Wednesday, May 12, 2021

❀Book Cover Junkie with Thriller Author Amy Rivers ❀

Amy Rivers writes novels, short stories and personal essays. She is the Director of Northern Colorado Writers. Her novel All The Broken People was recently selected as the Colorado Author Project winner in the adult fiction category. She's been published in We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor, Flash! A Celebration of Short Fiction, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, and Splice Today, as well as Novelty Bride Magazine and She was raised in New Mexico and now lives in Colorado with her husband and children. She holds degrees in psychology and political science, two topics she loves to write about. Visit her at


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

My professional and educational focus has been violence prevention, particularly when it comes to sexual assault and abuse. Complicit is the story of a woman who has run from trauma by returning to the safety of her hometown only to discover that safety is an illusion. Kate Medina, a former forensic psychologist, is pulled into a murder investigation despite her misgivings. She’s also dealing with a mountain of family drama, including the impending death of her father and her volatile relationship with her sister.  

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

A few years ago, I decided that self-publishing was the right publication path for me. That being said, when I made that decision I did so with the understanding that I would adopt many of the same practices as a traditional publishing, including bringing in the professionals needed to help make production and promotion as successful as possible. I am very grateful to the editors, book cover designers, and marketing/promotion companies I have worked with over the years. Being able to delegate those tasks to some degree ensures that I have time to write. 

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

I can write a whole book, but coming up with a title is my Achilles’ Heel. Luckily, I am surrounded by people who are willing to brainstorm titles until we get it right.  I sometimes have an idea about the title before I start writing, but usually I have to wait til the end—til I see where the story goes—before a title sticks. Complicit was suggested by a fellow author and it stuck. 

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

I work with the most amazing cover designer! I tell him about the book and its themes, and he magically turns it into a brilliant, eye-catching cover. With my previous book, All The Broken People, I told him about my obsession with kudzu and he created an award-winning design that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined. With Complicit, I gave him less to work with and the design is perfect, which reinforces my theory that I should keep my paws off that process. 

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

Carl Graves at Extended Imagery did the original covers for my last two books and redesigned the covers for my first two books. He was recommended to me by J.A. Konrath who was the keynote at a conference I attended a few years ago. Best referral ever! 

How was your experience working with the designer?

Working with Carl is a breeze. I send him information about the book—synopsis, themes, etc.—and he sends me concepts. We communicate via email to tweak the designs. He sends me the ebook cover early so I can start promoting, then finishes up the full cover once I have blurbs and back matter. 

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Readers love the cover. In fact, I was on a podcast a few days ago and the interviewer raved about it. I’m in total agreement. 

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer? 

Do your research. Find a person who designs covers in your genre and make sure you’re seeing examples in their portfolio that speak to you. Don’t expect a cover designer to abandon their style to meet your needs. You’ll be disappointed and they won’t be happy with the work either. What you want is to develop a relationship with a designer who gets what you’re trying to do and knows how to bring that vision to life. Then, make sure that expectations and timelines are clear. 

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

Complicit is the first book in Kate Medina’s journey, and I’m so thankful to my readers for taking this stroll with her. The topics can be dark at times, but I hope you will also find the hope and the joy. Thank you for reading. 

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