3 S.R. Johannes: Untraceable Cover Reveal! Finally!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Untraceable Cover Reveal! Finally!

First, let me remind you that Vania Stoyanova at VLC Photo took this shot and designed the front cover. (Shout out to hubby for doing the spine and back cover design)


So here is how the cover unfolded....


This is what you all have been seeing as the placeholder:




I saved this image years ago when I started writing Untraceable. It was everything I wanted the cover to be. I loved the eye and the mysteriousness of being in the woods and a girl hiding from something or someone. I wanted the reader to know it would have an element of suspense.  


I didn't use it b/c it was very one dimensional to me - very monochromatic, which is why I decide to bring in Vania. I really wanted the reader to feel as if they were in the woods and Grace was there with them. This picture fell flat for me, but it is the concept Vania started with and has actually received great love from the blogosphere.


Then we moved towards this:






This was a test shot we did when we were not sure of the model. We wanted to test colors for the paperback proof and wanted to see what we would need for the eye to work in the woods. I was pretty hung up on the eye in the woods thing (Thanks to Vania for being patient with my eye obsession) I loved this picture at first. But the eye didn't stand out to me - enough. It gets lost in the greenery. Vania played with the eye color to brighten it but it wasn't enough to stand out. As a thumbnail, you can't even see the eye. And if you are selling ebooks - the cover is what sells so you have to grab a reader online. There was too much green and the cover was too dark.


A little insider information - that is ME - yes - that is my eye :) 


So I obviously didn't want more of my face showing - I mean it is not a HORROR novel - so it limited us in showing skin and more lightness. Ultimately I didn't really want ME on the cover - shocking I know - and I'm sure most of you just cant understand why I was not model material. But it's true, I'm sorry to disappoint you all. This photo says "old lady hiding in woods" to me. I think maybe now I will use it as an author photo :)


Then we found Jae! The minute I saw these pictures of her - I knew she was Grace.




For those who haven't read Untraceable yet. (what are you waiting for! Oh! it's not out yet. Okay you are forgiven...for now! Until Nov 29th;) Grace lives in the Smoky Mountains just outside Cherokee, North Carolina. Her boss is an old Native American man who lives on the working reserve there. If Grace was from that area, I always pictured her as having a slight Native American feel to her. This picture was a sign to me - not b/c of the stereotypical dress but b/c of her features. 


Plus she's pretty without being gorgeous. Grace is naturally pretty but doesn't wear much makeup and is tough - not the girl girl. Jae is very feminine and pretty, but has that tough girl quality - esp as a teen- that showed the character I think Grace has. Besides, Grace would not want a pretty pretty girl to represent her. Actually, she'd probably kick my ass if that happened. :)


Anyway, I loved Jae and she ended up being perfect for Grace.


But ultimately - we decided on.....(DRUM ROLL).........................


This Beautiful...Wonderful...Cover. (And...yes, I now sleep with it hanging above my bed :)








And this is the whole cover (front to back)
Let me just say - I have the original. and you all have no idea the work that Vania had to do to get this shot. Add in green to brighten it, touch up the face, make the eye blue. She did much more than just take this picture and listen to me yell "Smize" b/c I thought it was a funny reference to Top Model. Which I am sure models hear all the time.


Maybe someday I will show you the original so you can see how critical a graphic designer or photographer is. But not today :)


So starting Monday - all the covers out there will be changed and this is what you will see.


yay!


Only 2 more weeks!


Let the oohing and ahhing commence.........Thanks Vania!

26 comments:

Kath said...

Wow! I liked the placeholder cover. Then I loved the next one. But your final is absolutely perfect!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was never a big fan of the place holder. It didn't inspire me to want to buy the book.

LOVE the new cover. THAT one MAKES me want to buy the book. It's beautiful.

E. Arroyo said...

Awesome! My widget updated on its own too.

Laura Pauling said...

Absolutely love the cover! it's perfect!

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban said...

The cover is beautiful. But the important thing is that it sets the mood for your story. It tells us what your book is about by making us feel.

And that is what a cover is supposed to do.

Perfect.

Lori M. Lee said...

I have to admit I wasn't a fan of the placeholder either. But WOW the final cover is gorgeous. I love how vivid it is, and the model is perfect!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Gorgeous cover.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, I love how your vision from the start and Vania's skill ended up with a riveting cover. Yay, you!

Jamie Burch said...

Stunning! I noticed first thing on my blog that the widget image had changed. It was interesting to learn all that went into creating this beautiful book cover.

Congratulations, Shelli!

Anna Staniszewski said...

It's gorgeous! And thanks so much for blogging about the process--so interesting!

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Wow, absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process with Vania. She's so talented! Can't wait to read the book. Super excited for you!

Sara McClung said...

I love it!! Your cover is gorgeous :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I absolutely LOVE it! It's amazing and Jae fits Grace perfectly - you're right. :-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love the final cover. I think it really fits your book.

Melissa West said...

I love it! You must be so thrilled. I cannot wait until I can reveal my cover. Such a fun time. :)

Jean Reidy said...

Beautiful! And it's so much fun to see the evolution, Shelli!

Dani @ Refracted Light said...

Love seeing the process of cover design. The final version is just beautiful and fits the tone of your book perfectly :)

Jessie Harrell said...

So love the cover! I'm sure it was everything you dreamed it would be and more. Congrats!!

Julie Hedlund said...

It's beautiful Shelli! Congratulations. It's a swoon-worthy cover. Thanks for giving us the behind the scenes view of how it got made.

Jemi Fraser said...

Oooooh! Aaaaah!! It really is a STUNNING cover! I agree - Jae is the perfect, perfect odel for Grace. That girl is giving me heart attacks right now. Okay - back to reading!

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Congratulations and great post! That was so interesting to read, beautiful cover, gorgeous photos. I love learning the behind the scenes stuff. Can't wait to read it!

meradeth said...

Love the cover! It's wonderful! (And now back to reading the book--it fits the story perfectly!!)

Monica B.W. said...

Absolutely love it! And I also love the one with your eye, too! haha!
Anyway, thx for sharing your process, I'm really having fun reading it :)
<3
Mónica

Petra @ Safari Poet said...

Congrats! It looks great.

lisanowak said...

It's a beaut!

DL Hammons said...

Your attention to detail really paid off!! KUDO'S!!!