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Insights from the Cover Designer of Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Are you looking for your next epic fantasy obsession? Then it’s time to add Rule by Ellen Goodlett to the top of your to-be-read pile. This dark young adult novel isn’t out until September, but check out the exclusive conversation with our cover designer who created the incredible book cover and learn about this thrilling debut:

Zofi has spent her entire life traveling across the Reaches. Just when her freedom matters most, the king’s men arrive and drag her away from her fellow Travelers to bring her to the capital—Kolonya.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a ladies’ maid at court. She dreams of being a noble herself one day, but being ominously summoned to the king’s courtroom after a misdeed isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

Akeylah was raised by an abusive father in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by brewing insurrection. She’d do anything to escape her family, even accept the invitation of a king who has every reason to despise her.

Each girl hides a dangerous secret—the kind that could get her killed for treason. But when the girls are brought before King Andros expecting an execution, instead they learn the truth: the king is dying and they are his only living heirs. Now the three of them must live at court and compete for the chance to rule. But someone in Kolonya knows the girls’ secrets, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep them from the throne.

And our cover designer Marcie Lawrence shares how this gorgeous final cover came to be:

This was the initial concept for Rule. We loved this idea but wanted to create something a little grittier but still pretty.

How to begin a book cover design


I looked into very old books and handmade books, to get at the idea of a royal tome. I pulled a lot of inspiration from the internet.

Ellen Goodlett draft cover 2


I mocked up my idea and placed the title and author name.

Ellen Goodlett draft cover 3


We then went to an artist to create an original sketch for us that hid elements from the book specifically, and tied everything together.

Ellen Goodlett draft cover 4


We had the artist modify his sketch several times, and settled on the idea of having a crown in the middle. (We love crowns!)

Ellen Goodlett draft cover 5


We had a graphic artist convert our sketch to 3D!

how to design a great book cover


Voila, that’s the final cover! Isn’t it AMAZING?

Add Rule to your Goodreads shelf! And keep an eye out on #ReadRule for more news about this debut!