This past week I placed my potential book covers on FB for a general choice voting for the one that pleased the reader the most. Within a few hours, I had my answer and my new cover. Here it is.
While the process was going on, I thought about past book covers that caught my eye in bookstores. The covers used by David Eddings for both his Mallorean and his Belgariad series flashed immediately to mind. Robert Aspirin always had fun and quirky covers for his “Myth” series books. Koko’s paw prints wandered across front covers of Lillian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who” mysteries.
Iconic covers seem to be the goal of every writer in the business today. The writer’s brand must come equipped with its own recognizable cover aspects. It could be the font, or the colors, or perhaps the subtle style is enough. Should the title be on top or lower down and the author’s name on top becomes an issue.
Back when I began buying my own books, two things mattered to my choice of purchase: the author’s name and the publisher.
I knew that Tor, Baen, and Daw books would always give me dollar for dollar value in science fiction paperbacks. Burroughs, Vonnegut, Heinlein, Asimov, Norton, and Pohl would show me exciting adventures guaranteed to filter through my dreams a hundred times before I moved on to a new author. Libraries never offered enough for my burgeoning thirst for more each week.
The covers sold me on the book many times. The colorful example of setting or characters, crisis or aftermath, drew me inside the covers to where the real story lay. Those thicker, crisper outer pages were as much a part of the story as what hid between them.
I still buy books based on some of those aspects. Now, though, there’s Kindle to lure me into shedding dollars for fantastic stories that carry electronic covers that introduce the tale inside. The specs for those covers are rigid due to the medium of delivery, but the graphics haven’t changed that much. If anything, the image requirements have become more important.
And for the first time, the author is in charge of that aspect of her own branding. The story requires delivery by an eye-catching messenger. And that’s what has kept my attention for this week. I can’t guarantee that my chosen cover will make the book a best-seller, or even a great seller. I can only use the best one I can have produced for now and let curious readers decide if it’s enough.
The current delay in launch centers on a guest coming in from Canada for a couple of weeks. The book won’t wait that long, thankfully. A few more days and it will enter the world.
Thank you for coming by. I look forward to seeing you again.
See you soon with more news.