The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Book's Cover

        Tomorrow, Catherine Rankovic, a local poet and writing teacher, is speaking to the St. Louis Writer's Guild about book covers. From what I hear, participants will hear about font and color (along with graphics) that will catch the eyes of readers.

        After all:  we're all 'bout the cover, 'bout the cover, 'bout the cover, don't deny it. 

        I know there have been a few instances where I've been drawn to a book because the same painter designed the cover of that book and one of my favorite books. A small wave of disappointment would wash over me because I hadn't discovered a new book by a favorite author--I had only stumbled upon another cover created by a familiar artist. 

       Covers do matter. I admit,  I've been manipulated and sometimes I've been repelled by a cover. Lots of thought and choices are involved in the creation of a book cover.

        A few writers I know have recently come out with new books (or are just about to). One has blogged about how well the cover artist worked with her, and they came up with a winner. The cover of Lisa Ricard Claro's just-about-to-debut Love Built to Last looks like it was painted by Thomas Kinkade--at least Thomas Kinkade with a bit more personality and warmth. The cover is so gorgeous, it's compelled me to read my first romance novel. (Okay, that's a big fat lie. I'm eagerly awaiting the book because the writer--Lisa Ricard Claro--is so talented, but the artwork that adorns the cover is quite alluring.)




       Another talented (and extremely prolific) writer is Sean McLachlan. Not too long ago, he posted a few prospective covers he was considering for his most recent The River of Desperation, a Civil War horror novel. Asking for input from his followers helped him make his final decision. He did the same with his book Radio Hope...





       Margo Dill is a local writer and editor and writing teacher (Is there anything Margo can't do? I haven't found it yet.) She has three books out (maybe more... maybe I've missed some) for three different age groups with three distinctly different covers. I use her Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies in my third grade class. Her novel Finding My Place is historical fiction. Caught Between Two Curses is for older readers, and the cover shows it. I imagine Margo spent a lot of time considering and reconsidering when it came to her book covers.





       If you're miles and miles away from choosing a cover (because you're not even finished with the second draft of your manuscript), you just daydream about it. If you're just about finished with editing/revising your book, you might be in the preliminary stages when it comes to the cover. Or if you're like me, you sometimes judge people like they're books--by their exterior (outside), and then you have to reassess and realize you were completely and totally wrong...

        How about you? What would be emblazoned across your book cover if you had one? Or, can you tell about one instance where you made a snap-judgement about someone, and you were wrong? Envious minds (I've got book envy) want to know...

17 comments:

  1. A cover does matter. I recently bought the Willa Cather cookbook and I think that lovely floral tea cup on a lace doily sold it!

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    Replies
    1. Claudia--I, too, have occasionally been sold on a book by its cover.

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  2. Replies
    1. Michael--Are you sure you're on the correct edge? ;)

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    2. It's still the Edge. I could write a book about it.

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  3. When I was a kid, I LOVED this book. The cover jumped out at me from the middle school library shelf.

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/c1/bf/56/c1bf5630bca7658ef0ae39f9a5faccf9.jpg

    In modern times, I am partial to the cover of Jenny Lawson's "Let's Pretend This Never Happened."

    http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361283827l/12868761.jpg

    If I had a book cover, it would probably be something like the picture here (and I don't mean the cat):

    http://unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com/2013/05/heres-your-chance-to-get-in-on-ground.html

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    1. Val--I was really into horses when I was a kid, and loved Mary O'Hara's books.

      As far as YOUR proposed book cover, as is often the case, you are attempting to torment me with a creepy goat. In fact, not only is this goat flaunting its creepy pupils, but it has some sort of contraption affixed to its horns. Double-creepy with a dollop of weird...

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  4. I can't think of a single favorite cover--I suppose I only notice 'em when they're not so good! :-)

    I don't know, though, (unless you're self-published) if you have a lot of input into cover design. That's the Art Director's job, and if you're lucky, like Lisa, you get a swell one!

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    Replies
    1. Cathy--I live in a fantasy world where the writer gets James Patterson's level of money and pampering, where they get total control over the cover, where they finish every manuscript they begin in a timely manner.

      See, I told you it was pure fantasy...

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  5. Thanks for the informative post, Sioux. Catherine's talk sounds great, and I agree -- covers do matter. I've "met" Catherine on Facebook, and she seems very kind. Lisa is a dream, and you're right: her beautiful cover does look like something right out of Thomas Kinkade. The cover for The River of Desperation draws me right in, and Margo's cover is spunky and fun. They both look like wonderful reads!

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  6. Theresa--You're welcome. I'll be posting about Catherine Rankovic's talk on Monday. Lisa DOES seem to be a dream, and I can speak about Sean's "Radio Hope" novels--they're quite compelling. As far as Margo's cover, it seems like it's just like she is--spunky and fun.

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  7. I'm convinced that part of the success of the Twilight series had to do with the original covers. When I went out and bought a book for my then-middle schooler, the cover was symbolically suggestive enough that I remember saying to her, "Wow - looks sexy!" She was horrified. So book covers definitely matter. I've found that people, though, are much too complex to judge by their covers, and I've learned not to trust my first impressions.

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  8. Tammy--At least your daughter was horrified by the sexy cover. I, too, don't trust the first impressions I form.

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  9. I can't believe I actually missed this post! I ALWAYS try to get over here, even when Blogger forgets to send me a reminder that you've posted. Thank you so, so much for featuring my book cover---and for saying such nice things. I'm humbled, and also proud to be in good company. Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. Lisa--I posted a day later than I usually do--I had a horrible cold.

      You're more than welcome. It was only true stuff.

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    2. Lisa--I posted a day later than I usually do--I had a horrible cold.

      You're more than welcome. It was only true stuff.

      Delete

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