Thursday, 4 February 2010

Judging books?

NEAR EDGWARE - front cover? Well, maybe.
Dad parked in front of the white stone entrance. Even here I could see things had changed. On the new school crest a beast with sharp teeth and raised claws stood on two legs, it glared down at the visitors to school.

There are a few technically incorrect details with the image I picked for the front cover of my book but I couldn't get an picture of an heraldic wolf looking over his shoulder this way. The school shield is missing too. Blast! I'm glad publishers employ designers, they earn their weight in gold. I'd be happy to part with a little of mine - once I have any. : )

When I was catching up with Blog reading - I've been too ill, coughing, to keep awake long enough to read - ah, poor me! Now I can't find where I read about front covers!! But I've thought of nothing else since!!! I'll stop with the incremental exclamation marks now - sorry.

In the days before writing, when I was unhampered by the "quota of books in your chosen genre that must be read" dictate, I would forage through libraries and book shops in search of something to read.

I dreaded finding a "new" author because I knew I'd read everything they'd written - addictively - but I loved it too.

I would wander, wide-eyed, amongst the bright, the shiny and the shocking images - scanning for the cover that called to me loudest.

Sometimes it was the author's name, occasionally it would be clever word-play in the title but mostly it was the image.

The large, simple, interesting image that suggested rather than stated what lay within the pages dragged me into the author's web.


  1. Yes!! We do judge books by their covers all the time. I have a hard time picking up an ugly book - even if I like the writer!

  2. We shouldn't, but we do judge by a cover. I hope Near Edgware's cover is fabulous when it hits bookshelves. :)

  3. La Roux, nice recommendation just downloaded a few tunes. Thanks!

  4. It's an interesting cover; but I don't see a were wolf there. Sort of furry-lion-mini dragon.

    So, Ok, call me insensitive. But I get it about a cover. It does sell a book. And finding just the right image can be very hard; if it's out there to be viewed on the net it's probably domain taken.

    Here's a suggestion that's probably too out there: Tattoo artist. No way, you say! But hear me out. Tattoo artists pride themselves on being able to ink any idea you come up with. They have thousands of tatt samples, from average to uniquely designed by the customer themselves. If they drew it on skin, they reserve the right to display/reproduce it no matter how original.

    Just think: your book advertised on thousands of nude backs, chests, and calves. Well, I'd like it.

    So talk to one or a few. Tell them you are a writer, trying to come up with a book cover that will catch the eye of anyone browsing the store. I think you'd have several excited about your concept. They're used to the "I saw this on some dude's back and I'll die if I don't get it too" type word of mouth commissions. And if you give them credit for the art and they make some sales off it - once your published - both parties would be happy.

    You would have your original art, exactly as you've pictured it, and they'd have potential sales. Win-win.

    Another suggestion is to hire a graphic artist. Their stuff is always original, and they understand about getting paid if/when the novel sells.

    It's good you are already thinking about cover art. I've thought about it myself, but haven't come up with anything because my novel is contemporary. Blah, blah, blah, everything has been done. But fantasy/sci-fi; there's always room for creativity.