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Author Resource Round Table > The importance of a good book cover

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message 1: by Judith (last edited May 31, 2017 08:12AM) (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments THE END...or not.
As a cover artist I would like to write about an issue that for some people is of secondary importance.
I’m talking about Book Covers.
A literary work is a long process of hard work, because find the fountain of inspiration is not an easy task .
Each writer has a personal and unique way to find it.
An inner exercise that slowly grows and leads the story trough an unexpected discovery.
When the author type the words “The end”, do you think that is this really the end?
I’m afraid not.
The beginning and the end of a literary work is its cover.
The cover has to talk with no words, has to convince with no words, has to make feel with no words, has to be the “soul” of its writer.
A cover artist is in charge of showing in images what writer created with words.
Writer and Cover Artist are one.
It is a pity, that in some occasions, all the effort of a good writer, doesn't receive a well-deserved acknowledgement due to an inappropriate cover.
The End… or not... what do you think?

Judith San Nicolás
JudithS Design & Creativity
http://www.judithsdesign.com/
https://www.facebook.com/judithsdesign/


message 2: by J.M. (new)

J.M. Garlock | 41 comments I agree. I read somewhere that perusing, potential customers on Amazon spend on average 2 seconds looking at a cover. If the cover gets their attention they'll perhaps read the Product Description & Look Inside. Good covers that convey what the book is about are essential.
J.M. Garlock
The Centurion Chronicles


message 3: by Vicky (new)

Vicky | 33 comments I agree, covers are important. But finding the right designer at an affordable price is difficult and risky. My editor and I usually come up with a cover design between us. On the occasions when I've sought 'expert' advice from a designer, they both 'conveyed' the wrong message. I think that was because the designers had a style that fitted a certain genre or location and if the author's genre is different, these designers struggle to know anything outside of that field. I was sent two mock-ups that were a straight lift from stock photo images that had nothing whatsoever to do with my location.


message 4: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Vicky wrote: "I agree, covers are important. But finding the right designer at an affordable price is difficult and risky. My editor and I usually come up with a cover design between us. On the occasions when I'..."
I'm glad to have been able to open this discussion, as a cover artist it's very interesting for me to know all your thoughts opinons and experiences with cover artists.
I think tha a cover artist shoudl have an open mind, be versatile and very creative, because each story, each writer and each genre has different needs and styles.
The secret of success, is to be loyal with the story and at the same time, have the ability to put oneself in the place of the potential client.


message 5: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments J.M. wrote: "I agree. I read somewhere that perusing, potential customers on Amazon spend on average 2 seconds looking at a cover. If the cover gets their attention they'll perhaps read the Product Description ..."
"Convey", that's the key. A cover with just a beautiful picture conveys nothing. A good cover is much more than this.
This quote from Leonardo da Vinci expresses very well the idea:
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”


message 6: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 145 comments The beginning is the author's story, the middle is the cover and blurb, and it ends with a whole heep of marketing.
Actually, it never ends.

But yes, the cover is important.
I've come across some people who don't really look at covers. But I'm sure most do.
If the cover is bad then I'd see it as a reflection of the book's contents.
It has to convey the story, make it intriguing, and make potential readers want to click to see more. And all within the time it takes to scroll down the page.

I'm lucky; I have a great cover designer. Worth her weight in gold <3


message 7: by Aidana (new)

Aidana WillowRaven (aidanawillowraven) | 58 comments As a cover artist (not just a designer) I find it important to work with the author and/or publisher on scene development before ever getting started.


message 8: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments T.L. wrote: "The beginning is the author's story, the middle is the cover and blurb, and it ends with a whole heep of marketing.
Actually, it never ends.

But yes, the cover is important.
I've come across som..."

I'm fully agree with you.


message 9: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Aidana wrote: "As a cover artist (not just a designer) I find it important to work with the author and/or publisher on scene development before ever getting started."
Work in team is the only way to do a good job, unfortunately there are some people that all they know to do is "cut and paste" images and they aren't true professional designers.
The best way to find a good professional is to look carefully the portfolio of the designer, and ask how this professional works.


message 10: by Grace (last edited Jun 01, 2017 10:37AM) (new)

Grace Blair (grace_mystic) | 23 comments Do You Have a Dream Workbook 5 Keys to Realize Your Dream by Grace Allison
A professionally designed book cover is eye candy. Readers like covers that draw them in. When you have a professional design a cover it means you as an author are taking your work serious. Writing is hard work, The best way to sell your new baby is to have the best clothes on it. Think of creating a designer interior and putting jewelry on it from Walmart. Do not skimp on the quality you are selling.
Imagine you are buying a new home. Your driving the neighborhood and see a low cost house with dried up flowers and dead grass. Will you stop to take a look or pass on by because if the outside looks terrible, the inside is probably worse.
Do not skimp on the real estate of your cover. It is gold, treat it as such.
I am promoting my new book, "Einstein's Compass: a Novel of What If" on Twitter. Because of the cover I have had over 36,000 people click onto the tweets in the last six months. The book will be debut late 2017. Check out my cover on my website.
www.gracethemystic.com


message 11: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Grace wrote: "Do You Have a Dream Workbook 5 Keys to Realize Your Dream by Grace Allison
A professionally designed book cover is eye candy. Readers like covers that draw them in. When you have a professiona..."

You have made a good description about how important is the whole process of a literary work. Cover and text are one, images and words that are part of a same story.


message 12: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Notchtree | 4 comments I got off to what I think was a false start with my book, a cover (and title) that didn't pass the train test, ie would the reader be happy being seen reading it in public.
So I changed both title and cover and that seemed to work.
The Clouds Still Hang (The Clouds Still Hang, #1-3) by Patrick C. Notchtree


message 13: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Patrick wrote: "I got off to what I think was a false start with my book, a cover (and title) that didn't pass the train test, ie would the reader be happy being seen reading it in public.
So I changed both title ..."

It's very important that the writer take an active part in the creative process of the book cover, you are proof.


message 14: by Aidana (last edited Aug 13, 2017 10:55AM) (new)

Aidana WillowRaven (aidanawillowraven) | 58 comments Although it's not typically possible for a traditionally published author to any say with the cover (that's why I like working with smaller houses ... they usually allow more author input), indie authors have no real excuse to shortchange their own books by skimping on the cover.

I also realize authors aren't typically rich, either, though. Many authors want the book out so bad they rush everything from editing to cover art and/or design; none of which should be sacrificed. If necessary, save up for the investment because that's exactly how it should be seen as ... An Investment.

Aidana WillowRaven
WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus
Book Cover Art, Illustration & Design
Website: http://WillowRaven.weebly.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillowRaven


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles | 41 comments In their judge's criteria (I'm not giving any secrets away here) two book contests ask the questions: Do the Title and Cover accurately convey an idea of what the book is about? And as a number of folks have said here, the cover either attracts or repels a reader.
I spend a lot of time considering what my cover should look like, what the title should be, what the back cover blurb should be. I think every author should. After all the blood, sweat and tears that went into the writing, don't let yourself stumble at the finish line.


message 16: by Theresa (new)

Theresa (theresa99) | 461 comments Book covers are important, especially when attracting new readers. There has been quite a few books that I've picked up because I liked the covers. The rest of the time I was drawn in by the blurb on the back or book excerpts if I went solely by the book itself.

I agree though, finding a good cover artist can be difficult, especially on a limited budget. I'm grateful I have a good artist who can work with me. Figuring out what to put on the cover can be difficult!


message 17: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 145 comments I hope you don't think I'm bookwhacking with this, but I just wanted to show you my covers. There's a running theme in them, even though they're all stand alone.

Young's Love by T.L. Clark True's Love by T.L. Clark
Rekindled Love by T.L. Clark Dark Love by T.L. Clark


message 18: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Charles wrote: "In their judge's criteria (I'm not giving any secrets away here) two book contests ask the questions: Do the Title and Cover accurately convey an idea of what the book is about? And as a number of ..."
Your are quite right, the key for a good cover is its quality and the small details what make the difference. We can't forget that a book has to be sold, and we have just few seconds to convince the potential readers.


message 19: by Judith (new)

Judith SNicolas (judithsdesign) | 14 comments Theresa wrote: "Book covers are important, especially when attracting new readers. There has been quite a few books that I've picked up because I liked the covers. The rest of the time I was drawn in by the blurb ..."
It's good to see a writer that take care about the cover, I specially like your last sentence, "Figuring out what to put on the cover can be difficult!". As a cover artist, I would like to say that, tha the best way to find the idea that can guide me to the right path consist in visualize the heart of the story and listen carefully the thoughts of the writer. These are my "tools" to create the the cover that each literary work needs.


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