I judge books by their covers. I’m not embarrassed to admit it.
As I walk down the bookstore aisle or click around the virtual one, I stop when I see a fantastic cover. For discussion purposes, I’m going to use a book from one of my DSRA sisters.
Exhibit A: Borrowed Cowboy. Here is a book meant for the serious researcher of ranching protocol. Okay, maybe not.
One glance tells us that this book is about a hunky cowboy. Proof is in the muscled chest, proper hat, and hefty saddle. And I swear he has one of those clefts in his chin. I love that. Perhaps I am looking too closely. Ignore the cowboy for a minute.
Hey, I’m talking to you. Yes, eyes away from the cowboy. Notice the fonts used in this title. ‘Cowboy’ is in cursive and I can almost imagine rope lassos forming those letters. The yellow pops like a burst of sunshine. I also like the the way the word ‘Borrowed’ is in a different color and font. It stands out while coordinating with the rest of the words on this cover. There’s a subtle, dusk background suggesting the cowboy is heading into the ranch house for the evening. <insert one arched eyebrow here>
All of this sets a mood for me. Would I stop for this book? I already have. Our lovely author Parker did not slip me money to dissect her cover.
The point of this post is that covers make a difference to me. I’m positive I’ve missed out on good reads because I never slowed down to read the blurb and first page. If you’re a self-pubbed author, take time to plan the best marketing tool you can. The focal image, font type and placement, colors, balance of elements, and background image all play a vital role in cover art.
So, is a cover more than eye candy? A great book cover should be a looker that makes the reader say ‘wowza’ and end with a whistle. At the same time, it should tell the reader about the genre and mood. It’s a preview of the story. Readers love words, but we are also visual creatures. Spark our imaginations with a story on the cover.
I’ve been self-publishing this year and discovering so many talented photographers and cover artists. I’m going to share my personal list of shoutouts for cover artists and photographers.
- Regina of http://www.maeidesign.com/
- Ellie of http://lovenbooks.com/
- Jake of http://www.sweetbiscuitpublishing.com/book-covers.html
- Lindee of https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lindee-Robinson-Photography/145122465514273
- Lisa of https://www.facebook.com/LisaAmowitzCoverDesigns
Folks I haven’t worked with yet, but I love their portfolios:
- Najla of http://najlaqamberdesigns.com/
- Kelsey of https://www.facebook.com/KKEETONDESIGNS
If you have a favorite, please give a shoutout in the comments so others can find them.
BIO: Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.