The group writing blog, Writers in the Storm, Melinda VanLone recently had a different take on covers. Some of the points underline what Sarah, Cedar, and others have said – covers are not first and foremost works of art. They are tools for selling.
The second point… I’m not entirely sure about, although based on the problem on the ‘Zon with “Just what is Urban Fantasy anyway?”
Rudyard Kipling wrote several great poems about wanderlust and the itch to look over the next hill, including “The Long Trail.” We authors are more interested in the long tail, the sales of our earlier books. We want new readers to have access to our older work, to buy them, enjoy them, tell others about them. Long tail sales can yield a pretty penny over time, and can lure new readers in as well.
Most indie authors have rolled, with relative ease, into hiring content editors and even copyeditors, (just don’t put either under “editor” on amazon. That editor tag on Amazon is for anthologies. You also shouldn’t put your cover artist under “illustrator.” Before I figured out that clueless authors were doing that, I passed up a bunch of books because I thought “An illustrated hard boiled mystery? Too weird for words.” That tag is there for actual illustrated books.) or figuring our how to swap with other indies for these services (which amounts to hiring) or other more creative arrangements.
One stumbling block remains in most writers’ publication schedule: covers. Read more
Here’s why you should. I see it frequently, if not hear it outright, and although there are times the ability to not GaF is a powerful tool, there are definitely times it is a bad thing. When you get to the point where you stop seeing the people around you as humans, but inanimate objects who are simply obstacles to overcome, you need to GaF. As an author, not giving a damn about readers will get your book outright mocked, if you don’t do everything right. So I decided I needed to make a case against the modern philosophy of IDGaF. It’s self-centered, and self-defeating, when it comes to Indie Publishing. Or trad pub, for that matter. Read more
The Internet is a glorious thing. Recently I was mourning the loss of a treasured paperback, an edition of Northanger Abbey dating from the heyday of the ’70’s Gothic romance. But all I really wanted was the cover — the text was, after all, exactly the same as it is in my three other editions of the book — and a quick Internet search supplied that.
The back cover blurb seems to be artfully composed of very carefully chosen passages from the scene where Catherine discovers the manuscript which will, by daylight, turn out to be an inventory of household linen:
So last week we talked about book cover rules, and I briefly touched on fonts, among other things. I didn’t want to dive into any of the rules, since that post could easily have become a book (a short book, but still) and that’s not the point. Today, I’m going to dig into fonts, at least enough to get the interested started. A good font choice can make a book cover sing to the potential reader like a siren to the sailors. A bad font can repulse them like the sleaze in front of a dive bar. Since we want to seduce the reader and that process begins from their first glimpse of a book, we want to put some time and energy into selecting the right elements for the cover. Read more
I feel like I harp on this topic. Covers, cover art, cover design… if it’s ever too much, tell me. Here’s the thing, though. It’s not just that I’m an artist and designer and I enjoy the process of book creation. It’s that even though people will say they don’t care about a book cover, they actually do. They will totally judge your book by it’s cover. And your book cover signals a lot about your book, whether you are conscious of it, or not. Every little choice, from font to color focus, says something about the book. I think by now everyone reading this knows the cardinal rule of a book cover: cover art is a marketing tool, not a scene from the book. Sure, there are rare exceptions where a scene depiction works as cover art. But it’s not common, and besides that, the second rule of book cover design is: it absolutely must be legible at thumbnail sizes. Read more