Tuesday 27 November 2012

Designing the book cover for Harriet's Holiday

The accompanying slideshow gives a visual timeline of how the book cover for Ruth Leffler's children's book 'Harriet's Holiday'  was created. The process is expanded below.

(if you cannot see it below, please visit https://picasaweb.google.com/107595387761034666575/HarrietSHollidayTheEvolutionOfABookCover?authuser=0&feat=directlink)

I was chatting with the author, Ruth Leffler, at a meeting of the Huntingdonshire Business Network about her completed manuscript of her children's book, Harriet's Holiday. The main stumbling block was the completion of a book cover.

Ruth Leffler's vision was an image relating to a particular part of the book where Harriet, on holiday, climbs the stairs of an old Scottish house. She finds an old arched door that is partly open, revealing a child's bedroom. A friendly teddy bear rests on the bed, there is a sheepskin rug on the floor and the windows looked out over the nearby loch.

The imagery immediately fired my imagination and I begged to be given first opportunity to design the cover.

Back home, I began with some quick sketches of how the room might be arranged and, more importantly, where the door would be in relation to the room and the rest of the house. This was followed by where to place Harriet. The decision was to have her at the threshold, just about to enter and pushing open the door.

The book is itself magical, with Harriet entering pictures for adventures. Therefore, rather than having a normal perspective, I placed the reader higher up, looking down on Harriet and over her shoulder into the room.

This being a book cover, the image also needed relatively uncluttered areas for the title 'Harriet's Holiday' in large lettering at the top and 'Ruth Leffler' as the author's name at the bottom.

As the medium, I decided to use soft pastels. In the latter part of the slideshow
(if you cannot see it above, please visit https://picasaweb.google.com/107595387761034666575/HarrietSHollidayTheEvolutionOfABookCover?authuser=0&feat=directlink)
 you can see how the paper was planned out, the general outlines pencilled in and then completed in stages.

Ruth liked the final draft but found the halo around Harriet too distracting. This was therefore toned down usig photoediting as pastels themselved gave too wide a golden edge. It only remained to add the title 'Harriet's Holiday' and 'Ruth Leffler' in a suitable font and the cover was complete.

I'm pleased that Ruth liked the cover for Harriet's Holiday.

If you would like a gentle magical tale to read to your children, or a tale which your own inner child might delight in, Harriet's Holiday by Ruth Leffler is available for Kindle readers on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harriets-Holiday-ebook/dp/B009NUQEVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353974966&sr=8-1. Enjoy!

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