Nicole Hower

Nicole Hower - Designer

Chicago, IL, USA

Designer and Art Director with 9+ years of industry experience, specializing in YA and Adult. Has worked on 12 New York Times bestsellers.

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My work focuses on meaningful designs that are rooted in market research and trends. I have worked on as many as 12 New York Times bestsellers and my covers have been featured on Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Casual Optimist, Indie Next List, and Bustle. I have designed the covers for The Nature of Witches, The Similars, and I'm Not Dying With You Tonight. Some of my most notable art direction projects are This Is Where it Ends, The Empirium Trilogy, and The Bone Witch Trilogy. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, daughter, and cat.

I work primarily with stock images and can create custom covers that are photographic and illustrated using these resources. I am also able to design and art direct with illustrators when a specific style is needed that cannot be found on stock sites. If that is the case, I will let you know upfront and can suggest illustrators to achieve the best package possible for your book. I would then design the jacket with the illustrator since typography and concepts are what I do best! Some examples from my portfolio of designs with stock images are The Nature of Witches, Bruja Born, and The Obsession. Covers where I have collaborated with an illustrator are Furyborn, The Midnight Girls, and The Storm Crow.
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Contemporary Romance
Historical Fiction
Middle Grade
Psychological Thriller
Young Adult

Work experience

Creative Director

September, 2021 – Present (5 months)

Art Director

July, 2012 – September, 2021 (about 9 years)

• Lead all creative direction and design for the
Sourcesbook Fire imprint
• Art direct, design and project manage more than 80+
covers per year across multiple imprints
• Manage a team of 20+ freelance designers
• Negotiate rates and manage contracts with designers,
artists and image vendors
• Develop creative strategies for book packaging based
on market and audience research, while maintaining
budgeted expenses
• Facilitate and analyze focus group testing
• Onboard, coach and train new hires in design and
departmental processes, including: design program
training, market research, pre-press production and
manufacturing treatments
• Identify and improve departmental processes to create

• 12 New York Times bestsellers
• Grew revenue of Sourcebooks Fire imprint by 188%
while reducing departmental expenses by as much as
$30,000 year over year
• Sourcebooks Fire imprint POS growth of up to 35%
ahead of industry
• Recommended and implemented new design and
production review processes from print to digital routing
• Developed mood board and market research templates
that are now used across all imprints

Portfolio (26 selected works)

The Nature of Witches

Griffin, Rachel

Why We Fly

Jones, Kimberly, Segal, Gilly

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

Jones, Kimberly, Segal, Gilly

This Is Where It Ends

Nijkamp, Marieke

Before I Let Go

Nijkamp, Marieke

Even If We Break

Nijkamp, Marieke

The Obsession

Sutanto, Jesse Q.

The Similars

Hanover, Rebecca

The Midnight Girls

Jasinska, Alicia

After the Fire

Hill, Will

The Last to Die

Garrett, Kelly

What Kind of Girl

Sheinmel, Alyssa

That Night

Balog, Cyn

Here There Are Monsters

Bérubé, Amelinda

The Storm Crow

Josephson, Kalyn

Belle Révolte

Miller, Linsey

H2O (H2O, 1)

Bergin, Virginia

The Summoning

Smith, J.P.

Sanctuary: A Novel

James, V. V.

Nicole has 1 review

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Daniel Heath
Nicole did an excellent job on my book cover design. She outlined her creative plan and timeline at the outset of the project and stuck to them. She was communicative, friendly, and professional throughout the entirety of our collaboration. In the end, she produced a great product. I will be proud to use her design for my novel.

Daniel Heath, January 2022

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