Ann Patchett is one of my favourite fiction authors. Ann’s last book, The Dutch House, is a sensational read and I absolutely love the cover art. At the end of the book, Ann shares her process for the design of the unique book cover that captivated readers around the world. I learnt a lot from her and here’s how I applied it to the cover design for Found and Lost, book one of The Great Way Series.
Like all things of excellence, I wouldn’t be launching with such an exquisite cover if it wasn’t for the talented and experienced artist, Emily Mahon, and my creative collaborators, production team, and incredible editor, Lindsey Alexander from The Reading List
Ann Patchett: It was very important to me not to have any part of a house on the cover of the book. I wanted the portrait of Maeve to be on the cover.
Insight: My cover design follows a similar formula. I wanted to invite readers in via the main character, Lucy Lewis, who was trapped in a cave with a monk and learns the mystical arts and acquires spiritual Siddhis or powers.
Ann: I called an artist friend and asked him to paint Maeve’s portrait. I gave him the two pages in which the painting is described in the novel and based on those two pages, he did the painting.
Insights: My cover artist and book production team extracted a lot of information from me about the book, such as, who the main characters are. Deep description of the supporting characters. What genres and categories, woman’s fiction, adult fiction, epic adventure? What drives them in their adventure? What conflict are they struggling with? Is it a series? They also wanted to know what my vision for the book (and the series is). Our process was robust and collaborative, and took a long time. We went through six concepts before we selected the one which we refined and evolved over a period of weeks.
Ann: There are so many things I love about the painting, one is that it’s actually part of the plot, so at some point the reader will look back at the cover and think, wait a minute!
Insight: My selected cover design for Found and Lost serves a similar purpose. It’s engaging and creates an expectation for this epic adventure story. My readers will look back at the cover and wonder when will they get to the scene on the cover.
Just like the epic adventure that the main character, Lucy, starts in book one of The Great Way Series, getting this book from manuscript into your hands has been a journey. We are so close to being ready for pre-orders. Found and Lost book one of The Great Way Series.
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