One of the most exciting, as well as the most nerve-racking, parts of writing is seeing the cover for the first time. Thankfully, the designer who worked on the cover of Unplanned was more than willing to make revisions based on my feedback.
I started the cover process months before Unplanned's release by giving the designer the basic premise for my novel. He never read it, he just received a paragraph-long summary along with some links to book covers that I liked on Amazon.
Since Kennedy is going to school at Harvard, the first draft he sends me had this beautiful image of the campus:
I loved nearly everything about this cover, especially the model he chose for Kennedy. I was a little worried that she looked too old for a first-year college student, but the character will age as the series continues, and this particular model has a wide selection of photos that we can use in future books.
I adored the scene with the campus and the river, but even though Kennedy is going to school at Harvard, only about five percent of the action actually takes place there. So I explained a little bit more about the pro-life debate in Unplanned to the designer, and he sent me back this draft:
This was getting a lot closer. But even though Unplanned is written for a primarily pro-life audience (in fact, my first book-signing for Unplanned was at a fundraiser for our local pregnancy center), I didn't want it to read like an anti-abortion piece. I'm not a fan of propaganda fiction, which is what this cover reminded me of. I asked the designer to include a pro-abortion sign as well to balance out the different ideologies and show a community in conflict (much like ours is today). Over the next few drafts, we tackled some minor aesthetics and came up with the final copy:
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