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A Book by Its Cover

Have you ever bought a book you didn't mean to buy because you liked its cover? Likewise, have you ever put a book down because, even though you liked the story premise, you just really didn't dig the cover?

Here's the thing about book covers: they are a book's greatest or worst marketing tool. And that means a whole lot of thought goes into them.

I thought it might be fun to take you through some of the cover iterations we made for MOM before deciding on the cover you see on the book (or you will see when the book releases in a mere 13 days!!!).

This was not an easy process, folks. First of all, this book is the first in a series, which means we wanted to come up with something that we could carry across all three books. Second, it's sci-fi, which means the potential for becoming bunged up with cheesy ideas is quite high. Third, there were a couple of elements Collin wanted to include, and a couple of elements I wanted to include, and those elements didn't particularly gel perfectly first.

Fun fact: I made seventeen different covers for MOM. Yes, you read that correctly. Seventeen.

Would you like to see some of them? Good!

First, we tried the full on sci-fi artificial intelligence angle.

I know, it's kind of cool,'s also not very stand-out when considering the covers of other sci-fi books. Plus, Collin wanted to include in the design an ENSO, which is a symbol he personally gels with and which goes along swimmingly with the "Magic Circles" theme. So we moved on.

Collin had originally thought of using a scenic image, something wasteland-ish and that would give the oppressive, "you've killed the world" feeling he has captured in the book. He thought it might be good if we could use the sun as the enso. Cool idea! So we tried this:

Yeah... it's bad. I know. Let's move on.

Next we decided to take a different approach. Sci-fi tends to be overrun with over-the-top, super busy covers. So, we thought, what if we went the opposite way and tried something really simple. Like...

We both agreed that, though this was far from perfect (obviously), we were headed on the right path.

So we experimented. A lot. I made the swirl pattern because I really liked the literal "falling down the rabbit hole" that takes place in the book. I also wanted to create some texture. So we tried...

Now we were getting somewhere!

We did some more tweaking, working on getting the textured illusion feeling I wanted and the zen enso feeling that Collin wanted, added in the dystopic broken-down lettering, and finally arrived at...


It took us a long time to come up with a cover we were both happy with, but I'm glad we didn't settle for something that wasn't right. Our cover is our book's face, after all. It has to tell you something of our message. I can't wait for you to see it "in the flesh." The screen doesn't do it justice. A couple more days, folks! Only a few more sleeps until you can fall down the rabbit hole too (unless you've already done so because you took advantage of the early sale right here in the CDP store!!).

Thanks for reading!

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