Cover LOVE!

I am in LOVE! With my new cover of course. 🙂 Here, for the first time on-line and for your viewing pleasure is my new cover for The Naked Truth, the second book in The Confederation Treaty series from Carina Press.

I’m so excited! The Naked Truth comes out in June. It’s a little darker than the first book, Alien Revealed.


I am so happy that both designs were by awesome artist Angela Waters! And because I am so delighted, I am sharing an interview I did with Angela as part of a workshop on cover design that I presented to my Romance Writers of America chapter last year.

Lilly: What do you feel is the most important element of book design?  The characters portrayed, the fonts or colors? Something else? What do you think makes a reader pick up a book?

Angela: I believe that all of the elements are important. Each element of the design must tie into each other in a way that it creates an impact on the reader. 

I think it really depends on the reader. I am drawn first by colors and second a key element that is the focus of the design.

Lilly: Do you work heavily with the author’s notes when designing the covers? An art fact sheet?

I normally use an art fact sheet. Some have just the basics like hair color, setting, and a couple of pertinent symbols. Others are more in depth and include pictures as character examples.

Sometimes I work from a few short facts given to me in chat.  These can be interesting because I don’t have a blurb or a synopsis to give me an idea of what the story is about.

Lilly: Do authors ever send you images they like or refer to covers they admire? Do you find this helpful?

Many of the art forms I receive include covers that the author has seen and liked or the style would suit their book. It is very helpful. Sometimes you’ll look at the genre and blurb and it will not mention that the paranormal you are doing the cover for is also a romantic comedy.

Lilly: Do you read the synopsis of the story before beginning the design?

Angela: I always read the synopsis if it is included in the art form. It gives me a little insight to the plot and the characters.

Lilly: Do you work with a specific image in mind when you begin?

Angela: Sometimes. When I go on stock photo hunts sometimes pictures that have nothing to do with what I am working on will catch my eye because I know it would be perfect for another project I may have in my inbox.

Lilly: Do you work with stock images or do you use cover shoots or special images specifically taken for a particular book?

Angela: I work with stock images a lot. I also take photos of scenery or scan in items I may need for a specific book. Some of the effects on the covers are painted. I also make my own scenery using several stock photos and painting to get the effect I want.

Lilly: If using stock images, how do you keep the covers looking different?

Angela: I never use just a stock photo for a cover. If I have a photo that would work for a specific cover I always add more elements to it, change colors, add overlays or designs. Most of the covers I design use several stock photos combined with painting and special effects to get the look that I want.

Lilly: Do you use mock-ups or do you work directly on the computer with your work in design?

Angela: Most of the time I work directly from the computer. I invested in a drawing tablet so I wouldn’t have to draw anything out on paper and then scan it in J

Lilly: Do you design ebook covers and print covers?  What do you see as the difference between the two?

Angela: I design both ebook and print covers. The only difference is you’re a designing a full cover flat when designing print. Ebook covers deserve the same attention to detail as a print cover and depending on the publisher, many ebooks do go to print.

Lilly: What about when designing covers for series’? Do you approach that differently?

Angela: I use the same process as any other cover when designing a series. The big difference is once the first cover of the series is designed, you have a template for the rest of the series. This saves a lot of time since the basic layout, style and fonts have already been designed.

Lilly: Once the cover is designed does someone within the company have to approve of the design? An art director, the publisher? How does the author fit in?  Do they have any say?

Angela: It depends on the publisher I am working with. Several of the publishers I work with have different departments that have to approve the cover before it is finalized. I am also the Art Director of a small ebook publisher and handle the cover art approval process for them.

With each company the author fills out a cover art form with the book information and their wants and desires for cover art.

Lilly: If an author is unhappy with the design will you re-work the look of the cover? Is it more helpful if the author can point out something specific about the design that they are unhappy with?

Angela: Of course I will. It doesn’t happen often but I have redesigned from scratch because an author was not happy with the original.  It is very helpful if the author is specific with the elements that they are unhappy with. This allows me to use the elements they did like and rework the elements that they didn’t like.

Lilly: How do you feel about cover art – is it art? Is it a commercial effort?  What does it mean to you as the designer?

Angela: Yes it is, if I were using a stock photo and adding a little bit of text then I’d say no it isn’t art. Yes it is a commercial effort. I am designing the first thing a reader sees when they pick up a book. I want that cover to draw them in and want to know what is inside. I want the potential reader to want to buy that book because the cover art grabbed their attention.

 I am a voracious reader and designing cover art has given me the opportunity to help bring an author’s words to life visually. I’m always searching for ways to improve my work and keep it fresh and different. I absolutely love my job!

To see more of Angela’s work check out her website at  or follow her on Twitter at

Lilly PS – leave a comment – I will give away a copy of Alien Revealed to a commenter!



  1. Absolutely gorgeous covers, Lily! Congrats!

    1. Thanks! I love the continuity in the series in the covers so far! 🙂 Love Carina covers as a rule, actually.

  2. Lilly, I am absolutely thrilled that you love the covers. I had a great time designing them 🙂 I can’t wait for the release of The Naked Truth, Alien Revealed was awesome.

    1. I specifically asked for you – LOVE your work! I’m writing book 3 now! 😉

  3. Michelle Helliwell · · Reply

    Hey Lilly – love those covers. I think the second one is even better than the first, if that’s possible. Great interview too – I think as readers and authors, it’s really interesting to see how those covers get done. I know they say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I’m guilty of doing it:)

    1. I think everyone forms opinions based on the cover, even if subconsciously. I know part of my purchase decision is based on the cover.

      1. I know that I, for one, tend not to touch a book if it doesn’t have a professional cover. To me, at least, if the cover is unprofessional, that’s a reflection on the quality of the publishing house (and editing). It may not be true, but I just can’t bring myself to by a book with a cover that didn’t have a lot of work put into it.

        Not the case here, those are gorgeous! Makes me long to see the third.

      2. Me too – I think covers are an indication of the level of support from the publisher, and Carina is fantastic. 🙂

  4. Thanks Lilly and Angela. Really enjoyed the interview and learning more about covers. Congratulations on The Naked Truth and best of luck with the June release!

    1. Thanks Bev! I’m looking forward to June!

  5. Amanda Alvarez · · Reply

    Really interesting interview, I’ve always wondered what goes into creating covers. Both covers are beautifully done.

    1. Thanks Amanda – I love Angela’s work. I’m always amazed.

  6. Great interview & I love the new cover!!!!!!!
    It’s fantastic & I love when the cover fits the mood & genre! It’s like a real peek inside to the story.

    1. Exactly! I love the blue tones and the darkness in the cover, the shadows are perfect for depicting the tone of the book!

  7. Both these covers are so stunning! Loved Alien Revealed, so I’m looking forward to the next!

    1. Thanks Donna! I have really enjoyed writng this series. I am working on the third book now, tentatively entitled Honor Bound. 😉

  8. Ooh, I like The Naked Truth cover even better than Alien Revealed which is beautiful, too! You’ve been blessed, Lilly!

    1. Thank you Shannon! I am not sure which one I like the best. They are both wonderful and yes, I am blessed! 🙂

  9. These cover are really great, what I love best about them is how they match. It’s amazing work. Thanks for sharing these and the interview.

    And while I know I’m a little late on this for your initial contract… congrats on attaining the coveted title of Carina Press Author! These books sure do catch the eye…


    1. Thank you! 🙂 I am very happy working with Carina!

  10. Interesting interview Lilly and Angela. Love how the two books in the series look like they match – but are still different and unique.

    1. Thanks Anne! Angela rocks!

  11. Really enjoyed your in-depth interview on the cover artist’s work process. I’m very visually inclined, so this was intellectually yummy.

    1. Thanks Julia! Angela was wonderful to take so much of her time to answer my questions!

  12. Oh I love the second cover so much. Can’t wait to read this book.

    1. Thanks Renee!

  13. Desere Steenberg · · Reply

    These covers are to die for absolutely stunning !!!!!! Congratz and I just know the book will be brilliant I cannot wait to read it !! Awesome giveaway thank you so much !!

    Take care

    1. Thank you Desere! I’ll be picking a winner sometime on Saturday and will post it in the comments section!

      1. Desere Steenberg · ·

        Your very welcome !

  14. Gorgeous cover, LIly! I love the way the two tie together. Also very interesting interview. I always love learning more about cover art.

    1. Thanks for dropping in Nicole!

  15. Congrats, Lilly. I really liked Alien Revealed, so I’ll be looking forward to The Naked Truth as well.

    🙂 Marie

    1. Thank you Marie! I’m glad you like Alien Revealed – I have really enjoyed writing this series!

  16. Ahh Lilly! I love this cover! I love Alien Revealed cover as well though. The continuity is fantastic here. Congrats and good luick!!

    1. I love the continuity too – the fonts, the background, and the way the series title looks. Beautiful!

  17. Loved the interview and love the awesome covers. 🙂 Definitely makes me want to read them!

    1. Thanks Jane! You just have to love good art!

  18. They sure are gorgeous covers – both of them! Enjoyed the interview – congrats on the book release, and well done, Angela!

    1. Thanks Julianne for dropping in and joining me in a cover lovathon! LOL I can’t wait for this to officially release in June!

  19. Congrats on the release and the great covers! Interesting interview too. Makes me appreciate cover artists all the more.

    I just sent my art fact sheet in to Carina and can’t wait to see what comes of it : )

    1. Good luck with your cover Cathy – but it will be awesome I am sure, Carina has been on a roll with their cover design!

  20. Awesome cover! And the interview was very informative!

    1. Thanks! Angela is really a cool person. 🙂

  21. Love, love, love the covers! What a great talent to have in your team re: art design.

    1. Yes, I am very lucky to have had Angela – although I actually made a point of asking for her for the second cover!

  22. I’ve been in love with the covers that Angela has done for Carina. Awesome interview!

    1. Thanks Darcy – me too!

  23. Thanks to everyone who dropped by! With the aid of a random number selector on the internet I have chosen Jane Kindred as the winner of my first Carina book, Alien Revealed. Yay Jane! I am looking for your email address – you can email me at lilly at lillycain dot com

    1. ~looks around room, then down at nametag~ W00t! Seriously?? I never win anything! 😀 ~scurries off to email~

  24. Congrats Jane! You are going to love Alien Revealed. I know I did 🙂

    Thanks everyone for stopping by to read a little about me and my work.

    1. Thanks, Angela, and thanks for giving us a glimpse into the process! I recently received my own first Carina cover and I am absolutely mad about it. Carina has the best cover artists. 🙂

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