As usual, there were many questions related to cover design in our Ask Bethany House survey, but here’s one we haven’t heard before that (bonus!) gives me a chance to brag on our amazing staff.
“How large is your design team? How many covers are you working on at any given time? Your design team has produced some STUNNING covers!”
First of all, we totally agree—I’m always in awe of our art department. When in comes to people actually working in Bethany House’s office, we have…
- Paul – our creative director, who oversees all of our covers, including initial direction brainstorming and guiding covers through the feedback and revision process
- Kristen – who manages the details like taking notes in cover meetings, helping find the right models and costumes, and adding cover treatments
- Jenny – creates covers for many of our fiction authors, especially historical romances, as well as marketing materials
- Eric – usually works on nonfiction covers, but creates some of the promotional materials for our fiction books (ads, banners, bookmarks, etc.)
- Dan – same as Eric, leans more toward the nonfiction side of things except for marketing materials
- Chris – helps manage the designers’ job lists and keeps up technical tasks like uploading final covers to our website
In addition to these fantastic individuals, we use a number of freelance designers for some of our covers. Often, we’ll use the same designer to work on books by one author for consistency, unless we’re going in a totally new direction with the “feel” of their books.
As someone who has regularly attended cover design meetings along with representatives from our editorial department, I can tell you that I’m impressed with how designers can translate information from the author and our team and make it into something beautiful.
As for how many covers these designers work on, we divide our publishing calendar into three seasons: spring (all books coming out January-April), summer (May-August) and fall (September-December). That’s right, no winter! Each season, Bethany House has an average of 15 fiction books releasing, and often just as many nonfiction books. Now, of those, a freelance designer might only be working on one or two, but an in-house designer might be working on five or six…and that’s in addition to all of the newsletter banners and quote memes and miscellaneous other design jobs we send their way. Don’t forget, too, that back covers and spines also need to be designed!
If you’re curious to know who designed a book by one of your favorite authors, check the small print on either the back cover or the inside copyright page. You’ll often see them credited there.
Tell me about a cover design that you love so much you’d almost want to hang it on your wall.