared for a culture shock, but not to become embroiled in the Cavaliers’ scheming and bloodlust. Harriet thought she’d be busy enough juggling her demanding tutor, new friends, and the murky world of student politics. But now, she must find the rebel vampire who is killing off the members, stop the Cavaliers from orchestrating a massacre of the year’s most beautiful and successful students, and defy the Society to be with the man of her dreams.
Oxford Blood is a British, adult, paranormal romance. It’s a tale with vampires that aren’t afraid to kill and a heroine who’s not afraid of sex or her own ambition.
My Thoughts: I think this is very classy, and clearly a cover for a vampire story. My first assumption was that it was a historical story, and the summary doesn’t make me change my mind, but as per the author’s responses above, this is incorrect. I think more modern clothing would clear up any genre misunderstandings, but regardless, I still think the cover is very elegant and well designed.
What do you think of the cover? Does it make you want to pick up the book?