Designing the Case Boards of a Hardcover Book

Have you ever noticed the wide variety of colors and styles of hardcover books? Have you ever appreciated that bit of color peeking through a dust jacket? As a publisher, one of my favorite jobs is picking the colors and texture of the paper that covers the boards and makes up the outside of a hardcover book.

bottom, book open to the yellow end sheets

If you take the dust jacket off a favorite hardcover book, you will probably see a two-toned case, possibly one color. Also, there might be a texture, or combination of textures on that paper or cloth. The outside of a hardcover can sometimes contrast nicely with the end sheets. End sheets are the paper on the inside of the cover of a hardcover book.

For example, on Night at the Fiestas by Kirsten Valdez Quade there are two contrasting colors on the outside and a plain white paper on the inside. The spine of the book is stamped in gold (see pic above). There is a subtle texture on the black spine, but the blue part of the cover is smooth. Overall it’s a clean look. When the dust jacket is back on, the colors of the case peeks through and complement the colors on the cover (see left).

After our graphic designer designed a cover for our forthcoming book House of Rougeaux,  we used her design to print advance copies of our book . Using the palette of papers I received from the paper manufacturer (care of one of my printers: TPS), I spent some time tucking various colors under the cover of our advance copy. To start, I noticed our cover is very green, and I don’t want it any more green. So greens are out. As is blue, I wanted to lean toward earth tones.


Eventually I narrowed it down to a few choices. My favorites are “Bronzite” for the spine and “Dijon” for the main cover (see below). And I’m planning on a gold for the stamp (the title and author are “stamped” on the spine). Thanks for joining our little journey about designing the actual hardcover book. Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes look at publishing.

House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel is publishing in April 2018. To read more about House of Rougeaux, please visit this page.

Advance Review Copies

Our second printing of ARCs is underway, and our in-house designer has tweaked the cover slightly so it pops better. If you’re an indie bookstore, be on the lookout for these to come in your February White Box. If you are a blogger or with a media outlet, please contact us for a review copy:

Publisher: raincloudpress (at)

Publicist: tanya (at)

More information for reviewers

Retail Preorder

Diverse Book Bloggers

Are you a #DiverseBookBlogger ? We are looking for bloggers, youtubers, and podcasts to review our historical novel HOUSE of ROUGEAUX, about straight and queer descendants of island slaves. We’re taking names now for January shipments. Book to publish in April. #Rougeaux

House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel

For Abejé and her brother Adunbi, home is the slave quarters of a Caribbean sugar plantation on the Antilles Island of Martinique. Under the watchful eye of their African mother, they thrive despite what threatens to break them. After a night of brutality changes their lives forever, their strength and extraordinary bond carries them through.

At the dawn of emancipation, Adunbi’s daughter Hetty finds her way to Quebec City as maid to the slave owner’s daughters. There she discovers a talent for piano and meets a bold saddler’s apprentice named Dax Rougeaux. After buying her freedom, Dax and Hetty join a growing community of Afro-Canadians living free.

As each new generation of the family takes the spotlight, a fresh piece of the puzzle is illuminated until at last, after a span of nearly two centuries, the end brings us back to the beginning.

In skillful prose, award-winning author Jenny Jaeckel masterfully blends genres of coming-of-age, folklore, and historical fiction with explorations of gender, race, and sexuality, creating a wondrous and harrowing tale of hope and healing.



Our Publicist and Marketing for House of Rougeaux

Raincloud Press is proud to announce we have signed Tanya Farrell at Wunderkind PR to be our publicist! We are so glad to have her team working tirelessly to get word of House of Rougeaux out to reviewers, media, and consumers.

Our marketing plans include:

  • Pitching to national broadcast, print, radio, and online media
  • Galley mailing to major trade reviewers
  • Placing original content in high profile media outlets
  • Social media campaign: Twitter, FB, Instagram, YouTube – #Rougeaux
  • Monthly Goodreads and LibraryThing give-aways
  • Bookstore outreach including February ABA White Box ARC mailing
  • Library outreach
  • Blogger and Podcast outreach, #diversebooks focus
  • Trade ad campaign: PW, BookRiot, BookPage,

Look for media coverage January-April 2018. Stay tuned for the latest praise and coverage of House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel.