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Cover Design for suede to rest

It's release day for the audiobook version of SUEDE TO REST, so let's break down the cover design!

One of my favorite non-writing tasks is cover design. Getting a concept requires a little trial and error, and from concept to 85% mark goes pretty quickly. That final 15% takes the most time! That's where little tweaks happen to bring the whole thing together. Here's an example using the components of the cover for SUEDE TO REST, the first Material Witness Mystery, along with what I did to make it work for me.

Breakdown of cover elements from SUEDE TO REST by Diane Vallere
  1. I tend to like pink and purple for book 1 in a series, which helps convey that these are light, humorous books with a hint at romance.

  2. I'd seen this faded-edge technique on a cover on Amazon and thought it might work here. I had to watch a YouTube tutorial a few times to know what I was doing (and have since figured out a far simpler way to achieve this effect!).

  3. My images come from Depositphotos and Adobe Stock images. Here, I found the fabric store interior on Adobe Stock, manipulated the colors to what I wanted, and blurred the edges to get the background.

  4. Next, I wanted an image of my main character, Polyester Monroe. I've been holding onto this flapper girl to use on something--I wasn't sure what. Same with the image of fashionable women in Paris. I was able to piece together the head of the flapper and the body of the woman on the far left in the Paris sketch. One of Poly's character quirks is that she always wears black, so I recolored her outfit. I also flipped the whole thing because I liked her pose next to the fabric more this way.

  5. Kittens! There was no way Pins and Needles weren't going on this cover, so I found these kittens on Depositphotos and added them to the stack of fabric.

  6. The original covers from Penguin Random House had a pin cushion as the series icon, but I went with three bolts of fabric. I kept them in their original colorway and will reuse them as is on each cover in the series.

  7. I found the font set on, my favorite site for typefaces. This one came with alternates, which I used for the S in Suede and the R in Rest to give it a little extra. (Finding the right font isn't always easy. I use the preview features to type in my title so I can see exactly what the words will look like. Often I hate the look of one letter and move on to another option.)

I was thrilled with how the covers in this series came together. I'll be back next month to break down CRUSHED VELVET, book #2.



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