01 November 2011

Building a Cover - Blood By: K.J. Wignall

When it comes to how a books cover has come about, I'm all for learning more about it. The steps involved throughout the creative process and how a publisher and it's art department come up with the covers that we all first fall in love with - yeah, I'm all for learning as much as I can. When asked if I'd like to share with my readers how Egmont came up with the cover for K.J. Wignall's Blood, I jumped at the chance!

Blood is the first in the Mercian Trilogy and is Currently Available.

Synopsis: Will is a vampire in danger. Heir to the Earl of Mercia, he was brutally attacked and buried in the thirteenth century before he was able to assume his title. Perpetually sixteen, Will’s life has been lonely. He leaves his tomb every so often, adapts to the present day, feeds his bloodlust, and never gets close to anyone.

Until now.

Waking from a twenty-year slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, he meets Eloise—but can’t bear to make her his next victim. Drawn to a girl he can never have, but whose fate seems bound with his own, he feels the need to protect her. But Will has an enemy who will stop at nothing to find him . . . and he’s closing in. . . .

Egmont’s editorial staff had a great time creating the sexy-heart-throbby jacket image for BLOOD by K. J. Wignall. To start, Elizabeth Law, the publisher, talked to the jacket designer, Sammy Yuen, about what ideas he might have for showing the character of Will, a teenage vampire who was “created” in the 13th Century and Sammy had the idea of showing the vampire as he stalks the streets of London. As she recalled, there was some discussion of wardrobe, and of a long jacket that might be a possible choice for the model (Sterling) to wear. But when Elizabeth arrived at the photo shoot she was so dazzled by the sight of Sterling with his shirt off that all thought of trying additional wardrobe choices went out of her head.  She wanted something where the character looked haunted, but also where he would clearly appeal to the readership.

I’d say they nailed it! What follows are paired shots from the photo shoot and Elizabeth’s commentary on the thought process behind each one.

Check out the photo's and get more of an idea on the thought process behind the images -

1. Sterling with short hair & Sterling with long hair - Will has long hair in the book!  But, frankly, we hated how the wig looked.  We decided we could live with the error, that being immediately appealing was more important than being 100% accurate.


2. Sterling one-eyed long hair & Sterling hair in the face - The single eye shots looked good in the studio, but when we tried them on the cover, we found it was a little forced looking—like he was acting, rather than natural. Also, we really hated the wig!

3. Strikes a pose A & Strikes a pose B - The first shot was too reminiscent of Taylor Lautner’s entrance in Twilight: Eclipse, and in the second I thought Will looked like a juvenile delinquent—not heir to the Earl of Mercia, which he was long ago, before he was attacked and became a vampire.


4. To fog & Not to fog - I LOVED the fog. We tried shots with and without fog because we weren’t sure which would look better on the jacket. We ended up using a fog shot because it added to the “atmosphere” on the book jacket.


5. Black fog & Just black - It’s interesting, because the shots against black look really good—but the white background allowed the designer, Sammy Yuen, to lay in the London architecture into the finished background.  Also, black made me think “vampire at night” which I find really clich├ęd.


6. Black fog full frontal & Black fog over the should look - There was quite a bit of discussion about over the shoulder—I thought those shots were very sexy.  We are thinking of using an over the shoulder shot in the book’s sequel (due out next fall) called Alchemy.

I loved checking out these pictures and learning more, what about you guys? What do you think of the pictures and the end result? Who's read Blood?

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