One of the most common questions I see during our Book Banter events is, “How much say does the author have about what the cover looks like?” or “How are covers designed?” Because of this, every season, I’ll post our upcoming book covers, along with a “sneak peak” inside Bethany House’s cover design process.
This Season’s Topic: Photoshoots
Here’s a little bit of “insider” background on how we get the images for our book covers. Most of our books are created by doing a photoshoot with models who fit descriptions given to the designers by the authors. They try to find people who look like the characters both physically and who display the kind of personality the author wants to get across as well. Each book has a file in our creative director’s office filled with a synopsis of the book, photos of the time period or setting, and ideas for what the cover might look like.
Some of the backgrounds are the actual location of the photoshoot: for example, the lovely garden in A Beauty So Rare was really the Como Park Conservatory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Others are landscapes from other sources that our talented designers blend seamlessly into the scene. (I’m sure our designers would love to take a field trip to Alaska for Dani Pettrey’s current series, but apparently that’s just not in the budget.)
Props can sometimes also play a part, and for the most part, we rent them for a one-time use. I feel a personal connection to the cover for Keepers of the Covenant because I found the weapons used for it sitting around at work one day. (We didn’t end up using the version of the cover with the spear, but it’s still extremely cool to find ancient weaponry in your office coat closet.)
Want to know more behind-the-scenes info about cover creation? Some of our authors have written blog posts about what went into the making of their covers. You can learn about how the dress for A Beauty So Rare was created here, or join in on the photoshoot for Melissa Tagg’s Here to Stay here, or read an interview with the cover models from Julie Klassen’s The Dancing Master here or Becky Wade’s Meant to Be Mine here.
Now that you know a little more about what goes in to a cover, enjoy taking a look at our lineup of fall and early winter covers. It’s fun to see what you can guess about the stories just by looking at the visual “sneak peek” displayed in full color on the outside.
A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears
Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer
The River by Beverly Lewis
Tried and True by Mary Connealy
Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould
The Brickmaker’s Bride by Judith Miller
Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
A Matter of Heart by Tracie Peterson
To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling
The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn
Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund
A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen