The Art of a Book Cover: “In His Corner”

InHisCorner-Cover-VinaArnoWhat was your first thought when you saw this book cover? I hope it’s fighter or sports or romance or sexy or just plain sizzling hot guy!

My debut romance, In His Corner (published under my pen name Vina Arno), features an Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut. For all of his ferocious power inside the ring, he melts at the sight of the beautiful doctor who treats his injuries.

My publisher, Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., asked for my input on the book cover even before my manuscript was edited. I thought I knew what I wanted for cover design. My suggestions included a stock photo of a sexy woman wearing boxing gloves, another photo of a brooding boxer inside the ring, and an image of a red stiletto next to a pair of boxing gloves.

Thank goodness none of those ended up as my book cover. In hindsight, those images are weak, maybe even inappropriate. I’m perennially grateful to Fiona Jayde, who designed the eye-popping book cover of “In His Corner.

Jayde’s eponymous company provides book cover design (both ebook and print), Web site design, and editing services. She designs book covers for traditional publishers like Kensington Publishing and also self-published authors. Jayde brings a unique perspective as both designer and author in every book project.

Designing a Book Cover

In this Q&A, Fiona Jayde gives us the lowdown on her experience designing the book cover for “In His Corner.”

Question: What was your biggest consideration in choosing a cover image for “In His Corner”? What was your goal?

Fiona Jayde: When choosing images for the cover, I strive to keep a balance between what will appeal to readers and what the book is about (and what the characters look like). In this particular case, I needed a gorgeous boxer—and luckily found a perfect image of one.

Question: What was your biggest challenge in designing the cover for this book?

Fiona Jayde: A lot of times, the challenge is to go simple rather than clutter up the extra space with minutiae. A simple design—in this case, a hot boxer as a focal point, then the title and author’s name—will pop more in thumbnail size, urging a reader to click on the book.

Question: Any other thoughts about your experience designing the cover for this book?

Fiona Jayde: Well, it got me in the mood for a sports romance —I love those! I can’t wait to read this particular book.

Question: How would you describe your job as a book cover designer?

Fiona Jayde: My job as a book cover designer is to create an image that will ultimately sell a book by urging a potential reader to click on the image or title. From there, the author’s job is to hook the reader—but mine is to get that reader through the door.

“In His Corner,” published by Lyrical Press under my pen name Vina Arno, will be released on April 14. To read an excerpt, click here.

To learn more about Fiona Jayde Media, click here.

Pre-Order Now

You can pre-order a copy of “In His Corner” at:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Books

Kensington Books



Leave a comment


  1. I am most certainly NOT your target audience. LOL My first reaction was that he needs to wash his hair and find a good barber. There is undoubtedly a broad range of tastes as to physical appearances that people consider to be “hot”.

    Congratulations on the release of your debut romance! What a wonderful feeling this must be!

  2. Hi Liz. You and my husband had the same reaction(: Thanks for stopping by!

  3. My first thought? Hellllooooooooo Nurse.

  4. I like your cover art. I think the boxer guy looks very sexy, and I like his long hair. Obviously, people have different takes on sexy. I was surprised to learn the cover artist didn’t read the book. Did she read an excerpt? A synopsis? I think a cover artist would be best served to read the whole book, but maybe they don’t get time for that allocated into their schedules.

    • Hello WaitingForGeorge – thanks for your question!

      Actually it is a very common misconception that a cover artist reads every book. We do of course read a synopsis and an excerpt because those aspects allow us to focus on our job of marketing the book to the target audience.

      I feel that I would be doing my authors a disservice reading their book prior to working on the cover due to getting emotionally connected to the story. If I fall in love with a setting or a character, but that setting or character aren’t the best elements to put on a cover, then I’ve let my emotional response color my judgement. (This is why I can’t do covers for my own books!) Since I’m marketing the book to people who haven’t yet read the story, they won’t know what is so wonderful about a setting or character (and there’s only so much one can convey on a thumbnail), so I need to approach each project fresh, with the mind of what a potential reader would be interested in.

      I hope that answers your question?

      • Thanks Cindy/Fiona! It never occurred to me there would be a down-side to reading a book when it comes to book-cover design. Something learned.

  5. Hi Beth! I could forward your comment to Fiona Jayde, the book cover designer. I did provide synopsis and blurbs from the get-go. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks Cindy/Fiona. It had never occurred to me that an emotional connection would be potentially bad for book-cover design. Something learned!

  7. Sexy hot guy was my first thought at the cover. Definitely lets me know this book will be all about the romance.

  8. Great insights into this aspect of publishing. Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your book.

    And thanks for visiting my site, too.


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