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Designing the Cover for Lillian’s Legacy

Welcome to a portion of Lillian’s Legacy pre-launch party!

Not too long ago I hosted my friend Rachel Rossano and her medieval fantasy Mercy. I’m excited to have her back not as an author, but as my cover designer for Lillian’s Legacy. Isn’t it beautiful!

She has actually designed the cover now for all of my releases and is amazing to work with. So without further ado, here’s a bit about Rachel and her designing business.

How did you get into designing book covers? 

I started designing with my own book covers. After more than a few trial and error goofs, I fell in with some great designers who encouraged me and helped me learn from my mistakes. Once I learned more about what was good typography, how to choose images, and what to do to create composition, I grew to the point that other authors were asking who designed my book covers. Then, one brave soul asked me to design her first book cover. I was stunned when she loved what I produced. After that, the business slowly grew by word of mouth more than anything else.

How many have you created?

I have completed a bit over 200 covers for clients and myself. Each new project is an interesting challenge.

What is one of your favorites?

Oh, that is a tricky question to answer. I have many favorites. Many of the ones I have done for Kimberly A. Rogers (https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-A.-Rogers/e/B00ZDKQLBE) top my list. Also, your True to Heart trilogy is another favorite. I really love how Lillian’s Legacy turned out, too.

What do you like most about creating a book cover?

Each project is a unique challenge, some more difficult than others. My favorite part of the process is when everything comes together for the final design. After the image hunting, tweaking, and finally putting together the high-resolution images into a cohesive whole, it is so satisfying to see the finished product.

Have you won any awards for your book covers? Or have your authors?

I did win a designer’s challenge once, but no awards as far as I know.

What is a struggle creating book covers or concerning files?

My greatest struggle is finding the images that will work together. Stock image sites tend to cater toward polished and airbrushed models and unrealistic ideals when I am frequently seeking realistically presented models in natural poses. Also, I am frequently challenged to find historically accurate resources when I am working on a historical project. Still, I have been able to make do so far.

Wooden Monaural Stethoscopes.
They are part of the collection in the Museum of Science and Technology Belgrade and the exhibition of Medicine in Serbia through centuries.
Museum of Science and Technology Belgrade

I have had so many compliments on the covers you have designed for me, including Lillian’s Legacy. Tell us about the process you went through to develop my cover.

I am delighted that you have been getting such positive feedback.

For Lillian’s Legacy, I began with the stethoscope as soon as you mentioned it in your email. I knew it would be my greatest challenge to find a royalty-free image of a monaural stethoscope that I could use for the cover and the interior.

Once I found that, I started hunting for your second request, a green gingham dress. I found a blue gingham on a model that appeared as though it might work and played around with changing the color to green. Thankfully it worked.

The final difficult piece was Lillian’s beautiful face. Thankfully, you sent me images from your inspiration board so I knew what you envisioned for her. Finding the right shade of hair and demeanor to match the description you gave me took a bit of searching, but I found her.

Since Lillian’s Legacy is the third in a series, I already had the general layout in mind as I placed the images and modified them to fit and blend. The typography and wording fit the series. You requested a change from the patch behind Dilbert’s Weir to no patch. Keeping that in mind, I searched for a good landscape image to match the area of the country you were setting your story. I purposefully sought out wide open sky to work with the lack of a patch behind the words and a color scheme that would enhance Lillian’s green gingham and beautiful red hair. I also kept in mind the color schemes of the other books in the series and how they would look together on the shelf.

Thankfully, you loved the mockup right away. It only took a few tweaks to make it really fit Lillian and her story. Once mock-up was approved, I pulled together the final version with the non-watermarked images and sent it your way.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I have a website (www.rachelrossano.com) and blog. I post a great deal on Facebook on my writing page (www.facebook.com/rachelrossanorambles) and reply to comments. This year, I am trying to utilize my other social networking accounts too. You are welcome to help me by following and commenting on them (www.instagram.com/anavrea and www.twitter.com/RachelRossano). I look forward to hearing from you.


Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the children are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.


Lillian’s Legacy Online Release Party

I hope you can join us today at 1:00 PM for the Lillian’s Legacy Facebook release party. Along with Rachel and myself, there will be two other amazing authors and one singer/songwriter, who will be debuting my first-ever song; fun; giveaways; games; and more!

Look for Friday’s post with Melody Biehl…you’ll learn a little more about the song… 

See you then!

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  1. This is so interesting, Carmen. I admire Lillian’s Legacy cover–now I know the story behind it!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary. I love to hear the inspiration behind book covers. I don’t think they get the attention deserved. You also have beautiful book covers!