So...after giving Tara O'Shea what I wanted, I waited one week before she sent me three mock-ups. She didn't get a chance to read the entire novella, but scanned it to get the heroine coloring, etc. right. So here are the initial mock-ups.
I liked the overall design. It was as though Tara read my mind and knew exactly what I wanted even though I didn't articulate my ideas very well to her. (The mark of a good artist.) However, I thought the title font should be changed since I have to reduce the cover graphic to 133x200 pixels for my blog sidebar. When the cover's that small, you can't see "A Happily Ever After" very well. And we needed to put my name on the cover too.
I asked several people what they thought, and at the end, I decided to go with the third picture. I sent an email with the things I wanted changed, and Tara sent me another version. Very close, but I wanted my name to be bolded and slightly bigger because it looked like a long brown smudge when I make the cover picture very small to put on the blog sidebar.
"No problem," she said. It was done in less than half an hour. (Remember we were doing everything via email.) Being an uber-satisfied customer, I asked her to send me the invoice and all the relevant files. I checked to make sure I got everything and sent Tara her payment.
Though she didn't have to, Tara sent me four different versions of cover jpg file: one large, one medium, one thumbnail and one without any lettering on it (just the picture). Then she sent me the Photoshop file and all the stock photos.
(I've uploaded watermarked pictures to prevent piracy. She didn't send me watermarked files.)
Isn't it amazing what she came up with those pictures? I'm still astounded because she took my initial vague concept to the gorgeous cover.
Feel free to leave me questions and/or comments. I'll answer them here or if they require a long answer, I'll turn it into a post.
Don't forget, the serial starts on Monday October 5.
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