Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Not Losing Face

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my cover for THE FLOWER GIRLS. First, I have to thank my cover designer, Sarah Thompson. She was phenomenal to work with, quickly catching on to my vision regarding what I wanted the cover to convey. Second, I’m grateful I had a keen understanding of my audience, the theme of THE FLOWER GIRLS, and a strong grasp on the characters. Knowing each of these helped me to pinpoint what type of look I wanted.

I thought long and hard about certain elements before I even began looking for a stock photo to purchase.
I’ve read a few articles suggesting that publishing houses encourage their designers to steer clear of portraying faces on covers because the consensus is that readers like to envision characters without a preconceived image. I get this. But I knew more than anything, despite those articles, I didn’t want to lose face.

My book is about a woman with face blindness.
Sure I could have gone for the been there/done that back of a woman’s head, but I wanted Daisy to “speak” to women who love reading books about sisters and book club readers, with her expression—to invite them to read her story. And her twin, Poppy’s story.
I knew it the second I saw the photo (after scanning hundreds), bought it quickly, then trusted my cover designer extraordinaire with my vision.
Not only does Daisy’s expression suggest there’s a story to be told, I found the fat Gerber daisy covering her left eye to be quite symbolic. She’s a flower girl, a floral photographer who struggles intensely to distinguish one face from the next. I loved both the feminine appeal of this photo combined with the mystifying nature of it. Also, her hair is red which falls wonderfully in line with her Irish heritage.
Last week, during my virtual launch party someone asked which actress I could envision playing Daisy. Even though my characters come fully alive to me, I tend not to attach them to Hollywood actors without a prompt. I went with my gut and avoided putting too much thought into my answer. Within seconds I settled on Kate Winslet.
A few days later I looked Kate up on Pinterest. Go figure. I really do see Daisy in Kate. Do you?

Do you have any questions about the process of creating a cover? Had you given any thought to the significance of the flower covering Daisy’s eye on the cover before I mentioned it?
 *As a side, I thoroughly enjoy hunting for pictures I feel will capture the heart of a book. If you’re an independent author and this is a struggle for you, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to help!
**Also, don't forget to have fun trying out your photography skills when your book arrives (via kindle or paperback). Capture some shots with your favorite budding flowers & post online or send them my way.


  1. Love this post and how you KNEW it was the right picture, Wendy. I've definitely had that experience before, where that one face just jumped and grabbed you. Personally, I've heard that face covers sell BETTER...and I know personally, those usually catch my eye faster. I love your cover and Sarah did a great job!

    1. Ooo, fun to hear that covers with faces sell better. Thanks for the kind words about my cover & yes, Sarah is fantastic to work with!
      ~ Wendy


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