‘Paulyanna – Life of an International Rent-boy’ Cover Reveal

Paulyanna Cover Reveal – Monday 23 September 2013

I have had the opportunity to read PAULYANNA – LIFE OF AN INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY before its release – just one of the benefits of being a book reviewer! Normally I steer clear of the autobiography genre, having no interest in the inane ghost-written bleatings of vacuous celebrities, so the fascinating and amusing PAULYANNA came as a breath of fresh air. The author, Paul Douglas Lovell, shares his past with down to earth humour, candour and the skill of a natural storyteller. He neither sensationalises nor condemns his past, and the result is a very readable and absorbing story.

We’re not sure yet when PAULYANNA – LIFE OF AN INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY will be available for purchase, but it will be soon. Paul assures me it will be out in good time for the Christmas shopping market, and suggests following his Facebook page or blog for more information.

Today I am very excited to be to hosting the cover reveal for PAULYANNA – LIFE OF AN INTERNATIONAL RENT-BOY. I’ll now hand you over to Paul himself who has answered some questions about the design and choice of his cover.

I am very grateful to Alison for hosting my cover reveal on ‘An Author’s View’ today.  I’m delighted to be sharing my cover with you and to tell you a little about how it came into being.  My first priority was to publish a good quality read of a standard equal to that of the big publishing houses. This meant that after paying for a professional editor to achieve my aim. I hadn’t the funds to splash out on a graphic designer so had to go it alone. And here it is…


OK, so why this cover for Paulyanna: International Rent-boy?

I chose this cover firstly because, out of all my attempts, it really was my personal favourite. I simply liked the colours. It was also created organically and without much outside influence, meaning I didn’t blatantly copy any other book.

I allowed the layout, colour scheme and font to develop as I went along. Trial and error – and this was made up of many errors. A bit like myself and therefore a very apt choice.

What does the cover tell us about your book?

I am not glossy or over-produced. I’m simple, perhaps a touch plain, therefore so is my story. I think it truthfully reflects the content.

Symbolically I am one among many and ALMOST like every other rent-boy, only red.

What were you trying to achieve with this cover?

I wanted to grab attention, draw the eye to my book. I think it is also more special if the author creates their own cover; it inserts an additional personal touch, a nice completion to the whole creative process. I am no designer and these things are taste preference anyway. I am aware that some people simply don’t like green.

 Was is it easy to design?

To design, yes. To lay out and implement my ideas, no. But that turned out to be a good thing since, as I said, this cover developed more out of the things I couldn’t do, Mistakes I thought looked OK and then played around with.

I used a basic drawing program that was very limited, sometimes insufficient. I searched online and used another program when mine fell short.

How many other cover designs did you discard on the way?

Nine. I got right into the designing process and could have continued on and on. My first was terrible and I got a bit better along the way. The only image I kept throughout was the royalty free clip art of the lone figure.

I’m not even entirely sure if I did get better. I enthused about all of my covers, but always seemed to like the latest one more than the previous. I get bored easily so perhaps it was the new and the different I liked.

Did you ask for other people’s opinions and was that helpful – or confusing?


Paul Douglas Lovell

I did ask for opinions which was VERY confusing. Online you don’t know if the person you’re asking is colour blind, abstract-minded or a top-notch graphic designer.

Working for two hours on a design to get the response “I don’t like green” is not helpful, especially when another comes back saying “Oh green, how lovely”.

I found it better to create a straightforward photo poll with my shortlist. A poll with the simple option to click your favourite, leaving no room for discussion.

Having been through the process, what tips can you pass on about designing a cover?

Scroll a book site, see what sticks out or appeals to you and start from there.  Chances are your product will morph into one of your own making and not be particularly like anything you initially spied. Keep it simple whenever possible and try to consider the content at all times; it is amazing how quickly you can get carried away.

Finally, tell us about Paulyanna: International Rent-boy in 100 words.

A quick decision that steered me down a rather dodgy path. Without added glamour and grit, this is the tale of a 1990s British rent-boy. Risk and danger mixes with fun and thrills in my twelve-year career as a male prostitute.

A precarious existence on the streets of London and Los Angeles boulevards.

May not have been pretty but I had the audacity to succeed. This is not an erotic tale, more an intimate portrayal of day-to-day life as viewed from my quirky perspective. What goes on behind a glassy-eyed smile.

A road-book adventure in search of happiness.

You can find out more regarding Paulyanna: International Rent-boy by visiting my Facebook page.  Again I would like to thank Alison and also you the reader, so thanks.

Thank you very much to Paul for sharing his cover reveal and the story behind the design with ‘An Author’s View’ today. So, what do you think?


3 thoughts on “‘Paulyanna – Life of an International Rent-boy’ Cover Reveal

  1. What a great article! I’m in the process of reviewing Paulyanna, and after reading this article I’m looking forward to the rest of the story and finish the book.

    I enjoyed reading about the creative process and symbolism of designing a cover, as I designed my own as well.

    Still, Alison, it saddens me to read that you have certain ideas about autobiographies. Maybe, after reading Paul’s book you have opened your mind a little more towards this genre. Some of my favorite books are memoirs; ‘The Glass Castle’ being one of my favorites.

    If you ever feel inclined to read my memoirs, your ideas about what a memoir looks will surely change. Just take a look at the cover and you probably get an idea.

    Looking forward to your next blog. (mine is being built as we speak)

    Paula Liebe

  2. Hi Paula.
    Thank you for your comment, and I hope you’re enjoying Paulyanna as much as I did. I’m now trying to word my review properly to convey just what a good read this book is without sounding gushing.
    I guess I’ve read the wrong autobiographies! Over the years, friends have leant me autobiographies they have loved, but I’ve found them dull (the autobiographies, not the friends!) so I concluded that it’s a genre I simply don’t like. I shall certainly check out your work as I’m always willing to keep an open mind, and I look forward to reading your blog too. Please do let me know when it is live.

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