Designing a Cover for Joy Ride

*Apologies to those who receive emails from this blog and have seen this particular post before. I’m updating my site and a few things were lost in the shuffle, this blog update was one of the casualties.


A while back, I worked on a cover design for a friend, M.B. Austin. She wanted to put her story, Joy Ride, out on Smashwords , Wattpad, and other places. So she asked me to come up with a cover for her. I’m a big fan of her Maji stories and was happy to do so.

She has a book coming out soon, by the way, so please be sure to keep an eye on her website for more news. I’m very excited to see Strictly Need To Know in its final form.

Anyway, back to the design for Joy Ride.

She gave me the story to read, as well as a few thoughts of what she had envisioned. She also gave me the Smashwords specifications and I began working on a design that would work for print an digital media.

I searched my usual free and copyright free clip art sources and found a limited amount of art that would work. I was inspired, though, by the cassette tape concept, and decided to freehand a cassette tape for a few of the designs. I think it worked out rather well.

Anyway, this is the basic process I go through while designing covers.

First, I sent her a bunch of designs to see what she thought and to help narrow it down.

This was the first batch:

She gave me a bunch of feedback, and I went back to work. This was the second batch:

She finally settled on this design, and I sent it to her in several formats, high resolution as well as web resolution.


About MSChavez

M.S. Chavez, or Shannon Marie Chavez is an author and artist. For more than a decade she worked in newspapers as a graphic artist. All the while she was writing, doing freelance artwork, and web design on the side. She has a number of science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, horror and romance short stories published and is working on a series of rural fantasy novels.
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