Go ahead and judge.
We writers have a lot to do besides slogging through the word count. Editing. Rewriting. Queries. Rejections. More rewriting. Blogging. Facebook. Twitter. Conventions. Maybe teach some classes. Rewriting. And with the advent of self-publishing our ebooks, there's the huge task of book covers. Though we can contract an artist to create the actual cover, it is we writers who must wear yet another hat as artistic director.
Remember that adage? Don't judge a book by its cover.
What a crock.
A good cover can juice sales. A bad cover can sink a book, no matter how well written. A poorly conceived cover can project to the reader that the book was sloppily penned and edited.
Here are the top reasons people buy books, specifically novels:
1) Recommended by a friend.
2) You're already a fan of the author.3) The cover.
4) The back cover copy.
5) Media coverage.
I can't verify who put this list together or how they did it, but as I've seen the list referred to many times as gospel, then it must be true.
When I was first published, I didn't think much about covers, other than did it look good and capture the essence of the book. Since then, I've learned that much about the story is conveyed in the style and artwork, and that each genre has its artistic "rules."
For example, in the cover of Jeanne's next book, we have a hot babe toting an Ak47. This of course means the protagonist is a fierce sexy woman and the gun implies that there will be much violence. The smoky background projects the noir ambience of the narrative. Nothing overtly says supernatural or vampire except for the full moon, a common artistic theme in all the Anna Strong books. The strong primary colors of each book help define shelf presence.
Dakota Cassidy also writes supernatural novels. But with the example of this cover, we can obviously tell it's not a hard-boiled story because rather than a photo-realistic image, the artwork is cartoony. Meaning the story is light and humorous. (Duh!) The character is definitely a saucy demon, and one up to no-good naughty fun.Terry Odell did a marvelous job stepping us through the cover design of her latest novel, Saving Scott
. Her perceptive work paid off because the book is selling well on the Nook
. It's not yet available through Amazon.In a TED talk, book designer Chip Kidd
describes his methods and experience designing covers for mega sellers such as Jurassic Park.
Personally, I can't remember if I've ever bought a book because of its cover. Maybe I'm the exception to the rule. I have bought books because of reviews, most notably Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark
, which made me realize I could put my own snarky spin on writing the supernatural. And I also liked the original quirky cover.
Labels: Anna Strong, covers, Dakota Cassidy, sexy babes