9 August 2015: Evolution of a Book Cover … From Drab to Dazzling

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been in the process of updating the look of my book covers and upgrading the image of Jennifer Geoghan Novels overall. Basically I’m throwing the proverbial spice on them and yelling “BAM!”  For Book Three in my series, I wanted to keep the image of the lighthouse. The lighthouse in Stonington, CT where the book takes place is distinctive, not just your basic tower and small building beside it, so I wanted to make it a bit easier on the reader and show them what it really looks like. Plus it’s just really cool looking. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I did get permission from them to use the photo.

I’ll start with this, the original book cover …. Oh, how I thought it was pretty good at the time … yet with time, I realize how lacking it is.

The Blood that Binds

So I started with the photo I took while up there in Stonington.   Then using my Adobe Elements program, I erased the tree branches in the foreground. I like them as a photo, but in a book cover, they’re distracting.


I attempted to start the cover from this image, but found that the distinction between cloud and blue sky was again distracting, so went ahead and filled in the blue sky with more cloud cover. I didn’t bother to pretty it up as I knew I’d be imposing a different sky on it anyway, but I still needed a more even background to build upon.  Then went on picmonkey.com and added the GRITTY effect and then TINTED it red because I still wanted to keep with the Red, White and Black theme.  The gritty effect gave better contract with the bricks of the lighthouse then just tinting it.


And then it got cloudy out … really cloudy.  I wanted a menacing sky, a dark one that would not only be dark and ominous, but one I could put a white font on for the title that would give good contrast.  To do this, I used picmonkey.com again and went, ironically enough, under the themes section to VAMPIRES.  Under the textures section there, I added the dark clouds and saved it.  Then added more, and more, and more.  You can now see how my patch job on the clouds has been obscured.


When I had the clouds where I wanted them, I added in the title.  To keep a certain sense of continuity with the new covers of first two books, I used the same typewriter font and also used the same font for the word blood just like I did in Book One.

Then came the dilemma of the door.   To door or not to door, that was the question I posed to my Facebook fans. Asking which they preferred, I did a survey. Without won, but I thought it looked a bit distracting to have a total black hole. I liked the mystery of the missing door, but as a book cover, it was a bit much. In the end I compromised and did a darkened door.


Here’s the final cover.  I like it a lot, and boy is it an improvement over the original one.  What can I say, time and experience will teach you a lot about book covers.

The Blood that Binds Cover Art 7-30-2015

Just to show that the road here wasn’t without a few detours, here’s a few different looks I experimented with that didn’t make the cut.

Bad ones

So there you have it, the evolution of a book cover.  Picmonkey.com has lots of great effects you can add and I highly recommend fiddling around on their site if you’re looking to create your own covers.


Jennifer Geoghan, Author of Romance Novels with a Twist.  The Purity of Blood Novel Series, and If Love Is A Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online.

ALSO: Don’t Forget …. Today is the last day The Purity of Blood Vol. One is free on Amazon.  Check it out by clicking on the image below.

Free Weekend 3

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