I have read many discussions on what makes a great book cover. For me, a cover is what encourages me to pick up the book and flip it over to read the synopsis. I walked right past most books because the cover did not grab my attention. I’m sure you do too. Of course, we each have our favorite covers that stopped us dead in our tracks. Covers, after all, are art, and as the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That works for book covers as well.
When I buy a book, I’m excited to delve right into the story. If after reading the story the cover did not represent the story, I feel somewhat deceived. I wanted to read the story that the cover conveyed.
As an author, you need to look at all the covers in your genre. Are there any that just jumped out at you? Made you want to read that particular novel without even reading the synopsis? Then check to see which cover artist designed your favorite covers. There are so many great cover artists you are bound to find one that can bring your book to the light you want it to shine under. You can also find many talented graphic designers on social media.
During the writing process, I tend to have a vision manifest in my mind. I see the cover idea, and then I scout for pictures representative of the story I’m telling. Once I have found a few that I believe would work I relay my idea and those photos to my cover designers. This helps my designer see what I am envisioning. Sometimes I can’t find the right picture and hire a photographer to do a shoot for me. Once my designer and I agree on a photograph I have the designer work her magic as the cover comes to life. Fonts and placement of the title are essential as well.
My covers must tell the story. If you look on the front cover, the spine, the back, you might be able to figure out where the tale between the pages will lead you. It’s all there on the print books front and back cover.
Bottom line, love the covers you put on your books. They represent you and your story. When it comes to book covers, they are just as important as the words held within the binding.
Here is Sirenity’s cover for her story Blossoming Act. What does this cover tell you without reading the synopsis? Why is she looking over her shoulder? Does she appear sad, scared, worried anxious, lost, or something else? Where is she? What do you see on the back cover? What is on the spine? These are the valuable clues to the story you are about to read between the pages.
MMy cover artist for this novel is Robin from www.wickedbydesigncovers.com
I want to add, this is only my opinion. We all have to search for what works for us. No two authors are the same or will have the same views.
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I am an author. That is the one thing I know for sure.
I have enjoyed writing since I was a child. So of course as a writer/author, you need a reader. That’s where my mom comes in. I encouraged her to read a chapter. (Okay, I begged.) I needed to see if my story could keep her engaged. My mom was an avid reader. Therefore I trusted her opinion. To my surprise when she finished the chapter, she asked when I would have the next one ready for her. She was my motivator to get the story written. Her request pushed me to complete my first full length novel as an adult.
Then as all moms are known for, she gave me her advice, I needed to publish it. Yeah, right. This was just something I was doing for fun, but she insisted in her motherly way. My mom handed me an article on a publishing service called Createspace. Well, Createspace was so new at the time, I was afraid to try their platform. I searched for another way to publish and found a somewhat traditional publishing company. Off my manuscript went to the acquisitions desk for their consideration. “Oh yes, we’d love to publish your novel,” they wrote back. I can’t even tell you how excited I was. I read through the contract several times before signing it. The publisher informed me they would handle everything from editing, to cover, to formatting. The experience was eye-opening, to say the least. A few months later my book baby was out to the world, and I was proud of her.
Fast forward five years when I had my second novel Following Sweet Dreams Home completed. I knew I was not going to use my first publisher. I learned a lot in those five years. I decided to self-publish after watching the growth in the Indie world. My real reason to publish in the first place was to have my books in print for my family, friends, and the few people that might stumble upon the story. Knowing my motivation and what I was now looking for I bought out the contract of my first novel Rise Above the Truth. I hired an editor and released the second edition of my first novel. My book baby had a new cover now, and I sent her off into the world through Createspace. I loved having control over the cover, the interior, everything. During this time my second novel, Following Sweet Dreams Home, was with my new editor and was moving closer to release day.
I had the second edition of Rise Above the Truth out for a few years when I discovered Grammarly. Did I mention I am horrible at grammar? I can tell a great story, but I need a grammar specialist. I now use Grammarly before my book ends up on an editor’s desk. Anyway, I went through the book Rise Above the Truth reviewing and cleaning it up yet again. I have now released the third edition, with a new cover. I am very proud of the story and love the characters. But then I should they were the friends in my head for a few years.
What I want you to get from this post is to do your research. Do you want a traditional publishing company, vanity press, indie? Only you will know which service meets your needs. Trust your gut and keep writing your story. For me, I like the control I have over the story from start to finish. Indie publishing works for me.
The first two editions of Rise Above the Truth are out of print now. I am considering auctioning the three novels on eBay as a set. I will keep you posted if I do put them up for sale.