Book Cover Art Chapter 3: Mocking up the Mock-Ups

Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 in Authors, Books, Design Advice, Series | 10 Comments

I’m going to preface this week’s blog post in the Book Cover Art Series by saying the inspiration fairy is an interesting critter who sometimes decides to hide away at the most inopportune times. In the case of this week’s post, I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get it done in time. With a couple different ideas swimming around in my head, I still couldn’t get all the other elements to line up: images, styles, fonts, etc… That’s the thing with design, it’s never really reliable. Who knows when inspiration will strike, and when a design will actually come together in a book cover.

Thankfully, I was able to request a little bit of Kisa’s aid before I restarted my designs. Browsing, Kisa wrangled together a handful (or two) of already published cover art she felt (in one way or another) captured the Unmoving vibe. I don’t think these mock-ups would have come to be in time had it not been for her hasty help.

Last week I mentioned discussing how to go about acquiring permission to use stock from artists/photographers, however I’m going to hold off on that blog post until a Kisa has finalized a direction, and I know officially what images will be in use. Without any further ado, this week’s blog post:

Mock-Up #1

In addition to using Kisa’s cover inspiration, I happened to stumble upon my own which triggered a (small) bout of inspiration.


Teeth, by Hannah Moskowitz

The grayscale, the slight use of color, the simplicity. Given the stock photo collection Kisa and I gathered, maybe this is a direction I can attempt to pursue, I thought. I think a lot to myself. Sometimes I think it keeps me sane. This helped with my direction. I coupled the Teeth book cover with two Kisa provided as additional inspiration, below.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7.59.10 PM

When the World was Flat, by Ingrid Jonach

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7.59.41 PM

 Thin Space, by Jody Casella

I knew upon seeing these two already published covers in addition to Teeth, I knew I could come up with something. And thus began mock-up number one–

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 8.04.06 PM

A simple, grayscale park bench blurred in the background, with Karma’s necklace dangling off the page to the right (I’m a huge fan of making things extend off the page). Clean, crisp, and at this point I’m hoping Kisa likes something about it. As with any critique, honesty is the best policy. Never feel as if you’re hurting your designers feelings if your honest about not liking something.

(Please Note: Kisa’s feedback will be incorporated into next week’s post, as we  continue to refine a direction, or completely scrap both options. So each new iteration will be coupled with the feedback)

Mock-Up #2


Hunger, by Jackie Morse Kessler


Shadows, by Robin McKinley

Which led me to the second mock-up:

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.06.27 PM

More fantasy, more colors, more movement. More of a full bench is the focal point, along with the light orb texture to tie in the fantasy elements of Kisa’s story. The floral element (the only way I can describe the other overlaid texture) is meant to look blurred/in motion to add to the suspense/distress in the story.

(Please Note: Kisa’s feedback will be incorporated into next week’s post, as we  continue to refine a direction, or completely scrap both options. So each new iteration will be coupled with the feedback)

So, there you have it: the two first initial mock-ups. They’ve been sent to Kisa, and will be modified based on her feedback. Who knows, if she hates them both, we’ll have to evolve one of the other ideas, now backstroking in my mind, into a cover design.

And keep in mind that once a direction is determined by Kisa, I’ll go through the step-by-step process I actually took to create the final cover.

What do you think? How did I translate Kisa’s info-dump from last week in these two designs? Let us know in the comments!Doxycycline is one of the antibiotics of a wide spectrum of action. You can buy Doxycycline online or in offline pharmacy store. The pills cover a wide range of order doxycycline online cheap. Buy real doxycycline online – Buy medications in any amount as our client. High quality affordable drugs made by licensed manufacturers. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Neurontin against the benefits they expect it will have for you.If you have any concerns about taking this buy neurontin. Buy Neurontin; online New Zealand pharmacy. Cheap, generic & brand version (OTC and online doctor available)…



  1. Zara Hoffman
    October 9, 2013

    As much as the 1st mock-up is pretty, as were the inspirations for it, I liked the 2nd mock-up much better. The color and font, as well as the angle, was much more engaging and intriguing. That’s just my opinion.

    ~Zara Hoffman, Author of The Belgrave Daughter (releasing November 2013)

    • Kisa Whipkey
      October 9, 2013

      Thank you for the feedback, Zara! Part of my decision will be seeing what people have responded to and comparing that to what I had envisioned for my story. There are things I definitely like in the 2nd design, but as a whole, it doesn’t feel like it embodies my story as much as the first does. That’s an important part, I think. But maybe with some tweaks, it would. We’ll see! 🙂

  2. Summer
    October 9, 2013

    So here are my two cents, for what it’s worth 🙂 I love the background image on Mock #2. I’d like to see that with the blurred focus of the Mock #1 background. I also like the layout and simplicity of the text on Mock #1. #2 has a little too much going on for my taste (again, Kisa may feel totally different!). Then, the final touch, I love the close-up, clear focus on the necklace over a hazy background. If incorporated with the bench background, might dangle it from the top somewhere.

    I’m really looking forward to the next post and seeing a final product!

    • Kisa Whipkey
      October 9, 2013

      Thanks so much for your feedback, Summer! I really appreciate hearing outside opinions. I feel like I may be too close to the story to really see things objectively. I do have one design that pulls at me more than the others, but I’m curious to see what people respond to more. From there, I’ll figure out what I want to do. 😉

  3. Melody Winter
    October 9, 2013

    I like the simplicity of the first design. Having the bench as the background without it actually appearing as a bench is a really clever idea. I think the ‘greyness’ of the cover symbolises the grey of the stone statue and it helps draw the viewers attention to the necklace. As a suggestion – I would like to see the necklace with something inside it that links us into the story in another way, (Almost a teaser.) instead of just the blue. I also think the text for the book title needs changing – it’s too plain and insignificant.
    The more I look at the second cover, the more I am pulled away from it. It’s too busy and there are too many angles going on. Personally, I don’t like the title on an angle – it actually upsets me a bit. LOL
    I would also like to see both books against a dark background. The first book loses some impact as it is a pale cover against a white background and I think it would view differently this way.
    Hope my comments are helpful.

    • Kisa Whipkey
      October 9, 2013

      Thanks, Melody! Those comments are definitely helpful.

      I’m glad you see the correlation between the story and the first cover. I’ve also had feedback that people were surprised the bench wasn’t featured more prominently. But I kind of like that. Featuring the bench was obviously predictable (based on that feedback) and Design 1 thinks outside that box. Ashley’s done a fantastic job so far, and I can tell you that the revisions we’ve already been making are even better! You should see them next week, I think. 😉

  4. Olivier
    October 11, 2013

    “Without any further adieu…”
    That’s “ado”, “foolish or unnecessary talk, trouble, or activity”. Adieu is a French word (literally “to God”) meaning “an expression of good wishes when someone leaves”.

    I thought the second cover was too busy. I actually had to stare at it for a moment just to figure out what was going on. And I’m not a big fan of the title being tilted diagonally like that.

    • Ashley Ruggirello
      October 11, 2013

      Thank you for your feedback! I’m no editor by any means, so please excuse any misuse of words, or other errors.

      Both these designs in the very early, very rough stages (they quite literally were done within two hours time), and have been elaborated on greatly for next week’s post. We can’t wait to show the progress, and see if anyone’s thoughts have changed.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Olivier
        October 11, 2013

        No problem. I’m curious to see how they’ll look next week.

  5. Book Cover Art Chapter 4: More Mocking | REUTS Publications
    October 16, 2013

    […] As promised, I’m going to recap Kisa’s thoughts on the original cover mock-ups from Chapter 3, and then give you a chance to catch the subtle, and not so subtle, updates in with the new […]

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