Indie Rambles #4 - Covert Danger Cover Reveal - Jo-Ann Carson

Indie Rambles #4 – Covert Danger Cover Reveal


Ta – da — I have my first book cover.  Crowd sourcing it through 99designs took a week. I love it.

The Process

I launched a contest with a Shutterstock picture I’d been using of a mysterious woman with a mask and requested,”a provocative cover for a modern Mata Hari who loves Venice.” The result:

  • 148 designs submitted
  • 32 designers participated
  • another 27 watched
  • many of you commented on my blog, in emails, on FB and on writing loops your preferences, which I really really  really appreciated (Thank you)

I outlined the 99design process of determining the winner last seek ( blog post). Take a look if you’re interested in any design project.

I know, some of you are wondering, “What happened to Venice?” Well, she almost made it on the cover, because the story opens and closes in Venice and the heroine does love the city, but I didn’t want the reader to think the whole story took place there. I didn’t want to mislead anyone. This cover hits the plot line and the heroine dead-on.

Nina French – The Designer

I can’t say enough good things about Nina. Here’s the testimonial I left on the 99designs website:

Nina French is awesome to work with. She listened carefully to what I wanted and addressed all my concerns. She worked with me to tweak and finalize a design that I absolutely love. She demonstrated integrity in terms of the photos she used and her artwork is brilliant. Three words to describe Nina French: Creative, Communicative and Resourceful.

The other designers encouraged me to chat with them and tried really hard, but Nina stood out, not only for her artwork, but also her communication skills. I’ll be working with her soon on my next two covers.

You can find Nina on Facebook here.

How did it Feel?

…like standing in the middle of a creative hurricane in a strapless party dress with a broken umbrella.


Always welcome.  How do you like my cover? What do you think of the process? Any thoughts?


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30 Replies to “Indie Rambles #4 – Covert Danger Cover Reveal”

  1. Congratulations! I love the cover! I admire your hard work, creativity and tenacity! Big applause to the designer! So excited for you – looking forward to watching your journey! Big hugs to you – Lisa McManus

  2. Love this cover, Jo-Ann. So glad you dropped the mask thing. It just didn’t speak to me of spies. Love the big government building in the background. I admire how you’re willing to try new things, like the crowd sourcing and throwing it out there to your potential readers. Great marketing, girl. Can’t wait to get my hands on this. You are doing print as well as e-book, right? My print is taking longer than expected, but I want it to be as free from errors as possible. I’m not quite as forgiving of errors in print as in an e-format. Not sure why that is–maybe their easier to see in print. Congrats, Jo-Ann. I’ll share this.

    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement. This is quite the journey and I could never do it without good friends like you keeping me sane.
      It fascinates me that you look at editing differently for ebooks as opposed to print books. I’d love to hear more about that. I hope you write a blog post about it. I can imagine myself doing the same thing, and I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet.
      I can’t wait to get a copy of your second book in print. So excited for you.
      Yes, I will go to print, but not right away. I’m still working on my timeline, but I’ll get there.
      Again, thanks for stopping by and sharing my good news.
      Best Wishes

  3. Well done, Jo-Ann! I love it. What a thrill it must be to see your very first book cover! This is so much fun living vicariously through you as you go through this process! Lots to learn about it all, so thanks for sharing your journey. 🙂

    1. Hi Ros
      I am thrilled. It was like taking a roller coaster ride and I hate roller coaster rides. But the end result was worth the white knuckles and sweat. I do love my cover. Thanks for coming along on the ride with me. It helps. Trust me, it helps to know I’m not alone.
      and happy writing

  4. I had to laugh at your comment, “…like standing in the middle of a creative hurricane in a strapless party dress with a broken umbrella” That describes the whole process pretty eloquently, 🙂 Love the new cover, you picked a great one. Wishing you every success,
    Jacquie Biggar

    1. Hi Jacquie (who launched with her own beautiful cover this week)
      Thanks for your kind words. Indie publishing is a harrowing adventure. We need to swap stories soon.
      Thanks for liking my image, and best of luck on your launch as well.

  5. I love the cover although I have to admit I did love the masks – I think because I love the idea of a Venice connection. But I love the whole idea of your series and a modern Mati Hari. There were certainly a few double agents during WW 2 who have been able to reveal their private life’s as time passed. I can’t wait to read your modern one.

      1. Ninps
        The post has been up for about three hours now. Stats: 79 hits (58 US, 12 Canada, 2 UK, 2 Ireland…), 2 clicks out to 99 designs and 2 clicks out to your FB. I expect the numbers will grow substantially today and tomorrow.

  6. I am enjoying reading back through your blog Jo-Ann. I am particularly proud of this thread. Were all these comments visible to the public during the design process? I know I visited your web site and blog along the way, but I did not see a link to the comments. You received great input. I take special note about the size of the author’s name. My design eye said the title and author should compliment each other, but now I absolutely agree that the author’s name should stand out. It does say “I am important whether or not you recognize my name”. This will make me better at designing book covers. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nina
      All the comments have been visible, but I don’t know that any of the designers searched them out. Some of my followers communicated on loops and on email, but most who wanted to say something said it on my blog. Romance writers are an amazingly supportive community. They share all their ideas and cheer each other on. It’s a hard business, and having friends to help you along the way makes it easier.
      People are loving your design. I’m glad you’re reading their comments.
      Thank you again.

  7. Love the cover – it was my top choice. The composition is strong, there is enough mystery in the tip of the hat and it’s clear enough for a small icon. Your name and title stand out – and that’s big. I’ll keep an eye on Nina for when my time comes. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy
      Thanks for stopping by. You explain the power of the image well, strong composition and mystery in the image. Spoken like a true artist/writer. I really appreciate the feedback you’ve given me all though this process.
      And yes, Nina is a great designer.

  8. Very dramatic cover! And what a fascinating process to go through in getting it. I’m glad you’ve found a cover designer you work well with. That’s the biggest treasure to come out of this!

    1. Hi Susan
      Woooeeey. So glad you like the cover. It’s been an adventure.
      And you’re right, the biggest treasure is finding a good designer who’s easy to work with.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  9. Well done! And thanks for out-lining the details of your process and the rationale behind your chosen cover. The new cover is outstanding and we can certainly see your name. Congratulations!

    1. Hi Jodie
      Thanks for your kind words and your support throughout the process. They say it takes a village to raise a child, I think it takes a community to get a book out there .
      Best Wishes always

  10. Love your new cover, Jo-Ann! The use of black, the font, the woman’s face – it all works for me. Can’t wait to see what Nina creates for you next.

  11. Your cover works for so many reasons. Great choice! And I’m chuckling because it’s the one I would have chosen too. I liked the font and the simplicity.

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