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Interview with Cover Artist & Graphic Designer- Scarlett Rugers February 22, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in Uncategorized.

You have all seen, by now, the wonderful cover for my debut book. It was designed by a friend of mine- Scarlett Rugers, from Scarlett Rugers Design. I interviewed her, briefly, and wanted to share her words with you all.

1. When you hear the word ‘Steampunk’ what comes to mind?

Cogs and wheels and goggles. I have a love-hate relationship. It’s such a beautiful genre, and yet so easily pigeon-holed. Having said that I haven’t exposed myself to a lot of Steampunk literature so maybe I should to see how far and wide the genre spreads. I hope it’s a field that continues to evolve.

2. How did this impression of ‘Steampunk’, which you have, influence the cover design of my book?

I wanted to try something new that still gave the sense of Steampunk without the ‘cogs, wheels and goggles’. To get out of that stereotype without shedding its identity. I resourced things like typography, use of colour, atmosphere and textures to try and bring it together.

3. What was the process involved in this cover? In other covers you have designed?

If you have a book- I want to read it. The whole reason I’m in this field is to interpret to the best of my abilities the most wonderful cover for your story. To give a whisper of what it’s about but still keep it a secret until the first pages. While I’m reading you’re filling out my questionnaire which tells me what you want for your cover!

After reading it I brainstorm. I get familiar with the styles of other books/designs in the same genre. I look at the standards and the covers that have broken all the rules. I gather ideas and pick the best ones and pitch them to you. When you find out which works best for you the next step is resourcing images (if necessary), or fonts. Bringing it all together digitally and then sending it to you for your feedback.

It’s a bit of back and forthing to get the cover just right. If you’ve decided to go with a front and back for the book then we move on to the blurb (which you provide me) and any other bio info etc. After that it’s all up to you to publish it!

4. What is it about you and your cover designs which can set you apart from the rest, and would be a great advantage to other authors out there? 

You’re a writer, I’m a writer. That’s the first difference. I’ve been writing over fifteen years now and designing for six which gives me that insight in to what the author really wants. I can draw from the writer’s perspective and unite it with a designer’s eye.

Secondly I’m passionate. I have a deep love for book design and take great pride in my work. I feel my work speaks for itself and looks professional; the feedback I’ve received is that it’s the quality you would see in a book store and I think that makes all the difference. The quality of the work produced and the intimate details that I go through with my clients to ensure they get exactly what they want.

5. Do you have a favourite genre you like to design covers for?

I’d have to say no because each book has its own personality. Each story is a new discovery, a new adventure. I love trying new things so when my clients give me the opportunity and flexibility to try out different concepts it really excites me! I approach each book individually and recognise it for its strengths, and uniqueness.

6. For an aspiring indie author, what else can you offer them besides a book cover?

Encouragement! I know what it’s like to be hesitant to approach someone to ask for work, and you don’t really know what to expect. It ads a level of anxiety that isn’t needed at all. I’m very patient and open, and I don’t expect you to know how it all works. I know you’ve worked hard to come this far and I’m here to support you and give you that last leg up before the final leap in to publishing.

Product wise? I offer additions like Facebook Banners and website banners to promote your book. It’s always nice to be able to spread the word of the good news- you’re now published! Separate to book covers I design websites, business cards, stationary, brochures, posters, or anything else you need designed.

7. Do you have some favourite book covers out there? DO have a favourite book cover artist?

One of my favourite covers was the editions of Stephen King’s The Dome. There is one edition that has profile images of particular characters looking up. I also love the mainstream cover of the huge dome and the plane crashing in to it over the town.



I also absolutely love the series of books designed for Vladimir Nabokov, designed like glass boxes:


As for designers there aren’t any specific book cover artists that I adore. It’s more a great use of typography is something that attracts me, or beautiful photography. I’m totally addicted to http://bookcoverarchive.com!

9. Where can people find you to enlist your services?

Scarlett Rugers (writing as Scarlett Archer) has just released a book 1001 First Lines which is now available at Amazon! You can purchase a paperback, .lit, .epub, .mobi and PDF versions here: http://www.1001firstlines.wordpress.com.

She has been writing for over fifteen years, completed over eleven novels, and her main drive is in speculative fiction or its contrasting opposite romantic comedic novels. She has a passion for studying the art of story telling and is a grand lover of movies. Her focus in work is book cover designs which enables her to put all her energy in to the area she loves most- literature. You can get in touch with her about getting a book cover designed for you at http://www.booksat.scarlettrugers.com



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