*Taps microphone*

Congratulations, my fellow authors! Now that you've finished writing that manuscript, completed those edits, and are excited to publish ... what's that, you say? You still haven't been able to land a great cover for all those beautifully-placed words to snuggle in between?

Not a problem!

Hang around for a few minutes and allow me to introduce you to a person who has been instrumental in my own writing career: my personal cover artist! (Yes, I'll share - but promise to return her in good condition *wink* - she's still got a few projects to work on for me!)



R: You've been my personal cover designer for the last couple of books now, but I have no idea how you do what you do! Most authors don't understand this part of the book process, but it's so important. What can you tell us about your design techniques?

L: I first try and get the feel of the covers that are on the author's past books. I am designing to fit the clients needs. If provided the book summary, I will then write down any ideas that I think of after reading the summary. I then ask the client what they would like on the cover (models, hair color, scenery, etc.) Everything on a cover is important. If the main characters hair is red then I will make sure (if she is on the cover), she will have that color of hair. I then take a day going out shooting photos and sending a sample to the author. If there are not any that they like I will go back out and re-shoot. I edit all my photos in Photoshop and digital draws in ArtRage Studio and Illustrator. The final element is the font, normally I will direct the author to type out their title in fonts that they like and I will try and help guide them to a clear and legible font. 

R: We've all heard the saying that we can't judge a book by its cover – but the cover is the first thing people notice about the book!

L: I will say I catch myself judging a book by the cover, but I guess it is more to critique the design. I personally think the covers should be eye catching and some how relate to the book. I have seen some covers that look awesome and then after reading the book am left clueless how the cover tied into the storyline. 

R: I know you've done more than just design my covers; what else have you done and how do those designs differ from book covers?

L: I also design logos, flyers, t-shirts, banners, etc. Basically you name it and I probably design it. When design other items, you have to take in basic graphic design principles. You want a clear font and not too many colors. The maximum colors I normally do in a logo at 3 with up to 2 fonts. Although you want to go all out, simpler is more pleasing to the eye.
 
R: Do you also design logos and business cards?

L: I do design logos; I have not designed business cards, but I am up for the challenge. Maybe I should actually finish my own business card first haha. 

R: Have you ever entered cover design competitions? If so, can you tell us about that experience? If not, would you be open to doing entering one?

L: Yes, I have entered a design competition. I actually have not found one just for book covers. The competition I entered was for my school's First Amendment day event. I freaked out for two weeks when they announced the winner; I totally spaced and didn't hear them say my name. I was sure this other girl had designed a better logo. Since I won, I actually got to design the events poster as well. I totally want to enter more contests. 

R: Since you design book covers for other people, what is the chance that you'll write a book of your own someday and would you feel comfortable designing your own cover?

L: I am actually working on one now. I am nowhere close to being finished, but it is about all the crazy things I experienced while living in a dorm for four years during college. Let me tell ya - I saw some crazy things! I am still playing around with titles, so nothing is set in stone. I can't picture anyone else designing my cover. I have a look in mind and I don’t know how to even explain it to people. It might sound that I thinking I am the best, but I know I am not. I just do not want to go through the stress of having someone else design it. If me designing it postpones the book being published a couple months I am ok with that. The cover helps sells the book, I am sure some people do not find a college kid's biography interesting, but I want to make the cover interesting enough where they want to pick it up and read it. 

R: What is your favorite type of book cover to create – photo covers, hand-drawn art or digitally created … and why do you favor this method?

L: I personally like photo covers and digitally created covers. I am a huge fan of the pop art and abstract movement and find that illustrations are a way to show emotion with little detail. With photo covers the reader also gets a feel for the character and the setting of the book. I am actually a horrible hand drawer, but when I come to digital drawing that is something I believe I am rather good at. 

R: Have you found yourself favoring one font over another?

L: Yes, I love the font Futura! Whenever I get bored I will actually just go through and look for new fonts. Yes, I have a book that just has fonts. I would really like to design my own font some day. I actually have a list of fonts that I think should be banned, yes I am a nerd like that. 

R: Thinking about any book ever written, can you think of a book or two you would just love to redesign the cover for?

L: I would definitely love to redesign John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” and James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces”. Both great books but for LFA is just does not seem like that book fits, going into the book I actually thought the main character was looking for the state Alaska not a person. Then for AMLP the cover is neat, but has nothing to do with what the book is about. 

R: I know you read a lot. What are your favorite books and/or authors?

L: I love anything written by John Green, I am a huge fan. I also love to read musician biographies. “Beatles vs Stones” has to be another one of my favorites you get to see a little bit of the feud during the British Invasion.

R: If you were asked to design a cover for any famous author, who would you choose?

L: John Green all the way. Can I pick a non living author? If so I want Dr. Seuss to show me his ways!

R: Would you approach a cover differently depending on the book's content or genre?

L: Absolutely, I feel like the design needs to fit the tone of the book. For example a mystery cover I would go with more darker color and for children books I would go with digital drawings. 

R: Websites are also an important part of an author's profile. Would you ever consider designing an entire website or certain pages on an author's website?

L: Yes, I would. Recently I learned how to code from scratch and love designing websites. I find it ever relaxing. While coding all you see is this weird codes that do not make any sense and then when you preview the site it is a beautiful and pleasing thing to look at.

R: Is there anything in specific you want your clients to know before you begin to create a cover?

L: Give the designer plenty of time and tell them what you are looking for. A summary of the book is nice so you know the tone to set on the cover. Designing takes a while, as a designer I want the author to be pleased. I am designing what you like and not designing what I would like. I might make suggestions, but they can simply be ignored. 

R: Do you have a website so people can see some of your work?

L: Yep, it is lindsaykayser.com

R: How can people get in touch with you I they have any more questions or would like to hire you?

L: They can email me at lindsaykayekayser@gmail.com.