Monday, March 19, 2012

What's Up With The Cover?

You know the old saying, "don't judge a book by it's cover," well, I do.

For me, when I write a book, I have a very vivid picture of how I want my readers to see my novel. It's in the art of the written words that create the images. Of course, you begin to develop what you'd like your cover to look like.

I don’t know about you, but when I am browsing bookstore aisles or, and a cover catches my eye, I grab it. I read the book blurb on the back and then I check out the author bio. I admit the cover does sale me a book.

Humans are visual creatures.

Recently on NPR (National Public Radio), they were talking about the appearance of the author and how some author’s books sale because THEY are marketable, not the writing, but their author photo. I am not sure if I believe this to be true. -DON’T LET THIS BE TRUE- I WILL NEED A GOOD AIRBRUSH ARTIST!

I have to admit that when I was with my small publisher, I was worried sick about the cover art. Luckily, the publisher sent me a front cover sheet where I filled out the elements of my story and let me express my opinion on what the cover should look like. I found that to be reassuring that they cared how the author portrayed her work.

When I began to self publish, I wanted my cover to be as close as a traditionally published book. It's very important as a self-published author to really do your research when looking for a cover artists.

1) Check out other self published novels, in your genre, that you really like. Send the author an email asking who did their cover design. Be sure to contact several cover artist and check out their prices and time frame. Be sure to let them know if you want a print book too. Those are much different to design than just a PDF for an ebook.
Book covers can cost between $80-$600. Anything beyond that, I would highly recommend you think about.

When I self published a couple of my short stories, I decided to try my hand at designing and creating my own covers.

I found this heart on for less than $2 and used photo shop to overlay the words. If I can make a book cover, you can too!

2) Check out traditionally published novels, in your genre, and make a list of what you do and don't like on the covers that you see. For me, I wanted a cover that went along with traditional covers. It was very important for me to have a blurb from another author on the front cover. I didn't ask any old author, I asked a very popular traditional author who has Lifetime movies, and she accepted!

Now that I'm also going to publish traditionally, and still continue to self publishing, I'm excited to see what the publisher's cover artist will come up with.

Is it true that a good book cover makes a good book even better?
Check out my Laura Morrigan Designs who does my covers!


  1. The cover will catch my eye and make me pause long enough to check out the story. Of course, it's the story that sells me.

    As far as covers go, I absolutely think they should be well done and in line with what traditional publishers put out with books of the same genre. I say traditional because they usually have some fabulous artists.

    Darn it, I hate these word verifications. Half the time I can't read them.


  2. It seems to be the thing to not judge a book by a cover but as you said, we're visual creatures. It's in our instinct, we're naturally drawn to things we're attracted to.

    As for the author photo selling the book? I've never, ever come across an author photo that sold me the story. What a bizarre thought!

  3. The cover really makes that first impression! If I see an appealing cover, I'm eager to grab the book and read the blurb!

    I don't buy into the what the author looks like will sell the book--just let him or her be able to tell a good story.

    However, long, long ago when John Grisham first hit the scene (I was a librarian back then), all of the librarians I worked with (including me--who was single at the time) thought he was a hottie;). Oh, and we liked his books too!

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