Welcome Cristin! Thank you for visiting and sharing your covers for the Titan Series.
Thanks for having me. I’m always in awe of cover artists and designers. I can see a story in my head and let it unfold on paper, but when it comes to art and design, I’m clueless with only ideas that a professional designer must piece together.
My motto is: Higher Stakes. Hotter Action. I write intense romantic suspense, and my debut Titan series will release in October with five titles: WINTERS HEAT, GARRISON’S CREED, WESTIN’S CHASE, CHASED, and GAMBLED.
Let’s jump into some questions!
Did you know what you wanted the cover to look like when you started the design process?
My confession: I absolutely judge a book by its cover. If I love the cover and the blurb reads like something I might not be into, I will probably still buy the book. That’s a great thing, I’ve found new favorite authors that way.
Back track a few weeks ago, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish with my covers—consistent and recognizable. Then I walked away from RWA’s national conference with specific details in mind. How I wanted my name, where I wanted the title, how I wanted the model to look. Check out the recording’s from RWA’s self-publish track. The speakers were incredible and very specific in their ideas and suggestions.
So, I had ideas of what worked from various authors and from wandering the aisles at bookstore, but no way of knowing how they’d looked in one compilation. That’s where I started. A lot of idea, a few basic requirements, and no clue if it’d look like some weirdo, quilted collage.
What kinds of questions did your cover designer ask before he/she began working?
Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs did my Titan series covers. She had a detailed questionnaire: genre, feel of the story, details about the hero and heroine, places the novel visited, if I wanted a couple or just one of my H/h on the cover.
How many revisions did you ask for before you were satisfied with the result?
The first cover, we played back and forth about three or four times to get the set up right on my name, the spine, the wording. For the second and third covers, we played with some different coloring options, and the fourth and fifth covers were exactly what I wanted. She was easy to work with when I changed cover models on the second book and had concerns about the background image for the third. Also, she suggested changing the model for the third cover. It was a great suggestion and I took it. We were both open to playing around to accomplish my goal.
Were you happy with the artwork that was used to create the final cover?
I love the artwork. LOVE, all caps. The background images nail the scenes, but aren’t distracting. The contrast and coloring really makes my thumbnails pop.
Would you change anything about your cover if you could?
Nothing. We worked on them until they were what I wanted. I honestly think they look like a million buck, but were incredibly well-priced.
Did you look to see what other authors were doing before you chose your design elements?
Yes, I wanted to see what I liked, what performed well specifically for my sub-genre. (whispering…I also looked to see what I didn’t like and made notes on what I rather not do.)
A new adult romance cover looks nothing like a romantic suspense cover. I love those “one object” covers (Sylvia Day’s Crossfire covers, Maya Banks’ new Sweet Surrender covers), but that wouldn’t convey studs and guns, which is what I write. At the RWA conference, the importance of a cover was drilled home, so I spent a lot of time looking at my comps.
If this book is part of a series, how did you convey that on the cover?
Each book has the same graphic details, same font, and style. I think you can look at them and see the continuity.
What do you think of the fonts on your cover? How do they add to the overall design?
My title font shows the tone of the books and the font for my name helps with my branding.
How much did the mood of your story affect your design choices?
A great deal. My stories have dark, suspenseful components. The coloring and bits of contrast sell that well. The cover models are intense and brooding, very much like the characters they represent.
Would you make your covers yourself if you were able?
Ha. Yeah, I’d love to have that kind of artistic ability, but I rather leave that for the professionals. I’d also love to speak Italian, drive a race car, and draw the plans to my dream home, but I have no training. I could learn, but that would take away from my time writing and with my family. And, even if I learned the mechanics, I don’t have the eye to take my garbled ideas and mold them into a cohesive picture that tells the story of my story.
Have you ever changed the cover of this book? Of another book? Why did you make the switch? Do you feel it was beneficial?
No, but this is my debut series. I wouldn’t have my heart set on a cover just because I love it or it was beautiful. If beautiful isn’t selling or if I’ve received more than a few questioning remarks, then on to a new cover. It’s a business decisions, strictly return on investment. I place a lot of importance on a good cover, because I do judge a book by its thumbnail. No immediate interest, I move on.
Thanks again, Amy, for having me! This was a lot of fun.
Check out the Goodreads giveaways for WINTERS HEAT (Titan #1): https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/60976-winters-heat
Giveaway from GARRISON’S CREED: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/61488-garrison-s-creed
Giveaway from WESTIN’S CHASE: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/61676-westin-s-chase
Find me and the Titan guys online:
Titan love for all. XO, Cristin Harber
Excerpt from WINTERS HEAT:
Winters took a look at the small woman and downed men. The tear gas gnawed into his patience. His decision making skills weren’t firing like they should. Not being able to think in this time constraint, he needed to bring her with him.
He opened the drawer, grabbed the package next to the motel-issued Bible, and wrapped an arm around the woman, throwing her over his shoulder. She was as light as she looked and losing steam with each gas-filled gasp.
“Wait. No! Let me go. Help. Someone help!”
Still, she continued a feeble holler. “Help. Someone. Help.”
There wasn’t anyone around. Her hoarse cries didn’t matter. In joints like this, everyone minded their own business. But still, she was a headache. He didn’t have to take her. He didn’t have to save her. And what the hell did he care if she had to explain it to the cops? But she looked more suited to sell Girl Scout cookies than handle thugs and cops. He couldn’t abandon her now. His protective nature was stoked.
MOM. WIFE. ROMANCE WRITER. Lover of all things sexy and happily ever after.
Cristin is an award-winning author who lives outside Washington, DC with her family. Her debut Titan series will release in October.