Here's my first Patrons-only sneak preview of the cover concepts I've been working on. I've spent hours looking at cover designs in the genres I'll be publishing, and hours (days) more designing covers that showed a wide range of styles and artistic aesthetic.
The three images above are the current working set of concepts, and the image design you see mocked up below is probably my favorite, but nothing's written in stone yet.
As a visual designer, it's often hard to really judge if something is right for MY projects. It's MUCH easier to be objective when I'm hired to design a cover for someone else. Here are a couple that likely won't be going any further in design development for this current title.
My original working title (for nine years!!!) has been Burn The Shadows, but I recently changed it to Louder than Words. Both are a story within the story and both terms show up in the narrative. Because of the previous title, I had thought to work with imagery that was heavy on shadows, but I'm worried that would be construed as too "dark" for a memoir (even if the memoir itself is not dark).
The image and design below strikes me as a great cover for a murder mystery. Maybe a few drops of blood on the floor? (I love spot color treatments; it's kind of my thing.)
A lot of people in my initial market survey really responded to this gold treatment, but personally I feel it looks too "journalist-y". Maybe that's not a bad thing, since most of my published writing has been for magazines prior to this.
I am still debating whether to publish as memoir or creative nonfiction. As I move into the final edits this week it should become clearer where it fits best. Initially I didn't want to be pigeonholed as a memoirist, so I'm playing with just labelling it a memoir, versus giving it the tagline "based on a true story". The true story line is something that's used in books going to films, often, so why not aim for the stars? The Hollywood stars, that is.
I'll be curious to hear what you think if you want to send me a note and weigh in.
Knowing my process I'll probably go one or two more rounds on this and then start putting together the back cover and spine.
Progress is exciting!