Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The evolution of a book cover


Back in 2012, I released a book about an out of work mechanic who lived in a big city and was so desperate for a job, he took one on a remote ranch in the middle of nowhere (also known as Eastern Oregon). 

At the time, I had limited funds for my writing projects, which meant I designed the cover myself.  Try not to laugh too hard at it. 

When I got a little more design skill under my belt, and had a little money to purchase a better graphic, I changed the cover to this:

Still not fantastic, although I was quite fond of those arms. ** Sigh**

The next upgrade included the crazy, lovable dog that plays an important role in the story, and a tractor, because, well, I like John Deere tractors. Ty spends quite a bit of time working on them in the book.

Last year, I gave the book a whole different look, and changed the title so it was no longer Learnin' but Learning the Ropes. The reason for that: an erotic book with the same name was making the rounds and since I write sweet romance, it seemed like the prudent thing to do.

Although this cover was getting closer to something I liked, it still wasn't quite there. 

A few months back, I contacted the talented Josephine Blake of Covers and Cupcakes about doing a new cover for the book. 

Boy, did she knock it out of the park!

Isn't it beautiful! 

I just love it. It's soft and dreamy and so, so perfect! There's a scene in the book when the couple are in the Steens Mountains and I can just picture them sitting there like this.

All he wanted was a job…

He didn’t plan on a beautiful boss, a crazy dog, 

and a ranch in the middle of nowhere. . .

Out of work and out of luck, auto mechanic Ty Lewis responds in a moment of desperation to a classified ad for a job in Harney County, Oregon. Offered the position on a remote ranch, he bids goodbye to his sister and his life in Portland. When he arrives in the tiny community of Riley to begin a new adventure, he encounters the behemoth dog that rules the ranch although he has yet to meet his boss, an elusive employer named Lex Ryan.

Lexi Ryan, known to her ranch hands and neighbors as Lex Jr., leaves behind a successful career in Portland to keep the Rockin’ R Ranch running smoothly after the untimely death of her father. It doesn’t take long to discover her father did many crazy things during the last few months of his life, like hiding half a million dollars that Lexi can’t find.

Ty and Lexi are both in for a few surprises as he arrives at the Rockin’ R Ranch and begins learning the ropes.

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USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

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Julie Lence said...

Beautiful cover, Shanna!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Loved seeing the progression. It's hard to know in the beginning what will work. The final one is gorgeous!!

Barbara said...

I really enjoyed seeing the progression and reading your comments. Yikes, on the other book with the same name! I can see why you changed it.

Lynda said...

The cover progression was interesting and I really like seeing how *Covers and Cupcakes* has grown since its inception.

Jacqui Nelson said...

Loved seeing your cover progression and the end result, Shanna! Thanks for sharing!!