The Making of a Book Cover by Katy Lee

I received a sneak peek of my book cover for my October release, WARNING SIGNS, a few weeks ago. I tried to share the link, but it stopped working, so please forgive me and allow me another chance to show you my new cover.

Here it is!

Warning Signs Cover

It was so neat to see the end result after working with Harlequin’s art department back in December, especially since I had to repeat the process because I failed to do it correctly the first time. Oops! Now that I know what they want, my next books will hopefully be easier.

I write for their Love Inspired Suspense line, and if you’ve ever taken notice of this line, you will see the ominous, nail-biting mood each title expresses. They really are all about the suspense, which is what I messed up on in my first run-through.

I was making it all about the romance, and not about the intrigue.

The key to making the art department happy was to provide three scenes that set the tone and the premise of the book. I had to provide one scene that included my characters, but the other two scenes couldn’t have any people in them. But that does not mean there wasn’t a “character” in the picture.

For you writers out there, I’m sure you understand what I mean when I say that your setting is a character of your story. Well, that setting comes through on your book cover.

The scenes I provided depicted a small New England Island and fishing community where danger seeps in, lurking, and ultimately rocks the town upside down.

Do you think the cover captures this?

Warning Signs Cover

The mood on the cover needs to reach out to a prospective buyer perusing the shelves for their next book. It needs to say, “Something’s not quite right in this picture. What is it?” and it needs to make them pick it up to find out what this book is about.

Now, when they pick up WARNING SIGNS, they will read the back cover. And this is what it says:


When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town’s number one suspect—the high school’s new principal—doesn’t fit the profile.

Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen’s help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.

The Unlocked Secret: Even the though WARNING SIGNS won’t be released until October, it is up for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and now at discounted rates! If you plan on purchasing it, and you like a deal, take advantage of the lower preorder prices now!

And let me know what you think, and if you’re a writer, please share your pointers on making an eye-catching book cover with us!

25 thoughts on “The Making of a Book Cover by Katy Lee”

  1. So exciting!!!! St. Martins Press didn’t involve me in the cover creation process. They just showed me the finished product and I asked for a few small tweaks, but somehow the designer knew what I had in mind. HQN asked for three scenes a back in April but I have no idea what’s going on with that. Since I write for a different line I’m assuming it will focus on the romance, but who knows?

  2. It’s beautiful! Can’t wait for this book to come out. I’ll be ordering a bunch of copies for myself, my mom and my aunts. We are all going to love it!

  3. Hi Katy,
    I couldn’t get the link to work. Kept getting those “Oops” messages, but I’m sure the cover is great. I read Real Virtue and loved it, so I can’t wait for the new book to come out. My publisher has me fill out a questionnaire and then the art department comes up with a cover. So far, I think they have created covers that really grasp my story lines. I just got the cover for my third book, and I’m pleased with it as well. Best wishes to you on your December release. You know I will be in line to get one!

  4. Love this cover! Revell asked for my input on my cover, but I really didn’t have any say so in the matter. But they did a great job and when I get the go-ahead I’ll post it on my FaceBook page.

  5. This is such an exciting cover, Katy! I had a lot of say with DWB for my TEARS TO DANCING cover- they also asked me what I DIDN’T want, which was an interesting slant. I am almost finished my full ms for Love Inspired Suspense… I just hope it’s suspenseful enough after reading your post. Can’t wait to read Warning Signs- congrats 🙂

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