Creating a book cover: Shirley Link & The Black Cat sketches by Robin Hoffman

Creating a book cover: Shirley Link & The Black Cat sketches by Robin Hoffman

Shirley Link The Black Cat




Creating a book cover is a bit like mixing potions. There are definitely tried-and-true characteristics of a good cover, but there are also a thousand different types of covers that look great.

And, of course, a million ways to create a book cover that looks awful.

How does Robin Hoffman manage to make such great covers for the Shirley link series? It starts with her love of the character, which has been clear since she read the first draft of the first book in the middle school reading series, Shirley Link & The Safe Case. But, really, it all comes from her working her butt off!

Here’s a peek into the process she goes through every single time a new Shirley cover is needed. Creating a book cover ain’t easy. But it sure is fun to watch happen. Step-by-step.

Click on the images to see ’em get blown up!





  1. That’s pretty cool! Dani and I went through a long back and forth while trying to figure out just what the new Ninja Librarian cover should look like. It was cool to see her take my inchoate ideas and come back with sketches!

  2. It’s probably my favorite part of the publishing process. We live with ideas in our heads that we need to get out using words. But, when we’re forced to think about a cover, our brains switch to visual mode. I often find myself making small changes to my story once the cover is complete.


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