A look inside my newest book: The Witch and the Wyrm

Book covers get a lot of hype. I don’t think it’s unwarranted; it’s the first thing you see of any book, the thing that whets your appetite for the story inside, and it plays one of the most important roles in book development. But the more I work on books, the more I find myself enjoying the design elements that go into the book’s interior.

I’ve always liked making them pretty. I made custom graphics for my very first book, and I’ve continued to do something special for pretty much every story I put out. When I released the Artisan Magic books, I experimented with full-page graphics as part of the chapter beginnings. Naturally, I wanted to carry that into the next book, too… which led to a photo shoot for the chapter header pages.

It was one of those rare photo shoots where almost every photo turned out nice. Any one of them could have worked, so narrowing it down to which one was best proved to be a real challenge. I spent a whole afternoon experimenting with the images to decide which photo worked best…

…and eventually settled on one that worked for a dark background with white text. These are popular in indie books, and I’d been itching to try one for ages, so why not now?

Making it line up just right took a little trial and error, but I love the outcome. This was also my first time using drop caps, and I love the effect. Both are things I think I’ll use more in future series.

While I made most of the graphics myself, the lily flourish was one I bought, just because my mind always blanks when it comes to drawing swirls.

The same graphic also makes a beautiful chapter break marker…

…and the lily makes an appearance on the cover, as well, so it helps tie together exterior and interior designs!

I think the easiest part was the title page, which was just the cover text with a few adjustments to make it more legible.

All together, it makes for a beautiful print edition. The paperback and hardcover editions have the same interior, too, so no matter which print edition you choose, it’ll be beautiful inside and out!

…I did mention the hardcover, didn’t I? Maybe that’s another post for later…

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