Allen J Johnston

Author of The Divine Series

The official website of Allen J Johnston, the author of The Divine Series.

Designing a Cover

Guest blog written by: Amber of Amber J Photography

One of the most important parts of a book is the cover. We've all heard that saying about not judging a book by its cover. However, the truth of the matter is that readers tend to do exactly that. I know, for myself, that a great cover can grab my attention and make me pick that book off the shelf and check it out. One thing I never realized is how much effort goes into choosing that perfect cover. If you are planning on putting a character on your cover, you have to make sure they fit how you pictured that character when you were writing them into your story. This cover will be something that readers will refer to when picturing your story's hero – or even the villain.

For the cover of The Divine Apprentice, I was given the creative reigns and told to go for it. I immediately had this vision in my head of Zayle holding onto this blue Divine Flame, staring down into it. I suggested that we not see his face or eyes. This gives the reader the opportunity to give this character a face in their mind. Allen wanted Zayle to be the main focus so we opted for a solid black background.

Another thing that you must think of when designing covers for a series; they must all be similar. When there are several books sitting side-by-side on a shelf, you want the reader to know they are part of a series. For the Divine Path, Allen wanted Darcienna's eyes to captivate anyone who looked at the cover of the book. Her eyes play such an integral role that it was important to get them exactly how Allen had envisioned them. We tried several shades of blue...and by several I mean around 10 different shades. But, we knew the moment we hit the right tone. It fit perfectly.

The Divine Unleashed was by far the most challenging cover. Kade had to have just the right expression. We wanted him to be intense without looking angry or mean. He had to show strength and power. The lightning took lots of tweaking and adjusting. It had to look powerful without overwhelming Kade. After many different mock-ups,
we finally perfected the amount of lightning. Allen was happy with the covers and so was I.

It was great working with someone who was so passionate about his characters. Yes, it was a lengthy and sometimes tedious process. But, in the end, the covers represent the vision that Allen had for each character. That is the most important part.