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November 20, 2018

This month, Michelle Argyle at Melissa Williams Design reimagines the cover of Dreams of the Turtle King by indie author Denise Bossarte, who praised the new cover, saying it “captured the essence” of her book.

Design Note #1: When a cover showcases an award seal, it’s important to design around that element instead of placing it over the title. I chose a background photo that allowed me to do this.

Design Note #2: The author wanted a “dreamy” feel, so we chose a title font that is sophisticated but hints at a bit of whimsy.

Design Note #3: While the illustrated cover is beautiful, the watercolor and font choices felt too juvenile for the content and intended readership.

Design Note #4: A photo and different fonts dramatically change the tone and feel. Instead of putting a drop shadow behind the text, which might add to the cluttered feel, I created a dark gradient to make the text and turtle stand out.

To submit a book for a free cover redesign, email us at