An Author in search of an Artist

There are a lot of great things about self-publishing. The grueling, demanding deadlines are set by you. No one can tell you what you can or can’t write. Amazon and CreateSpace are always willing to publish your book, and your royalty percentages are greater. Of course, there’s no guarantee that your book will sell, but that’s another matter.

However, when you self-publish, you’re on your own for a few key things – like creating cover art. Some authors are fortunate to either be artists themselves or to know artists personally. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true for me. When I finally made the decision to self-publish by the end of 2012, I spent some time in a panicked state of denial because I had no idea where to find a cover artist at a price I could afford. If I didn’t have cover art, I couldn’t publish my book.

It was my friend, Nicole, who saved my sanity. We were at dinner and she made a passing remark about a former student, Kathaleena Simonetta, who was an artist, suggesting that maybe she would be interested. She was.

Kathy is a sweetheart and a talented artist. She brings an interesting, unique approach to each cover. I’ve yet to see anything like it. She recently finished the cover for the second Brenna Rutherford Mystery:


Some of you may know that I’ve got a stand alone book, Dark Deeds, that I’d like to publish in 2013. I decided to look for a new artist so that readers could automatically tell that DD wasn’t connected to the Brenna series. So what’s an author to do?

Post a job request on deviantART. I can’t take credit for this idea – it was a recommendation in an article I read – but it worked very well. For those of you who don’t know, deviantART is a place for artists to share their portfolios with each other and perspective clients. I posted a job request and in 12 hours, I had an artist. Her name is Janette Ramos. Today, she sent me a rough sketch of the cover for Dark Deeds, and I’m happy to share it with you:


Obviously, details and color are forthcoming. I’m excited to share more about DD with you in the coming months. There’s no set publication date, but I’m shooting for a summer release.

To see more of Kathy’s work, visit:

To see more of Janette’s work, visit:


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