I’m excited to reveal to you today the cover of We Three Kings: A Romance Christmas Novella Collection. You’ll find the blurb and fun cover process below, but I wanted to let you know that Baker Book House has it (and all my books) for 20% off right now, so it’s a great time to order/preorder books.
Creating a Cover
The process of creating a cover rarely involves me beyond the initial form I fill out to my publisher of critical information about the story that might work its way onto the cover. Generally, other than seeing the final product and saying I like it, that’s about as involved with the process as I get. However, with the We Three Kings Romance Christmas Collection, the experience was very different.
Cara Putman and Angela Ruth Strong are my co-authors in this collection, and all three of us were sent the cover asking for input on how it might be tweaked. Really the only element from our story on the cover other than the snow indicating winter/Christmas was the ornament of the three kings. The ornament is one that my characters buy at the end of the story, and it reappears in various forms in the other two stories. You can see the original cover they sent us below:
It wasn’t a bad cover, we just were afraid it wasn’t compelling enough for readers to pick up. Especially when compared with the previous novella collections in the series: Joy to the World and O’ Little Town.
These covers were stunning, in my opinion, and I felt like our cover didn’t match the “feel” of these other two. After tossing some ideas around with Cara and Angela, I decided I wanted to play in Canva, an image creation program. I’m a pretty tactile person, and this was how I process anything that requires a visual image. After talking with a friend who is a cover designer, one of the things I realized that was missing was that “aisle” or framing feeling. The columns in Joy to the World draw your eyes to the house and up to the title. In O Little Town, you have the lamp posts creating that same sort of effect.
Using Cara and Angela’s suggestions, I brought in more trees to create the framing feeling. But in our conversation, we also brought up the fact that each of our stories has to do with some form of light. My story is “Star of Wonder,” Cara’s is “Beauty Bright,” and Angela’s is “Perfect Light.” And considering our stories connect to the three Weise (wise) men, the cover would probably benefit from having a star. I’m getting pretty savvy at using Canva with layering, and so after lots of playing with removing backgrounds and editing various features, this is the mock-up I came up with:
Making the layers match in coloring is something I’m still learning, and since this was just me playing around, I didn’t bother with even trying. I sent the mock-up to Angela and Cara but did not intend to send it to Kregel. I responded with some verbal tweaking ideas that we’d discussed, but I didn’t mention I’d created a mock-up or anything. Design is not something I have a lot of confidence in, and besides, it was more or less just playing for my own sake so I could communicate some suggestions without overstepping.
However, Angela added my mock-up to her email when she sent in her recommendations. I am so thankful for her boldness in doing that. It gave a much-needed encouragement boost, and Kregel’s response was equally encouraging. And I think you might understand why when you look at the two options they sent to us afterward:
While that was better than the first one, we unanimously agreed that the second option was the favorite. And now, I get to reveal the FINAL cover of We Three Kings: A Romance Christmas Collection.
Cover Reveal – the FINAL Cover
Didn’t they do a phenomenal job? AND LOOK!!! They took my playing-around mock-up and turned it into something beautiful!!!! I’ve always loved my covers from Kregel, but this one will always have a special place in my heart (and on my Christmas tree). God is so good to bless me with that sort of encouragement, and I am so grateful that He used Angela to place it into Kregel’s hands. Now we just have to wait for it to release in September. Want to know more about each of our stories? Here is the blurb and preorder links!
We Three Kings: A Romance Christmas Collection
In this Christmas collection, Weise men still seek Jesus–and love
Best-selling romance authors Caudill, Putman, and Strong follow three generations of the Weise family in this third collection of Christmas novellas from Kregel that will prove just as popular as the previous award-winning volumes.
“Star of Wonder” by Crystal Caudill
The Christmas-themed maiden voyage of his family’s grand steamer ship was supposed to be Aldrich Weise’s chance both to instill investor confidence and to romance Celestia Isaacs. Instead, he must foil a criminal and leave his lady love behind forever.
“Beauty Bright” by Cara Putman
Lieutenant Charles Weise served as a Monuments Man after World War II and now works to restore stolen art to rightful owners. Captain Lillian Thorsen pairs up with him not only to return treasures but also to fix the war-torn lives around them.
“Perfect Light” by Angela Ruth Strong
Essential oils mogul Brendon Wise is drawn to Lacey Foster, the event planner for his huge Christmas lights festival. But when he inadvertently makes a spectacle of her on television, Lacey wants nothing to do with him. Will a chance to give gifts to those in need at Christmas be the key to discovering common ground–and maybe love?