Done? So we're in agreement, right? Good. Okay...
Third, I'm not sure an illustrated cover would convey the right tone. (Note: tone and mood are not the same thing.) Both set your expectation, but this story was written with yaoi in mind so an illustrated cover sets that up.
Ultimately, I chose to go with an illustrated cover because of branding. The cover, book trailer and teasers will all have the illustrations Zoe created. It's just makes sense with that point of view. I'll go with Zoe again when I make the next books so I have an all around brand with the Notice Me Sempai series.
You can see from Zoe's first attempts it doesn't give any impression that this is an all male menage. At least not really. The above picture is adorable. They look like they're posing for the year book. But the cover says this could be a story about three humorous friends, their lives, their differences and how they relate. That's not this story.
I needed a cover that could give me their character traits, besides teacher and students, that I'd like to put as the representative to my story. So then Zoe shows me this...
No, it doesn't show all their faces. I might still want that. But this at least screams, there's sex in here. The blatantness -- yes, my new word blatantness -- is what I was going for. I gave Zoe the okay for this one. Here's why.
It shows Mori's weakness, it shows Itsuma taking the lead like he always does, and it shows Scott's eager but gentle way. Those are my characters. Oh, for those who don't know the order from left to right is Itsuma, Mori, Scott. The best character illustrations of them are found here.
So Zoe's got the okay from me and I've got a rough sketch. The next time you see the cover will be for the cover reveal. For now, try to use your imagination for detail, color and shading. Until next time!
XOXO ~ Stephy