Thursday, August 12, 2010
Covers that Kill
Don't judge a book by its cover, right? Yeah right. That is, of course, exactly what most people DO. I've witnessed many book covers that kill in a good way, and many more that kill in a bad way. I would prefer that mine be the former, of course. But what, exactly, makes for a good cover? Firstly, and I got this from watching, of all things, a reality show this summer, the cover art should serve the title. It really is an act of marketing; draw the consumer's eye to the title. Have you ever noticed how many very popular authors have their names as the largest thing on the front of their books? (eg. Nora Roberts) This is because they have become SO popular that their readers no longer really care what their stories are called, so long as they are the authors. In the case of starting out authors, however (such as yours truly), the title should really dominate the scene. But that is not to say that the artwork should be boring, or, heaven forbid, cheesy. Cheesy covers can kill an author dead. Case in point, one of my favorite modern fantasy authors (who shall remain unnamed) has had the misfortune of having the worst covers imaginable put on her books. They are cliched in every sense of the word, and scream "I am a cheesy Christian fantasy novel," when the books themselves are anything BUT. She is an amazingly talented writer and crafter of stories whose books have often been passed over by people too embarrassed to be seen with them. Even I carry them around face down. Anyhow, I diverge... What I'm really trying to say is that I know my cover on The Six isn't anything to write home about, but I think that I at least avoided the cheese-train. I am working with, however, some very talented and wonderful student artists to craft new covers for my books, and I am confident that they will turn out spectacularly. We are aiming for simplicity, yet something eye-catching. They should appeal to both males and females, and they should be relevant to the stories. This is one of those aspects of the publishing process that most established authors don't get to take part in (as far as I've always heard, I could be wrong), and I am so happy, as a self-published author, to be able to have my hands in the process. Hopefully the end result will be covers that kill in a good way, helping my books to reach a wider audience, and helping my artists to share their craft with the world. And now, I realize, I have written too much. I'm sure that most of you have given up on this rambling blog post by now. If you have stuck with it to this point, my hat's off to you. You are either very bored, or a very big fan... or perhaps just curious... like a cat. (That's why my friends call me Whiskers). Oh boy, it IS late when I start pulling out Will Ferrel lines. Good night.