Novelist and Children's Author

How Does a Publisher Create a Cover?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Faith, Fiction | 2 comments

3 More Days Until The Heart Stone hits store shelves! But who’s counting? ME! I signed a book contract for The Heart Stone before the release of my previous novel, so I’ve anticipated April 1st, 2013 for a long time.

Have you ever wondered how the publisher creates a novel cover?

I thought it would be fun to give you a “behind the scenes” peek.

Abingdon Press, my publisher, sends their authors a cover questionnaire so that they get the right “feel” for the story, including questions about the synopsis, hook, and theme, as well as what type of emotion the author wants to invoke in the reader. I wanted a colorful yet intriguing cover that created curiosity.

We are also asked to describe the main characters, including their hair, skin, and eye color, and what type of clothing they wear.

Here are examples of how I described the main characters in The Heart Stone, along with pictures of actors I’d cast in a movie.

Jessica MacAllister is a pretty twenty-eight year old single mom with brown shoulder-length hair, green eyes, and white skin. Most of the time she wears her hair up in a ponytail. She’s a casual dresser—jeans and blouses.

Jessica MacAllister

Jacob MacAllister is Jessica’s six-year-old son. He has white skin, brown hair, brown eyes and has lost a front tooth. He is a spunky kid.

Jacob MacAllister

George MacAllister is a simple, rugged guy. Once clean-shaven, he now sports a beard, has white skin and blue eyes.

George MacAllister

Evelyn Sweeney is a woman in her sixties with grey bobbed hair, blue eyes, and white skin. She’s a classy lady who wears tailored clothes.

Evelyn Sweeney

Nick Fuller is a handsome fireman approaching thirty with white skin, blond hair, blue eyes, and has a dimple in his cheek. He wears a lot of denim.

Nick Fuller

We’re also asked to describe important settings in the book. The Abbott Lighthouse along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz is a key part of the story.


I think the artists nailed it! What do you think?

The Heart Stone by Sherry Kyle coverI’ve had a lot of great feedback about the cover. Personally, I love how it feels in my hands.

To see more photos, go to my Pinterest page.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Sherry Kyle

    Hi Laura! Do you cut out pictures for your characters? Reminds me of paper dolls when I was a kid. I loved creating characters even then. Yes, my release date is here! Yipee!

  2. Laura Bennet

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing that. I think they did a great job. Only an hour until your release date. I’m so excited for you!