When I went 100% independent author, I decided to design my own covers. I have Photoshop and a creative background, so it didn’t seem too daunting…albeit very time consuming. But when I got involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project, we all agreed we needed to have an outside source handle the covers. All five books needed to feel cohesive. This series might have been authored by five different writers, but that didn’t mean we wanted five different cover styles!
We floated the idea of “Jane Austen in the 1930s” to several cover designers and asked them to give us an idea of how they would translate the concept visually. Enter, Hannah Scheele, who was head and shoulders above the other samples we received. Below are the five covers she came up with for us, which I think are perfect both for the series and the Historical Romance market. So, I decided to do a little interview with Hannah to talk about the process.
How did you get into book cover design?
I started out designing covers for my sister’s books. Those projects were big learning experiences and I loved every minute of working on them. It was then I discovered how fun and challenging graphic design can be, and also how rewarding.
What does the process of collaborating with an author look like?
It really depends on the author. Some authors are very particular and some are more flexible. Every time, though, I find the author has a specific vision of what the cover should be like and I need to figure out how to take what they’re describing and translate it to myself so I come up with something that works. I think of it as like being a hair stylist— your job is to make everything pretty, and you have to communicate with each person as an individual. What works for one will not necessarily work for another.
Was there an inspiration behind the Vintage Jane Austen covers?
Not really a specific one. I just wanted to create a look that would appeal to the growing number of people who get excited about the Vintage era— romantic, but not too escapist.
Do you keep an eye on book covers currently on the market, or do you just go with what you think will suit the book best?
Every story is different, but I am influenced by book covers on the market. I feel I’m going to produce a better result if I’m open to other people’s good ideas. Never limit yourself to just your own ideas or you will stop learning and improving!
Are you currently accepting new authors who might need a cover designer? And if so, how can the get in touch with you?
Anyone who is interested in reaching out to me can contact me at my email HannahScheele(at)gmail.com.
Thanks for hanging out with us today, Hannah!!