Starlight Den

Book Cover Designer/Publisher

The Design Process Is Never The Same For Every Cover

Book Cover Idea

I have designed my own covers for my series The Clockwise Station and The Veiled Haven. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting, so I took those skills and applied them to photoshop. I find inspiration for my covers through my writing, but also from life in general. There’s a lot of movies that I use for inspiration too; anything with sci-fi like Star Trek, and epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings.

Book Cover Design

Once I have a clear path with the book cover idea, I begin the design process. I play around with stock images, sometimes I draw (I’m still learning a lot about photoshop and how to draw on there), and I mash everything together to make an eye-catching cover. Creating a cover can take days to weeks. I always save my main file as PSDs so that I can make changes readily. A lot of people don’t realize how tedious it is shading, warping images, fiddling around with colors, just to make the perfect cover. I am still trying to perfect my design abilities. The hardest part about designing a book cover is knowing how to put everything together so it makes sense. Literally anyone can throw a couple of images together and BAM, the birth of a book cover. Now you have to ask if it’s marketable. As much as your story needs to be golden, so does your cover. I never rush a cover.

I don’t make any custom covers, although if someone asked me to, I will. I don’t really see myself doing that for a career, so it’s more one-off moments than a solid job.

More About Starlight Den

Starlight Den is also the name of my publishing company that I created to publish my books. Indie authors are always looked down upon because we don’t have agents and managers. To make ourselves look more professional and taken seriously, we can create a publishing company. It can just be a name we create and that’s it. Why did I choose the name Starlight Den? Because I love science and I believe in a strong connection to the universe. I like it when the sun is setting and the stars are just peeking out from their slumber behind the daylight. When you are under a clear sky with full-on stars and you see the Milky Way, it’s like being inside a starlit den. That’s why I chose it.


I love the cover. My daughter even complimented on it when it came in.

Author R.L. Smith