Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Creating a Cover - Brides of the Old West

 Did you ever wonder how a book cover is created? Today I'm going to share the process talented author and designer L.A. Sartor followed when she designed the cover for Brides of the Old West.

It all started with this photograph. 

Original Photo - South Pass City

Even though the novellas are set in Cheyenne, I thought this picture from a trip my husband and I took to South Pass City exemplified the old West and wanted it for the cover. 

L.A. had some concerns, but she agreed to see if she could make it work. When she showed me her first design, she was afraid I'd hate it. I didn't. In fact, I LOVED it. Oh, there were things we both knew had to be changed, but the overall look was perfect.

First cover -- Brides of the Old West

We worked together to choose type fonts and colors, but because the original design was so good, that didn't take long. This was the cover that would appear on ebooks. 

Final Front Cover - Brides of the Old West

The next step was to create a cover for the print version. That involved designing the spine and the back cover.

Original Print Cover - Brides of the Old West

As you can see, there were some problems, the biggest of which is that I had written too much back cover copy. It was time for me to do some cutting.

Semi-Final Print Cover - Brides of the Old West

Besides cutting the number of words in the copy, we made a few changes along the way, including adding the sunflower spray. At this point, we both thought the cover was finished. But ... There's always a "but," isn't there?

When I received a proof copy of the book and saw the back cover by itself, I realized there was a minor problem.

First Back Cover - Brides of the Old West

It may not have bothered anyone else, but it looked too plain to me. Furthermore, there was nothing tying the sunflower spray to the rest of the cover. The solution was easy.

Final Back Cover - Brides of the Old West

By making the novella titles the same blue as the flowers in the spray, the back cover was more appealing. And so we had the final version of the print cover.

Final Print Cover - Brides of the Old West

Both L.A. and I are thrilled by the way it turned out. I hope you agree with us that it's a beautiful cover and one that will intrigue readers.


  1. This is fascinating. Two artistic minds at work! I LOVE IT.

  2. Very nicely done - Both cover and article.

  3. What an involved process! Excellent, excellent work. a splendid example of gifted people working together. Cheers

  4. Amanda, stepping back and seeing the process this way is fun. Every time I create a cover, I learn something new, a technique, an idea (like the added color on the back cover) and most importantly, to let myself play with ideas. Similar to writing a book, wide eyed and excited.
    Hugs, L.A.

  5. Love the cover and was fascinated by the process!

  6. This is so pretty! Very appealing cover.