I’m so in love with my cover for Speak of the Devil, I decided to have a little chat with my cover designer, Marisa Shor of Cover Me, Darling, to talk about how she works the magic that she does.
How did you get into designing covers? How long have you been doing it?
Honestly, I started off as a blogger. I’ve always been an avid reader, and when book blogs started getting big, I started one. I met a TON of amazing authors and readers doing it, and when a few of them found out I was a freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer, they suggested I try my hand at cover designing. So I did. And it was amazing. And I love EVERY second of it. I’ve been in the Graphic Design and Photographer for over 10 years now, and I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed a “job” more than cover design and photography.
How do you go about creating these great covers? Describe the process of designing a book cover from start to finish.
Every one is different. Sometimes authors provide a photo, some have just an idea, some want to use a model of mine and request a custom photo-shoot. But once the image idea is set, be it a photo or a graphic, it flows from there. I send out a questionnaire to all of the authors I work with, so I can make sure the feel of the cover flows with the feel of their story. Once I read all the answers, I usually get an initial “OH! I’ll try that first!” and that idea gets worked up first. To me, the hardest part of it is picking the fonts haha.
How long does it generally take for you to create a cover?
The actual cover itself will take anywhere from an hour, to days. It all depends on how much detail goes into it, and how many revisions it requires. If there is a photo-shoot involved, the whole process is a bit longer, because I have to set the shoot with the model, get the details for the shoot, do the shoot, and then send proofs.
Do you approach young adult covers differently? Paranormal covers?
I do, actually. Every genre has a different look. Paranormal covers may be more dark, have more detail, more to the photo, as well as the fonts being different than standard fonts. Young adult will have a sweeter feel, younger look to it, which usually is portrayed by the images used, and less the fonts.
How often do you use models vs. stock photos? Why do you make that decision? Do you have a preference?
I always love seeing one of my photos on a cover! Haha But really, it’s up to the author. If they come to me with no specific picture, and ask if I have a model that matches that description, I will send out my stock on that model, or offer a custom shoot. Stock photos are great because you can generally find pretty close to what you are looking for. But a lot of authors have been moving away from stock, as far as I can tell, just because stock photos have the potential to be re-used. Generally if you go through a photographer (and there are some AMAZING ones out there) their images will not be resold once they are spoken for. So that’s definitely a perk of models and photographers.
Anything specific or different that you went through in designing the cover for Speak of the Devil other than me rushing you?
Hahaha! No worries, I’m used to tight deadlines! I had a TON of fun with your cover. It was one of the few times where someone said “I like this model, let’s pick some pictures” instead of “I want this picture.” I loved being able to play with different photos and see which ones fit the best!
How many covers have you done?
I’ve revealed 88 so far (yes, I had to look that up), and have done just about 150 covers so far!
Do you read the books whose covers you design?
I always try to. Since starting cover designing, most of my reading time went to working time (not that I’m complaining, at all!), but it definitely cut down my time to read. So I have a big back log of books to catch up with, but I will get there one day!
Which kinds of covers are your favorite? Do you have a favorite design of yours?
I LOVE dark covers, mystery.. crime.. paranormal.. ones along those lines. The covers that are out of the norm. I also really love covers that have objects on them as opposed to people. I have a bunch of favorites of mine, haha. Speak Of The Devil is DEFINITELY one of them. I can’t wait to work up the rest!
Are you a big reader? What kind of books / genres do you like?
I am! I’m a huge crime and mystery fan actually. Give me an FBI/CSI/Cop/Detective novel any day of the week. I’m also a fan of big big big twists that I don’t see coming. Definitely a big fan of New Adult as well!
Is cover designing a full time job? If not, what do you do for a living?
Right now, yes. I’ve been fully freelance for 4 years now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not sure I could go back to an office Graphic Design job at this point lol. But Cover Me Darling took off flying, and I have been focusing most of my attention on it for over a year now. I still do accept freelancing jobs, as well as photo sessions. But about 90% of my work is Cover Me Darling, currently.
Have you had any embarrassing/awkward cover model incidences?
LOL oh yes. Between models who don’t know each other being forced into bed together for pictures, hand cuffs whose keys we couldn’t figure out how to use, stepping directly into a stream, ant infestations out of the blue in the woods, backdrops falling on my model mid-shoot, to me having to fit into super small spaces while balancing a camera, my shoots definitely rarely have dull moments lol. I’m a super klutz, and I have to use a step ladder once in a while, because I’m also super short. Combine a klutz and a ladder? It usually ends badly.
Do you remember the shoot for the image we used for Speak of the Devil and that I plan on using for the other two books in the series? If so what was that like?
I do!! Those pictures were from a full day of running around to a bunch of different places, shooting. Ali was a total trooper, and basically gave my assistant and I a tour of her town during it. She knew all the best places to go, and it was a total blast. We ended up finding a random couch in the middle of a field that led to a lake, and we utilized it. We walked through a slippery muddy mess (yes, I almost fell in that too.. refer to “klutz” as stated above) to get into an old broken down barn and shoot in there. Basically we just drove and walked around all day looking for fun places to stop. I loved that shoot, I can’t wait to shoot with her again!
Anything else you’d like to talk about or plug like a website, social media sites, etc?
Thank you so much for this interview! I had a bunch of fun with it! Below are all my media links, thanks for the opportunity to plug my info as well 😉
Instagram : CoverMeDarling (where you see it first! Hehe. I usually post during photo sessions, so you can get a behind the scenes look, and some teaser photos, before they hit facebook or my website!)