Design Process for Porcelain Keys Cover Art
When Porcelain Keys was accepted for publication, I knew just how important the cover would be. It's the first thing potential readers see, and if they’re not intrigued by it, they won’t pick up the book to read the blurb on the back. So I wanted something that would appeal to my target market: females age 12-99 who are looking for a good love story.
I had all sorts of ideas in my head of what might make a good cover, and I sent about a dozen examples to my publisher, Cedar Fort, so they would know what I was aiming for. They were actually very accommodating and patient with me throughout the entire process.
A couple months after I sent them the first batch of suggestions, they emailed me a preliminary version of my cover. It was a good design, but I thought it was a little too dark. It had a girl sitting at a grand piano with mountains in the background. A very cool image, but there were a lot of grays and dark purples, and it had an edginess to it that I didn’t think quite fit my story. I told Cedar Fort what I thought, and a couple months later they sent me an entirely different design.
I liked the next design better. It was brighter and softer, and I was actually okay with it until I showed it to a few close friends and family members. They thought it was nice, but they weren’t moved by it. One of them even said that if she saw it on a shelf, she wouldn’t pick it up to see what it was about.
So I went to my publisher again and let them know my concerns. I knew that they had already put a lot of work into the first two designs, and purchased a photograph, so I was pretty sure they would say, “Sorry, this is the final design, and that’s that.” Before I asked them, I spent a few hours searching for an image that I could present to them, and I found a dramatic image of a girl in an evening gown running through a field. I loved this image because it reminded me of a scene from my book.
Holding my breath, I emailed the image to Cedar Fort and asked (okay, maybe I begged) them to use it for a new design. To my surprise, they responded and said that they wanted me to be happy with the cover and so they would use the new image. I was so relieved and happy that I sent them all Mrs. Fields cookies.
It’s important for an author to love and be proud of their cover, because these days the author is the one doing most of the promotion for their book. So I’m happy to have a cover that I’m excited about. Now I feel like the cover captures the heart of the story, and is intriguing and beautiful enough that people will see it and [hopefully!] want to know what the story is about.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, and that's true. But the other truth is that people DO judge books by their covers. And now my cover says, "Romance! Drama! Intrigue!" At least I hope it does, because that's exactly what the pages contain!
Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard
Genre: urban fantasy
About Porcelain Keys:
Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's volatility, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. It is not until Thomas reappears, unearthing secrets from both of their pasts, that she must choose to either surrender to the melody, or drown it out forever.Source: Info in the About Porcelain Keys was from the press kit from the publicity team.
"Emotionally rich, elegant description, beloved characters--Sarah Beard delivers a fresh, new novel that will go on my list of classics." --Stephanie Fowers, author of With A Kiss.
"Aria is a heroine worth rooting for, and the plot is an emotional melody that weaves a spell so potent, it can only be broken by reaching the end. And even then, I couldn’t stop thinking about Aria and her story." --Heather Frost, author of The Seers Trilogy
"Emotionally gripping, this beautifully crafted young adult romance will pull at readers’ heartstrings from tragic beginning to happy ending. A must-read for fans of contemporary romance, both young and seasoned. " --Julie Ford, author of Replacing Gentry
"Porcelain Keys is a fresh, heart-wrenching take on boy-meets-girl. Using fantastic and musical imagery to tell the poignant love story of Aria and Thomas, the author leads the reader to a swelling crescendo as if we're part of the song—and what a beautiful song it is." --Cindy C. Bennett, author or Geek Girl and Rapunzel Untangled
"A lyrical love story that will leave your heart singing. Porcelain Keys is a masterpiece with emotional depth, young love, and family angst. Beard takes us on a journey of self-discovery, second chances, and ultimately, sweet resolution." --Heather Ostler, author of The Siren's Secret
Meet The AuthorAbout Sarah:
SARAH BEARD is the author of Porcelain Keys, a YA contemporary romance. She has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between writing and raising three energetic boys. She is a cancer survivor and hopeless romantic, and enjoys reading, composing music, and traveling with her family. She lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard.