Creating the Cover: “At the Heart of the Missing”

by @AnnieDaylon

In the indie world, the creation of striking cover for a novel starts with the vision of the author.

As At the Heart of the Missing moved through stages of growth (which included two title changes) I kept a space, a dark room in my mind if you will, where I allowed visual images to emerge and morph.

With this novel, as with Castles in the Sand  I worked with author/editor/designer Michael Hiebert. I remember that, with Castles in the Sand , I kept him waiting for three days while I located the cover image for that book. (Sorry, Michael.) I searched every site I could find and finally came up with the perfect cover, a picture of English Bay in Vancouver (the actual setting for the novel.) I found that picture on  which has been my go-to site ever since.

While I was writing At the Heart of the Missing, I logged in to Shutterstock and scrolled through images, popping those that interested me into a lightbox, a place where images can be saved for later retrieval. When the time came for my designer to create the cover for At the Heart of the Missing, I shared the lightbox images with him and told him what I wanted: cascading rose petals on a black cover with one small marigold and one small violet.

Using the images below, my designer layered the rose petal image fifteen times to get the desired effect. Since I couldn’t find a satisfactory image of a solo marigold, he chose one of the twenty in the third photo.

In the ebook world, one could stop there. But  At the Heart of the Missing will also appear in print– back cover needed! It was my designer’s brilliant idea to wrap the rose petal theme around to the back. I supplied back copy (description of book for reader), blurbs, and imprint with logo (McRAC Books).

How did I choose my business name and logo? Click to see post.


The space in the lower right hand corner of the back of the book is reserved for the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) bar code. (A note, dear Canadians, ISBNs are free for you from Library and Archives Canada.) 

The result of all of this? Ta-daaa!

Now available for Pre-Order on Amazon Kindle. Delivery Date: April 8, 2017.

I am thrilled with this cover creation and am fortunate to have worked with a designer I knew and trusted, one who brought my vision to fruition.

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

The Business of Writing: Seeking and Finding

Post IV: Seeking and Finding

shutterstock_104551601In the last week, I sought information on the following: 1) how to open an account with Create Space; 2) how to acquire and Employer Taxation ID Number from the IRS; and 3) where to find the exact cover image I needed for my soon-to-be-released novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND. 

Seek and ye shall find, they say. I did and so can you. Some hopefully helpful information regarding my search…

1) Opening an Account on Create Space:

  • Easy-peasy.  Just go to the site and fill in the form. They email you. You confirm. Next, log in, click on Account Information and then on Royalty Payment Information. If you have a sole proprietorship and live outside the U.S., you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

2) Acquisition of an EIN:

  • There is easy access to info about obtaining an EIN through Create Space. You can acquire the Taxation ID number either by filling out/submitting forms or by calling the IRS. Create Space even lists the phone number which, by the way, is NOT toll free.
    The process only takes a few minutes by phone, but that does not account for the long wait time. Nonetheless,  USE THE PHONE. DO NOT HANG UP. Putter around, tidy your desk, chase dust bunnies up and down the hall with your Swiffer while you wait (my default on-hold activity.)  I was on the phone for about one hour. Almost panicked when, just as the wonderfully helpful lady at the IRS was about to give me my number, the phone beeped. I glanced at the screen: low battery! (Pause here for mild expletive.) I ran and grabbed the other phone. (Phew!)
    So,why did I not just fill out/submit the form, you ask? Because a friend of mine did that and it took two months.
Castles in the Sand Thumbnail

Release: Spring, 2013
Exact Date: TBA
Stay Tuned!

3) Locating a Cover Photo:

  • I spent hours looking through stock sites for a cover image. I searched castles, sandcastles, sandcastles + waves, but could not find exactly the right image. After a couple of days of indecision, I almost settled for one that was okay. But, instead, I walked away. That night, I wrote in my journal that the exact image I wanted would show up the next day. The very next morning, I searched sand + waves + British Columbia and came up with a photo of English Bay in Vancouver where my fictitious character, Justin, built fictitious sandcastles with his fictitious little boy, Bobby. As soon as I saw that shot, I knew my search was over.
    My advice? Do not settle. That would be like tying a tattered string around a beautifully wrapped present. Wait. The perfectly-matching bow will show.

I extend a heartfelt nod of thanks to: Create Space for their Print On Demand program; Shutterstock for their bottomless well of images;  photographer Eva Kondzialkiewicz for that perfect pic of English Bay; and, my cover designer Michael Hiebert  for his patience while I located that image.

Now it’s back to my To Do List!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue