Cover Reveal – River to Redemption

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 30 Comments

For an author, one of the highlights of a new book’s journey to publication is seeing the cover that is going to be wrapped around the words of your story. In traditional publishing, the publishers have an art department with talented people who work hard to make those book wrappers as attractive and compelling as possible. That’s because the cover is often what first catches a reader’s eyes on a bookstore shelf or on an internet book page. I am very fortunate to be published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where they take pride in coming up with the best covers ever like this one for River to Redemption.

So how do they come up with covers that suit a story? The author starts the process – not simply by writing the book (not that that’s simple) but by filling out a form that helps the art department know about your characters and your story. While I admit to not enjoying filling out these questionnaires that eventually help with coming up with the best titles and those gorgeous covers, I do realize they are a necessary part of the design process. On the form, I have to describe my main characters, but not only their eye color and how they wear their hair. I need to tell what my characters might wear in the historical era or because of their personalities, occupations or stations in life. What are their dreams and goals? Are they happy personalities with always a smile or more serious and pensive?

You’d think all that would be easy to jot down after writing a 100,000 word novel about these people, but I still struggle to condense my characters down into a couple of paragraphs. Once it’s done, I send the form back to the publishers and they take what I tell them about the book and the characters and brainstorm for the best cover. One of the questions on that form is what scenes I might suggest for the cover or if any particular landmark would be important. I sometimes suggest something, but what the art department comes up with is always better.

One of my very favorite covers is Angel Sister. That’s because they got the little girl, Lorena, just right on the cover. If I could have lifted my young character out of that book and taken her picture, she would have looked exactly like the little girl on the cover. Then to make it even better, the child model has the perfect look on her face as she gazes up at Kate, the one she considered her “angel” sister in the story.

And now I have another cover with a perfect little girl on the cover. This time it’s my main character, Adria, who is seven years old at the beginning of the story. Again, my publishers’ art department found the perfect model for Adria and the river in the scene is a great tie in with the title. It’s a long time before River to Redemption will be available for readers, July 2018, but it’s already up for pre-sale on internet sites like Amazon. So if you’re interested, you can go over there and read about it.

I generally don’t do a cover reveal until much closer to the publication date, but since the cover is already out there on the net and has appeared with other upcoming books on different blog posts, I decided I’d give you, my reading friends here, an early peek at it.

So what do you think? Is it a cover that might make you pick it up off a bookstore shelf to read more about it?

 

 

Comments 30

  1. Karen Jones

    Beautiful! Yes, I would be attracted to this cover. One of my favorite books was Angel Sister. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts with us, your readers. By the way, what has Josie been up to? 😊

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That Jocie needs to find her typewriter, Karen. I’m wondering if maybe she’s met some boy that has distracted her. LOL. I’m glad you like the cover of River to Redemption. I like that they decided to go with child Adria on the front. Thanks also for thinking of Angel Sister as a favorite book. Since it had the echo of my mom’s memories all the way through that story, it’s a favorite of mine too.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Your comment has me smiling, Helen. That’s what I need to be doing with my work in progress – dreaming about what’s to come, that is, happen!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sandi, that’s an extra nice thing to read. Thank you so much. I appreciate you telling me that. I’ll smile all night now.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Glad you found the info interesting, Robin. Of course, much more goes on at the publishers as they decide on models and costumes and settings. They also have to decide whether to do a photo shoot or have an artist do a painting. Then sometimes covers are just graphics of letters and shapes. They have to decide about font styles and colors. Then they work to make the spines interesting and often put some other picture on the back cover. On my firsts Hidden Springs mystery, Murder at the Courthouse, they came up with the idea of a population sign with the number marked out and decreased by one. That was a really neat back cover addition.

  2. Kathy Schnitz

    I, too, love the cover. And it’s really interesting to find out how the covers come about. Thanks for telling us this. I also can’t wait to read this story because I have a great niece named Adria, and she’s about the same age!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s fun, Kathy, about your great niece named Adria. I’ve never met anyone named Adria. I came across the name in my baby name book and thought it was a bit different and so fit my character. Adria is seven at the beginning of the book, but then the story skips some years and starts up again with Adria is nineteen.

  3. Emily Shanahan

    Ann,the cover of “River to Redemption” looks amazing and the description of your newest book on Amazon is both fascinating and amazing! I can’t wait to begin reading “River of Redemption”, when it releases on July 3rd,2018! Congrats and God Bless,my friend! 🎉 Psalm 115🎉

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thanks, Emily. I appreciate you checking it out. I do hope it will be a story that resonates with readers. Maybe I’ll have to have a Fourth of July part to celebrate its release. 🙂

  4. Karen L Chaudoin

    To answer your question it is a cover for a book that I would pick up. Redemption in a title can be a suspicious word to me as it brings memories of awful movies that either I have watched or caught glimpses of that in my mind have no real value if one values their time as moments for joy. But the little girl and the pastoral setting would draw me in. The artist did a lovely job and I went right to Amazon and pre-ordered your book. I look forward to reading it!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Gee, Karen, sorry part of my title brings to mind things you might wish to forget. But redemption does seem to fit my story and so perhaps you will see another side of the word when you get a chance to read the book next summer. I do appreciate you pre-ordering the book. That makes me smile.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s good, Teresa. Adria is a main character in the story, but she’s only seven when the story begins. Then we skip to when she’s nineteen. But the child Adria has a lot to do with how the story shapes up.

  5. Robin in NC

    Wow! Authors really have a lot of behind the scenes stuff to deal with! I’ve always admired authors abilities and this just deepens this admiration! Thanks for your continued hard work to keep your readers entertained!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Authors do have many tasks beside the writing the story to produce a successful book, Robin. But always, coming up with a compelling story that people want to read is first and foremost. All the other things help get the book published and then noticed by readers, but without a good story, none of the rest of it matters. You nailed it when you spoke of keeping readers entertained. Entertained, engaged, inspired. All of those would be good when it comes to writing a book.

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  6. Phyllis Miller

    I love the cover Ann, and thank you for the information about how the cover is designed, it is amazing and I enjoyed learning this…I look forward to getting this book.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      So glad the cover is one that catches your interest, Phyllis. Some authors actually go to take part in the cover design process or at least are on sight when the photos are taken if live models are used. That has to be an amazing experience. I have added input on clothing, especially with the Shaker books and then These Healing Hills, since the characters did wear specific clothes in those stories. The Frontier Nursing uniform is not exactly right on the cover of These Healing Hills since they did wear all blue, but the designers felt all blue would not look as good with the background. The cover is very attractive and I love that Sarge, the dog, is there.

  7. Barbara Davis

    I agree Ann, I have always been drawn to the Angel Sister little girl on the cover and frankly, it did make me want the book! And it became a favorite that I’ve read more than once. My very favorite though is still The Believer – the Shaker story; but that’s because my great grandmother was living at the Centre House at Shaker Village and your book gave me a look into what her life could have been like! Thank you for all your stories!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      It’s good to know that the great cover on Angel Sister influenced your decision to read the book, Barbara. Fun also to know why The Believer is your favorite. I’ve met several people who have Shakers in their family trees. Usually those people were Shakers a while, maybe as young people, and then left the Society and had families.

  8. Paula

    I love the cover! I can’t think of one of your covers that I don’t like! Angel Sister and These Healing Hills are two of my favorites. Thanks Ann. I’m glad your team gets it right!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Fun to know your favorites, Paula, and I’m glad to hear that you like this new cover. Another I especially like is Words Spoken True. I wouldn’t have thought about liking so much brown in the cover, but it works. My heroine on that cover is beautiful in her brown dress and hat with the Louisville skyline behind her.

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