Diamond State Romance Authors

Is a Cover More Than Eye Candy? ~ Brinda Berry

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.

Design by Kim Killion, Hot Damn Designs

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.

Folks I haven’t worked with yet, but I love their portfolios:

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.