If you missed Part 5, please click here:



Part 6 


How the cover was designed.

‘You can’t tell a book by its cover,’ can you? I don’t know who first said this but it is patently untrue. Just walk in Waterspoons, thousands of books, paperback and hard back. Every hardback has a loose cover that has been meticulously designed by a graphic artist and the same goes for the front cover of a paperback. Just think, if you were publishing a book and you could make more profit by leaving the outside presentation of a book just the woven cloth look with no design or extra printing costs, just a single colour, you would do it. So why does everyone go to so much trouble?

As I tried to convince you in section 4 – Self publishing – the cover and the title are what make most people to decide to buy – or not- your book so it needs some real creative effort to go into it. Next is a big decision, do you ‘design’ it your self or do you pay a graphic designer to do it for you. I put design in parenthesis because you are not a designer, you are a writer. Not many people are both.

I was lucky enough to find a writer who is also an illustrator. Rebecca is a student, studying English ( creative writing ) with illustration. She saw our blog ( more about our blog in Part 7 ) liked it and started following us. She sent us some of her writing pieces and we showcased them on our blog. We then did the opposite so now some of our pieces, short stories in my case are on her blog.

Here is her piece on our ‘meet the author ‘ series.


And here is the first story she sent us:


You can see now that she is a very talented artist as well as an excellent writer (Jealous! )

I had a brainwave, I wanted a cover for my book designed and perhaps she was keen to get some of her illustration work showcased. Could we put the two things together?

I put the idea to her and she agreed. All we had to do now was to work out what the cover should look like. i sent her the title, outline of the plot and something about the main characters. I also described the setting I wanted on the cover and a strap line to act as a ‘hook’.

Rebecca then sent me various sketches of her different ideas and I chose from them the ones that I thought best demonstrated the story.

Here is Rebecca’s sketch of one of the main characters:


Here is another where we used a photo to get the Royal Marine uniform right.


40 Commando Medal Ceremony

Here we used a photo to get the details of the Royal Marine uniform right.



These were then modified until they
agreed with the description of the characters in my head.

Next was the setting. Rebecca drew a series of pencil sketches with these characters in settings.

I sent her a photo to give an idea of one of the scene locations.


You can see here how Rebecca has ‘caught’ the scene and then put cut outs of the characters in the scene.


The main two characters are in the foreground and Molly the dog and Jake the bodger are playing on the cliffs above, complete with the smoke from the charcoal burning.


These are some alternative settings that were drawn by Rebecca, considered and then discarded.



Now a pencil sketch of the scene with the characters. We also came up with the strap line at this stage.


Now the coloured picture


Filter the colours to give the right contrast.


I think Rebecca has done great job. I look at this picture and I see the same characters as I see in my mind’s eye.

If you need some illustration work done, I am sure Rebecca would be delighted to hear from you.

Part 7 – How the blog came to be – will follow shortly


© Richard Kefford                                                                                                        Eorðdraca


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3 thoughts on “The growth of a novel

  1. Thank you for being so kind about my illustrations Richard! 🙂
    I’m really enjoying reading through each post in this series and discovering more about your motivations and inspiration for ‘Two Boys from Brighton’ 🙂


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