Cover Art: The Peacock Tale

Hi!  J here.  I’m so excited about this post!  I’m going to unveil the cover to my new book, The Peacock Tale (Book 2 of the Livingston-Wexford Adventures)...ready…psyche!  It’s at the bottom…if I show you now, you will skip ahead…I just know it.

One of the reasons I decided to Indie Publish is to have control over things like the title and cover art.  I actually know the titles of all the books in the series (and a bit about what will be happening in each one) and I didn’t want someone else to have to power/responsibility to change them. 

The artist I worked with on this cover, and the cover to The Cordovan Vault (Book 1), did a wonderful job.  Her name is Kate Moncuse (yup, my sister-in-law) and she’s an art student in college.  She’s wonderful to work with and I’d recommend everyone to her after she graduates in May.  Until then, she’s all mine!!!!  I have lots of other stuff for her to fit in between those pesky classes.  Well, she might have something to say about it…but maybe she won’t read this post…

At any rate, after we worked out the design template for the first book, we applied that template to this one and will do that for the rest of the novels in the series to give them the same look and feel.  I spent some time in the bookstore looking at the covers in my genre and most of them had very busy covers, like the Harry Potter books.  I didn’t want my book to fade into the pack, so Kate and I decided to do each cover in the color of the title.  You’ll see that cover of The Peacock Tale is peacock-blue. 

I also wanted the Book # prominent on the cover.  I prefer not to have to research book order, then remember the titles (in order) to read them (in order) on my kindle.  Do you get the sense that I like things to be in order?

Of course the cover is critically important to a book.  No matter how many times in life we are told not to judge a book by its cover, we all do.  The cover is what makes me pick up a book and read the back – most especially for an author I’ve not heard of before.  And my audience is 11-15 year old girls and boys.  A pink cover would never do – my test marketing (Susannah’s 13-year-old son) told me he wouldn’t be caught dead holding a purple book, even though he liked The Cordovan Vault.  Once we darkened the colors and made it a bit edgier, he grunted that it was, “not too girly.”  High praise from a teenager.

Well – here it is, The Peacock Tale – available October 18th.

Book 2 in the Livingston-Wexford Adventures

Today’s Secret:  If you choose to Indie Publish, you will need to give thought to your cover.  Consider the audience, the competition, and what you want to come next if it’s a series.  Then find an artist you like and can afford.  College kids are often cheap and looking to develop a professional portfolio so consider contacting a local school.

Today’s Question:  What kind of cover art attracts you?  I’m kind of over the whole bodice-ripper thing and like the trend in romance over the last decade to go with other images.


25 thoughts on “Cover Art: The Peacock Tale”

  1. J – I love this cover. It is gorgeous!! I would gravitate towards this from across the room. I love interesting cover art. Of course, I do love those abs too, but those are a dime a dozen on romances! At least in the children’s and YA genre, it seems like there is more diverse and original cover art.

  2. It’s really cool, Jen! Very compelling! I too don’t care for a book that shows the clinch…I do like the trend in historical romance to focus on the clothes, though! But I don’t like the generic covers, either. I want to be able to tell something about the tone of the book from the cover. So those blurry, pleasant covers of some vague flowery backdrop…not for me. Also, if you can throw a dog on there, all the better. 😉

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’m *cough, cough* 27, ish and just don’t want to be in public with half naked people on the cover of my book these days. I don’t mind the fabric-y covers since I tend to forget the cover and title nearly immediately. I remember the plot and characters of books I like.

  3. Hi J,
    Interesting cover. A ship adrift in sand. Makes me curious as to what the story is about. Reminds me of one of the Pirate’s movies when Captain Jack finds himself and his ship in the same position. So now I want to know more about the story.
    I agree with you in that I would like to have a say in the cover art because I am also over the bodice ripper (that is so last week!). Thanks for the info and he idea to use a college student if I go the road of Indie. Best of luck to you in your launch. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. It’s gorgeous! Plus I TOTALLY agree about the number beign displayed on the cover. Although if Julia Quinn would have done that I probably wouldn’t have bought all 8 of her Bridgerton series. Eight is a lot! But tell your sister-in-law that her efforts are well appreciated.

    1. Yeah – but I read Hyacinth’s book first! That was my very first JQ, believe it or not. I went back and read them in order later. Sigh, Colin Bridgerton…sigh….

  5. I love the cover – it’s very eye-catching. You’re right, covers are so important. So many people make a split second decision on a book based on the cover.
    This one makes me want to read the book.

    1. I agree. I used to tell people when I was a recruiter, that your resume served one purpose only – to get you the interview. The interview is where you tried to get the job. The cover is similar to the resume in my mind – it only serves to get the consumer to pick up the book and look at the back. The back/front flap is where you convince the consumer to buy the book.

  6. That is just gorgeous. Thanks for doing it in my favorite colors! My grunting teenager has not seen it yet, but I’ll show it to him later. He might move from a grunt to a nod of approval with this one!

  7. Fab cover, J. I can’t wait to read the book. You know how I feel about having creative control over cover art. It definitely should give the tone of the book and a sneak peek into the story. Yours does both. Very eye catching. I agree that book covers are becoming cookie cutter and that to stand out against the competition you have to do something unique. Great job!

    1. Thanks – that Kate Moncuse is something! You should see the mural she painted on my sons’ bedroom wall. It’s a lovely park scene. She sketched it out with chalk and then we painted it in. The parts she painted look so much better than the parts I painted! 🙂 I’ve been editing, a lot! and I’m really happy with this book.

  8. Awe shucks, I’m speechless 🙂

    I’m quite busy right now, but keep me in mind for your projects in the future. My website is

    Thanks again!

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