If you are skilled in graphic design, you’ll probably create your own covers. Not me. I stink at color and design, and though I know what I like when I see it, I’ve learned to hire this job out.

With that in mind, a few years ago, I reacquired the rights to my first two books, which had originally been released by a traditional publisher. After a ton of requests, I decided to go back and write a third book in that series. Once all three books were back on the market, and summer was on its way, I thought it would make sense to offer that first series – with Chocolate Beach as the flagship book – as a collection.

But what about the cover?

I could’ve gone with a From Here to Eternity-type cover with a couple smooching at low tide. After all, all three books contain romance (not to mention smooches). But the centerpiece of these stories, in my mind, are the friendships of Bri, Gaby, and Livi. So I knew I wanted three women on the cover, if possible. Here’s the first idea cover designer, Roseanna White, presented:

Nice. Playful. And their faces don’t show, which was what I initially asked for (I’d actually suggested a photo of the back view of three women sitting on the beach.) I chose not to go with this cover, though, because a) I didn’t like their clothing much, and b) I didn’t like seeing only half their faces.

So next, Roseanna plugged in a photo of three young women taking a selfie on the beach. Cute, right? I still liked it. BUT … I felt that this might give the impression that the books were all about the three women together, and nothing much else – including romance. In other words, it was all about them.


Finally, I found a photo that looked remarkably like the three women whose stories are told in Chocolate Beach, Truffles by the Sea, and Mocha Sunrise. And I had another specific reason for hoping Roseanna could make that photo work.

But using the photo was only part of the battle. Stop by Tuesday for a peek at that initial cover, the final cover … and all the tweaks made in between.

The Making of a Cover ~ Part 1