The Progression of a Book Cover – Part 3

(link to the first cover and blog:

(link to the second cover and blog:

So the last blog ended with relative heartbreak. We had this gorgeous cover, a title I liked, and we just couldn’t get every team to rally around it. That cover vanished, and I also was left looking at the cover I liked the least in the process:

Blog - Cover 3

So we pitched even more title ideas. Brainstorms like you wouldn’t believe. I went through thousands of poems to look for little turns of phrase. I rooted through old ideas and names of characters and possible world building terms. Of course, there was one little concept that was incredibly central to the book that we had overlooked: nyxia.

It was already included in the series title “The Nyxia Triad” and we knew nyxia was going to be an ongoing and developing piece to the story as a whole. It’s a substance in the book that the company– Babel Communications– wants more of. They’ve hired the ten competitors in the novel to go to a distant planet to get it. And those competitors spend a good deal of their time aboard the ship learning how to interact with and use the mysterious substance.

I thought it was a logical title, but definitely wondered if we’d be seeing an entirely new cover concept. It was a fine surprise to receive this in my inbox:

Blog - Cover 4

In fact, the team went into one of their meetings with this as a backup option. So when the first title/cover lost steam, they put this one in front of everyone instead. It was an immediate hit. Sales and marketing both loved it, and we had a definitive winner. But I also get the “last say” on covers– so my editor sent it very hopefully in my direction. And I loved it. It has the same swirling splash as the cover before it, but this time, we have a font that really is more minimalistic. It seems very appropriate and fitting for the space that it’s inside. It also is just gorgeous. That Y in Nyxia is one of my single favorite letters that exists in the world. I also love that we had gone back to hinting at science fiction.

So we were done… right?

Not quite. You see there are always little tweaks and adjustments to the final package. One of the biggest criticisms of this title was that it is a word people don’t know. That can work, and it has worked, but it certainly was something that the entire team had to weigh. So that “Every life has a price” tag that we had loved for quite some time, well, it got called into question. How do we adjust for the fact that our title now involves a word the reader won’t know?

Use the tools you have to help give them context (the teacher in me was so excited about this). Let’s set the two of them side by side:

Let’s see if you could spy all the tweaks. The first one has to do with color. See how they made that interior circle (the little glimpse of space) darker? So the contrast, and the splash, and all of that are just a lot sharper in the newer version. It also makes that glinting star in the distance a little more… glinty.

The second change is in the tagline. We went with: The Ultimate Weapon. The Ultimate Prize. Winner Takes All. So if the reader is looking a little closer and thinks, “What the heck is a nyxia?” Hopefully there’s some definition right there on the front cover. It’s obviously a weapon of some kind. It’s also seen as a prize in some way. Finally, there will be some kind of competitive occurrence that connects back to it in some way.

And last but not least, they added the wonderful blurb that was provided to me by the brilliant Marie Lu. Definitely not a bad quote to have floating at the top of your book for the rest of forever.

So that was the final cover. But now I have to encourage you to do something. If you have only ever seen my cover ONLINE or through a Kindle version. Go grab yourself a copy of the book. You can order it here off of Amazon: 

Or you can just go find a copy at a local store and take a look. The final touches that they used on that final cover are gorgeous and definitely worth a second look.

Thanks for following along, and I hope this has been educational on the process used to arrive at a “final cover” for a book. I might write a follow up that features my UK cover, which was a much more streamlined/quick process. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “The Progression of a Book Cover – Part 3

    • Hey Katherine! Thanks so much! Actually, the next cover is kind of already “locked in” and I’d like to say it’s GORGEOUS. It follows a similar theme to the first, so I definitely think we’re sticking with this one for good

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