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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Delmari

Cover Story #1 - BLACKRIDGE: Scavenger Hunt

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

BLACKRIDGE: Scavenger Hunt's cover is the first entry into a new series of posts that detail the process and thoughts that go into the creation of my book covers. It's been a question that comes up quite a few times when I talk to people about my work. They are very interested to know what all goes into the development of a cover, so I thought it would make some nice blog posts to go more into detail about them and how they tie into the novels.

The first thing that people need to know about the covers is just how special they really are. Yes, it's the cover that everyone sees when they browse all of the millions of books out there, whether it's on the shelf or in the computer display. It's a good thing for me that my covers are designed by someone very special ... my husband! He wanted to be a part of my work some way, so we sat down and talked about it.

He has a very good eye for design and I thought it would be a lot of fun together to work on these things as a team and I was right about that. We have done a lot of laughing and cutting up during the process. He has mastered the design program wonderfully. Fortunately for him, he picked something both affordable as well as user-friendly. I may like to tinker with our website along with him, but the covers are his territory and his passion, so I leave those up to him exclusively.

BLACKRIDGE: Scavenger Hunt is the first book of the Blackridge Saga, so I wanted it to be intense and eye-catching. There aren't a lot of colors, but what is there is very striking. As I've said in earlier posts, Agatha Christie has always been one of my favorite authors because she puts a lot about life into her work as well as twists and turns. In all the books of hers that I read, I was honestly only ever able to solve ONE of the murder mysteries and let me tell you, I was extremely proud of myself when I did. Dame Agatha was incredibly good at her work. For Scavenger Hunt, I wanted that vintage murder mystery feel to the cover by just putting the vital items to the plot on there. The briefcase is striking against the blood because it's bright, especially against the overall black of the cover, too.

At the top, the BLACKRIDGE title was my idea. I wanted a "title card" look to the series that resembled the old Dynasty show of the 80s, which I loved greatly growing up. I spent a lot of time looking for the right font and Kevin found the background while browsing images and I just happened to see it. The black ridge of the mountain and the reddish orange of the sunset was perfect for the feel of what I was going for in consistency with the cover art of the series. I used to joke with him that everything above the first "rip" in the page was mine and he could have the rest. Getting titles and pictures in that section of a book cover was quite challenging for him and he did an amazing job with Blackridge. He knew it was essentially my life's work, so he put a lot of effort into making the series look amazing.

A single page rip was a prominent feature in my previously published books for Blackridge and it was something that the lead cover designer for my publisher (at the time) came up with. He was the only one at that company that I enjoyed working with and corresponding with. Everyone else in that hole just acted like they were tired of being bothered by authors and it was very much a "Here, are you happy now?" approach to business. I only published two books with them before I cancelled my enrollment. This is why I will always self-publish myself going forward.

My husband and I, as well as my very sharp new editor, Deb, work together as a team to produce quality products that will meet people's standards of excellence. Not everyone has a lot of free time these days to read so when they do, I want my work to stand out.

A snazzy cover can do just that.


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