fun-sized stories

Covers, Covers, Everywhere!

I’m starting to see covers in my sleep…

My fourth children’s book, Helping Hands, has been more work than I had thought it was going to be.  One of the issues has been getting the cover right.  The editing part of my brain has been working overtime and has been nixing cover after cover.  Usually my decision making on something like the cover is taken care of in the brainstorming phase of things.  I sit down and sketch out ideas for a cover – usually quite a few.  I have the whole book planned roughly on paper and know the focus behind it.  That way, the cover is easier to plan out and finalize (most of the time).

Let me show you some of the covers I’ve gone through…

The first two were my starting point.  Neither were finalized as I moved along to another idea before finishing them.  My idea was that the hands were reaching in to help.  But….. I started to see the second one starting to look like a poster for a horror movie.  Like the zombies were reaching in to get the words.  Too chaotic, claustrophobic, and overall just…just no.


My next idea almost became to cover.  I made a final design of it.  But as was pointed out to me, it looked like a religious pamphlet.  Ah well.

This was the one that I had announced previously as my final cover.  But there was a problem.  Here’s what happened.  When I come up with an idea for a book, I do plenty of research.  Including – has someone else done it?  That’s a big one!  I did that.  But…after I created this cover was finished, I was doing some research for a couple other books I have planned and came across another children’s book with a cover very close to this.  Similar idea behind my book too!  Oh No!!!

I checked out the other book and it turned out my idea is different (major wiping sweat off the brow moment!), but the cover was too similar.  So this cover was out.

helping hands cover

On to the next idea.  This one was super simple.  Unfinished design, but overall it didn’t work.  While it sort of gets the point across of what helping hands are, I just wasn’t happy with it.  It didn’t really get the point of the story.

At this point I looked over all those designs (as well as my initial rough ideas before these more finalized ones), and thought that the answer could be going in a more child-like art direction.  While I think that this new design delivers on that, I didn’t like it.  It just wasn’t right.

My next idea was to combine the hands of my first design with the font.  Nope. Not working.  First off, even though this is just a rough design, it looks like severed arms.  And second, it doesn’t look like a children’s book cover.  Ugh!

…..yeah….. this one looks like I was high when I did it.  How much color can I cram into it?  This much!  Moving on…

Onto a brand new idea…sort of.  This one actually lead me to my present cover idea that I’m going with.  These hands were going to be edited to look like the professions within the book.  One would be a fireman, one would be a mechanic, one would be a veterinarian, and so on.  But I felt that the hands would be too small.  My new idea will be a few of them side by side reaching up.  That will be the digital version.  For the print version, there will be more on the back cover as well.

Who knew creating a children’s book could be so stressful?

Right now I’m working on the FINAL version of the cover.  And the interior pages are about 90% done.

The new plan is that Helping Hands will be published by the end of the month….assuming no new editing issues pop up.

Stay tuned!  More to come.