Ever wonder about book covers? Who designs them? How do they go about it? I have long been a fan of Jem Butcher, who has done the artwork on my Viennese Mysteries for Severn House. His most recent, for A Matter of Breeding, out in England next spring and in the U.S. in the summer, is just plain smashing.
I am very pleased to present an email discussion I had with Jem regarding his work:
How did you get involved in cover design, how long have you been at it?
I did a degree in Graphic Design at Bath, graduating back in 1990, and fell more or less into book cover design. I’ve been doing it ever since, for various publishers in-house and now as a freelancer.
When I was Art Director at Simon and Schuster, I could sometimes choose which covers to work on, but most of the time I spent fire fighting. These days I take what comes along, within reason. I think it is important to be versatile within what is a very narrow design field.
When you get a title, what is the process in determining the cover? Do you always have to read the book to get the concept or are some books just obvious from the title? Can you walk us through the process briefly from MS in hand to finished book cover? (more…)