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Secrets of Sunbeams is the first book in the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series by Valerie Comer. Because this series is a spin-off of the Farm Fresh Romances, we wanted to keep the tone similar while still making the new series stand out.

We decided to stay with the illustrated covers, but to aim a bit more girly, and of course a bit more urban.

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Secrets of Sunbeams features a pet goat named Pansy. I was pretty excited to illustrate a pygmy goat! Happily my pastor’s wife has a little flock of goats (herd?) and my friends Rachel and Jake were great sports for the photo shoot.

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This is one of those times where finding a stock photo just isn’t going to cut it!

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Next came the sketch, where my friends were transformed into the books characters, then lineart.

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With the illustration well underway, it was time to make some decisions on fonts, colours, and layout. I went with three different premium fonts for this project (Molly, Ariadne Sans, and Maraschino, if you’re curious) and I love how they play together.

We went back and forth a bit on using natural colours, or something more playful for this series. In the end we decided that choosing a strong colour scheme for each book would feel a bit younger and fresher. Have a cover that is mainly one, bright colour is also great for helping the thumbnail to pop in listings.

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With all the decisions made, I went ahead and finished the illustration. The background is a bridge and skyline from Spokane, Washington, where the series takes place. All the covers in the series will share the same background (in different colours).

Adobe Photoshop PDF

And here’s the cover wrap! We went with a wrap around cover this time rather than the solid spines that the previous series had. Partially to be a bit different, but also because it can be a pain to do solid colours as CreateSpace isn’t very exact with their cutting and binding, and often the spine is off centred by a few millimetres.

I love how this cover turned out, and I had a lot of fun with it, even though it’s a lot more work to set up a new series. The next cover in the series (which I’m already working on) will go much quicker with all these design decisions out of the way!

What do you think?

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