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I knew I wanted a spectacular cover for my book: Riding Horseback in Purple. The book is about the beauty of relationships between humans and horses. When I see a beautiful horse, it still takes my breath away, just as it did when I was a child. I wanted the reader’s first glance of the book to do the same thing: to charge their aesthetic batteries and open them up to new possibilities. Various people suggested compromises for the cover design, and I always pushed back.

If you love the cover as much as I do, you should know something about the people behind the scenes.

  • The exquisitely good photographer Bob Langrish is responsible for the image. Bob is based in the UK and photographs horses around the world.
  • The horse in the photograph is my mare Bocina, before I bought her. This may sound like an amazing co-incidence. But co-incidences are rare. A bought my mare from Lori Albrough at Bluebird Lane Farms. Everyone who knows The Norwegian Fjord horse breed knows that Bluebird Lane is a farm with beautiful, well-bred and well-trained horses. The care is exceptional. When Bob Langrish visited the farm, there was no shortage of clean, well-groomed, well-behaved subjects waiting to pose.
  • Jessica Sullivan was my talented designer, and a pleasure to work with. She has many design-related passions, including typography. Jessica is listed in Canadian Who’s Who and described as one of the top book designers working in Canada. I love the way she integrated the landscape, feature image and text into a coherent whole.

When my book was judged in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, the production quality and cover design were rated as 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. The judge commented:

“The packaging and cover design are extremely polished and professional. The front cover in particular does a great job of identifying the book’s subject matter and intended audience.”

Thank you to everyone who played a role!

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