She Who Comes Forth book spine

Cover Image Answer

I’m grateful for all the responses to my post asking which of two cover images for my novel, She Who Comes Forth, was preferred by readers. Thank you to all who commented, expressed a preference, and explained why they liked one of the images (or both!)

Yes, two people noted things they liked about both images and said they couldn’t decide between them. Fourteen expressed a preference for image #2, the close-up of a woman’s face with hieroglyphs and the title in a sans-serif font. (The font is called “Glacial Indifference,” by the way.) People who preferred this image said it was mysterious, intriguing, sophisticated, and professional.

But seventeen people preferred image #1, which is the original cover image for this novel. Some comments said it represented Egypt better than #2. Other details mentioned were the warm colours, the figure that appears to be “coming forth,” and the mysterious quality of the silhouette.

So, #1 it will be. After considering one comment, I made some subtle changes to make the figure less blob-like ambiguous. One was to remove the face. Did anyone notice the face? It was barely visible, intended to be a sort of hidden surprise. I decided that wasn’t a good idea and removed it. I also increased the opacity of the silhouette to 100%.

All this reminded me of how I allowed myself to be distracted from writing She Who Comes Forth while it was a work in progress. I would fire up Canva and create yet another image. I must have made more than a dozen in all.

At first, I was determined to include a cello. After all, the main character’s cello is a character in her own right. She has a name and plays (ha, ha!) a significant part in the plot. I looked at hundreds of pictures of women with cellos. Somehow, I couldn’t make any of them work, except for two gorgeous photos. Using them, I made two beautiful cover images, but I had no luck contacting the copyright owners. Those creations remain in my private files, never to be published.

But here is one version that shows a cello player. Note the emerald ring! I put it together from three different shapes, and I’m quite pleased with it. Overall, though, this image implies the book is mainly about music, and it isn’t.

SWCF cover image cello player
Fonts: Great Vibes, Cinzel, Sacramento

At some point, I must have gotten a bit desperate, because I also created this little whimsy…

SWCF cover image whimsical version
Fonts: Tenor Sans, Princess Sofia

Yeah, I know. This one was never in the running, but it’s sort of cute.

Then I decided to go for a stripped-down look focussing on the title. Quite a few recently published bestsellers feature titles against backgrounds that play second cello fiddle to the fonts.

SWCF cover stripped-down version
Fonts: Great Vibes, Norwester, Sacramento

In the end, I settled on the combination of female silhouette and a couple of the great pillars of the Karnak Temple in Luxor (which also appears in the story). And that image (with a few adjustments) will continue to be the one to represent this book.

SWCF 2019
Font: Libre Baskerville, upper case, lower case, and italicized

Some people commented on the fonts. The sans-serif font in #2 was thought too modern or to suggest science fiction. Someone else said the mixture of upper and lower case, italics and colours in #1 is visually confusing. An earlier version of this image (which you can sort of see in the photo of the paperback at the head of the post) sported no fewer than three different fonts for the title. This mashup was pretty much lambasted on the Book Designer’s Monthly Ebook Cover Design Awards site, so I changed to a single font, but in a number of cases and colours. I think the background images are sufficiently strong and simple to withstand the variety.

Thanks again for all the nice and helpful things you said about my designs!

All images by Audrey Driscoll, created with Canva. Some include elements from Pixabay.

Here is a recent review of She Who Comes Forth by Lorinda J. Taylor (from Amazon and Goodreads).

A uniquely compelling story, employing the mythology of ancient Egypt December 11, 2019
This book grabs you at the beginning and keeps you reading, because it’s not a book with any clues – I found it impossible to guess what might happen in the end. Just like France Leighton and her talking cello, this book is something special. I particularly liked the conjunction of the Egyptian mystique and the minutiae of everyday modern life. France may accomplish wonders, but that doesn’t keep her from feeling pain, getting sick, and having doubts and second thoughts. She’s both human and hero.
If you’re fascinated with ancient Egypt and its grotesque and alien mythology, you’ll love this piece. I’ve never gotten hooked on Egyptian mythology, probably because I’m basically a rationalist with a scientific bent. Greek mythology has always appealed more to me, because its flawed gods are extrapolated from humanity, based on what we experience every day. That may be why western civilization developed from Greek culture, and the Egyptians faded into the fabric of history and became only a subject for esoteric study. I can understand how people can believe Egypt was influenced by extraterrestrials, because they had such strange concepts of the nature of the spiritual world and what was needed to ensure eternal life.
This book has feminist undercurrents – it’s the goddesses who have the real power – and there is also a subtext involving a condemnation of our scientific/technological civilization. Science becomes a tool of the gods to destroy more than it will ever create.
I must say a few words about what a fine writer this author is, especially in her descriptive talents. She really makes you feel and smell Egypt in the 1960s, even though she states in an afterword that she has never been there. I’ll close with a few examples:
“The sweet smell of cedar wood mingled with whiffs of turpentine, lamp oil, and ancient stone.”
“The shape of his lips as they formed words fascinated me, like watching a time-lapse film of a flower opening, or a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.”
And, finally, something to make you chuckle: “Below us lay a field of temple ruins; the Colossi of Memnon looked small and ridiculous, like constipated stone trolls on matching stone toilets.”
I heartily recommend this book as a uniquely compelling story. I would also suggest reading the author’s Herbert West series first, since She Who Comes Forth refers often to prior events and characters.

You can find out more about She Who Comes Forth, including purchase links, by clicking on the image in the sidebar or right here.


  1. Thanks for quoting my review! I’m so glad you settled on the original cover – I really disliked the second one – sorry! It was fun seeing what else you created. I agree the one with the girl playing the cello is too musical and doesn’t suggest Eqypt at all – one would wonder, why are there cobras at the top. I actually like the humorous one, but I agree, it doesn’t capture the gravitas of the book. It makes it seem like a comedy.
    I draw my covers using the drawing tools in Word and they rather look like cartoons. Some people like them and some people hate them. I don’t really care – they please me (most of them – a couple I don’t really like). Maybe I should look into Canva, after I get my Windows 10 upgrade.

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    1. I was pleased to include your review; as well as being positive and detailed, it was timely. Your cover images are quite detailed and those from the Ki’shto’ba series show scenes from the books, whereas the Man Who Found Birds ones are symbolic. I found Canva easy to learn. The free version has quite a lot of capabilities — layering, transparency, lots of fonts, colour control, etc. It’s worth a try. You can upload images from elsewhere (such as Pixabay or your own photos). It’s an easy way to get into actually designing images, but it can be a time-eater.

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  2. My first published books had covers designed by my sister. This time around I’m trying to design them myself. Fortunately, with The Irrepairable Past, I had some pictures of egrets that would work for the cover. The next book I’ll be publishing is Northville Five & Dime. There is a real Northville Five & Dime in the town of Northville, NY, which is where my story is based. I want to use a picture of that store for the cover, but I just can’t figure out how to make it work well.

    One of the things I’m trying to do is try to come up with a consistent look in my covers. I don’t know if that’s going to work. I frequently think of doing something like the cover you referred to as stripped-down. It’s easier, but the reality is, it’s not eye-catching. So, more work is ahead for me. 😉

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  3. Great job on all of your cover designs! I think you chose the best image for the content…a hard achievement when you’re both author and artist because you can be “too close” to the idea content and forget to approach it as a reader who is unfamiliar with that content. Again, you did a great job!!

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  4. Well done! Those few small changes do make quite a difference, especially the ‘figure’. And grats on a superb review. I wonder if that person likes sci-fi? I’d kill for a review like that. -cough- Ahem. Is there such a thing as review envy? 😀

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  5. Audrey, a great run-down on the thoughts from others to your previous post about the cover. I love this one and so glad you’re happy too! It was fascinating to see your other creations and how you came to this one. Congratulations on the terrific review – they’re always heartwarming and such fantastic support to all authors.

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  6. Happy to see the cover I favour chosen, though some of the others were excellent contenders too. Especially liked the one you called too “whimsy”!

    P.S. I’ve only just started trying out Kindle, but I got this book and am excited to read it at some point!

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  7. I agree with many other comments. It IS very interesting to read about your creative process. I, too, enjoyed the whimsical version you rejected, but I see how powerful the one you settled on is…

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