I’ve never considered myself challenged when it comes to keeping surprises, but having to wait over a month before releasing the cover of Defy has definitely tested my willpower! It has helped to have the involvement of wonderful book bloggers and fellow writers participating in the release. They’ve all seen the cover and gushed appropriately, which has curbed my desire to share it with the world…a little.
I’d love to give a huge thank you to Trisha Wolfe over at YA Bound for helping me with not only the cover reveal tour, but the upcoming book launch tour for Defy (4/30-5/12).  And another round of thanks goes out to all of these wonderful cover reveal participants. Thank you for helping me generate all the Defy fanfare we can muster!
A Book-a-licious Story, A Diary of a Book Addict, A Pocket Full of Books, Always YA at Heart, Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile, Behind a Million and One Pages, Bethany Lopez, Book Briefs, Bookmarks & Bookshelves, BookSpark, Bundle of Books 101, Chapter by Chapter, Dream Reads, Ed and Em Reviews, Epilogue Review, Every Free Chance Book Reviews, Fiktshun, Hackaroos Reviews, Hey It’s Fishy, I Heart YA Books, Ivy Reads, Jess’s Book Blog, Jessy’s Bookends, JJ iReads, Journey with Books, Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands, Love of Books 409, Lover of Paranormal and Indies, Making the Grade, Melody with Words, Mr. Book Wonder, Open Book Society, Paranormal Book Fan, Proserpine Craving Books, Rai29 Book Read and Review, Sarah’s Books and Life, Shadow Kisses Book Reviews, Storybook Escape, Stuck in Books, The Bibliophile’s Corner, The Book Galaxy, The Book Hookup, The Reader’s Antidote, Twimom101 Book Blog, Unreality, We Fancy Books, Winter Haven Books, Writing on the Sunny Side of the Street, YA-Aholic, and Zoey’s Uncreatively Titled Blog.
And now the big day is here! What better way to honor the cover reveal of Defy than with an interview with my remarkably talented cover designer, Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design? Here are more juicy details about this person you absolutely have to get to know:
Bio: I’m Devan Edwards. I started up Nimbi Design a few years ago, as a way to have a fun creative outlet for all the different things I enjoy. Nimbi is plural for Nimbus Cloud. The name felt appropriate for living in the NW, where it rains about 7-8 months out of the year–plus, clouds are so cute. I graduated from PNCA in Portland, OR in 2008, and have worked as a Graphic Designer for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and am currently a UX/UI Designer for eBay Mobile in Portland.

Nimbi is a fun way for me to be more “crafty” and less technical with the skills I’ve learned through the years, and a way for me to explore other creative outlets using my hands and tools and not just a computer. I do an array of different things and sell them on my online Etsy shop. I make custom letterpress stationery, invitations (digital and layered), glass and metal jewelry, feather and flower hairpieces, greeting cards, needle felt, plushies and more. I do some sewing and just love to mess around with different things that I have in my “Tiffany” colored craft room. My latest and busiest freelance work has become book cover design. I have to say, I absolutely love it and am so grateful for falling upon it!
Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!
I love the outdoors and fly-fishing. It’s my happy place, being on the river with my fly rod, something I’ve done since I was little. Other than that, I am completely obsessed with my Boston Terrier, Mac. I named him after two things I’m obsessed with: Apple and Mac makeup. I thought it might be a good idea to get a girl French Bulldog one day too, to be his friend. I discussed names with my Mom, and thought Tosh would be funny, so that I had Mac ‘n Tosh. (Get it?). Then my mom suggested I name her Fromage. Which is French for “Cheese.” My mom is witty. :)
How did you get into book cover design?
A friend of mine that worked with me at Walt Disney World contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in taking on a freelance job designing a book cover for an author. I said “Yes!” Met Raine, and created her first trilogy, The Daughters of Saraqael. I enjoyed it so much, and felt like the design just came together like clockwork. From that and Raine’s fabulous networking skills and my blog, I quickly started getting contacted by other authors wanting to get me to do their next books. Since the first trilogy, I’ve finished eight book covers, and have five currently in progress with talk of more in the next couple of months.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face in designing book covers. What can your clients do to make it a little easier on you?
The hardest part is that typically my only interaction with the author is via e-mail. Most of my clients are in another city or state. I think the fact that I’m able to produce what they want says a lot about my communication, but sometimes it gets difficult to really know what someone is wanting or envisioning when they aren’t there to physically describe something to you. I enjoy working with authors on Skype, sending them files through Skype while I’m working, and being in constant communication. It’s also hard if someone doesn’t realize that book design isn’t my first and only job (hasn’t been too much of a problem yet, thankfully). I work full time 40+ hours a week, and am running my own business at home that also requires my time, not to mention my furbabies and family time. I think as long as authors give me plenty of time to work with them, and don’t expect a cover in just a couple weeks, they’ll be happy and I’ll be stress free. I really enjoy doing this work, and it’s extremely gratifying to me to give an author their vision as an image, and something they and I can both be proud to share.
Which has been your favorite book cover to design and why?
All of them (obviously). I think they all have had unique things brought to the table that challenged me in one way or another. The trickiest and most gratifying so far probably has to be Defy. That hair and model were tricky to work with, and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pull off the look of her hair, and then…it just worked, and it was pretty awesome! I really enjoy doing scenery too, and I really enjoyed designing the cover for Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke. Creating the mist and having all the details of the girl and the background were really fun to create.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your cover design work?
I love seeing the feedback on sites like Amazon, or reading tweets to authors tagging me. One of the best compliments I had was when someone commented on Raine’s first book, Becoming, and said that the cover is what drew her in, to want to look into the book and read, then once they read they were hooked. That let me know that I did my job for Raine. I was able to draw someone in by first glance, to make her think “Ooh what’s this?”, letting Raine’s words take it from there. I also absolutely love the “Eeek!” and “OH MY GOODNESS!” and “This is PERFECT!” that I get from my authors…it makes me happy that they are so happy.
Some authors design their own book covers for monetary reasons.  Can you offer them a word of advice to help them achieve the best cover possible outside of hiring a (totally amazing) professional like you?
Keep it simple. The worst thing you can do is use too much imagery on a cover, especially if you aren’t as savvy with programs like Photoshop to manipulate images in a good, crisp way. So, doing things like finding a great photo on a website like iStockphoto.com or something similar can make a huge difference. Also, pay attention to colors and lighting. Reference other books you like and take cues from them. Sometimes black and white