Renee Pace's Off Leash was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, and she had control of the cover design, so she's here to talk about it:
"I knew I wanted a skinny teenage boy and a boxer dog for my cover. That was it. I also wanted it to have a nitty gritty feel. Those were my three outlines to my cover artist.
"When I saw the cover I was floored. She nailed it. I loved that the dog was looking back at the boy but the boy’s looking out at the reader.
"I didn’t want anything changed. It was like Angela Waters had read my mind and took the picture from my head to make my cover.
"We used stock photos only and I gather from my cover artists that securing teen photos is really hard.
"My cover tells me three things. One both my teen and dog are alone but together. That one glance back by the dog tells me he’s waiting for the boy and with how the boy is looking with such a questionable look on his face it just makes me get goose bumps because that’s what that story is about. A boy and a dog and their complicated friendship. The setting is perfect – that alley conveys to the reader that life isn’t great for both of my characters."
Thanks, Renee! It's interesting to hear how it goes when authors have such a big role in cover design. What do you guys think?