Cover Up…



So anyways, with Big Girls Don’t Cry away being copy edited, it’s time to turn my attention to other stuff- like covers and blurbs and figuring out the whole print thing.

For the cover, I’ll be using Jacinda May again. I think she captured the feel of Baby, It’s You really well. I also hired her to do the website and Facebook banners for my astrology page.

The thing is, Big Girls Don’t Cry is a very different feel to Baby, It’s You. The voice is different- and so it should be- it’s a completely different set of characters. If you’ve read Baby, you’ve already been introduced to Andi, but my lead, Abby, is much more grown up than Emily from Baby was. As a result, the feeling isn’t nearly as light and frothy, so an illustrated cover just won’t fit the bill.

Lately I’ve been drawn towards those two picture blended sort of covers. You know the ones- a scene or a character in the top two-thirds merging into a scene below. Maybe with something linking the two between them. I’ve seen it done successfully with a number of the romance covers I lusted over at Conference the other week. Something like this…



or this….


The only thing is, although I’ve developed a picture in my head of Abby, I’m not sure that I want to cheese her up on the cover- I don’t think she’d like that. Who knows- maybe Jacinda will come up with someone who is so Abby that I have to use it.

I also like the idea of something that’s deliberately made to look like a movie poster- but perhaps with scenes instead of characters. Something like this, maybe…


The truth is, I don’t really have an image in mind, so I’ve popped a selection of ideas into a dropbox folder to share them with Jacinda.

As this book is also partially set in Bali- and as Bali is extremely important to the plot- I’m thinking that I wouldn’t mind using one of my own shots in the cover. Something like the main shot above. It would certainly make it more personal. I’ve linked her across to my flickr photo stream so she can have a look. My editor, Nicola, also suggested I use some of my own photo stock for Melbourne scenes too- I’ve taken loads over the years. I don’t know…maybe.

So that she can get a good feel of it all, Jacinda’s asked me the following questions:

  1. What are some of the most powerful/ important scenes/ ideas of the book?
  2. What feeling are you trying to get across in the book? (Name 3 emotions you would describe your book as)
  3. Is there an item or concept that is thematic in the piece?
  4. What’s your target market?

Answering these took me a little more time.

With some adjustments to remove the spoilers, this is pretty much what I’ve sent her:

My heroine is Abigail (Abby) Brentnall. She’s tall, lean, smart, capable and independent. She’s a finance manager and runs for fun- yes, really. Abby lives in one of those apartments in Flinders Lane behind the Cathedral. 

My hero is Brad Ingram. He’s a landscape architect- does outdoor eating and drinking spaces- gardens for people to live in. He has a mostly cattle dog named Bert, shoulders to drool over, and he drives a ute. I’m more than a little in love with Brad myself. There’s a proposal in the opening scene. Hashtag spoiler alert.


The key words I’m associating with this book are secrets, lies, mothers, fathers, loss, love, hellos, goodbyes. It’s the lies that people tell to keep the secrets that need to be told. My key phrase is: Does goodbye have to be forever?

What else? The title is from Fergies “Big Girls Don’t Cry”…have a listen, it will give you an idea, and the line in Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon “don’t you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me…this woman is my destiny…” was running through my head as I was completing the edit.

My target market? This one is a little more grown up than Baby, It’s You…

I’ve also sent her the first five chapters to get an idea of the voice and a picture of Abby.

What do you think? Do you think characters on covers are cheesy or ok? Does the cover (or thumbnail) influence you into looking inside or reading the blurb?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

7 thoughts

  1. I like the cover of Something Borrowed best. It’s hard for me as you know it isn’t my genre. I wasn’t a fan of illustrated covers but loved yours and (now that I’m linking up on Sundays with US readers and exposed to more romance novels and chick lit) I can appreciate different types of covers suit different genres. Illustrated covers seem popular in mystery ‘cozies’.

    I LOVE the idea of using some of your own pics – how wonderful that would be.

    And… more runners? Is there some underlying yearning there Jo?

    1. Lol re the runners. Abby does it for exercise- it’s just part of her day…like my walking. Having said that- when I first wrote this, I was into it a tad myself 😉

  2. Hi Jo, love your thinking and thanks for sharing the themes in the new book. Exciting.

    Can you believe I’ve written about my cover for my psychological mystery with a touch of the mythical, this very week? Spooky. I’ve put all the concepts from my designer that I didn’t use. I love looking at cover concepts. Like you, I also didn’t go in with an image in mind, but more the genre and the themes, hoping something popped.

    FYI, here’s the link to my post:

  3. Pingback: Friday Five… |

Comments are closed.