Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Judging a book by its Cover

Lately the women of All Over Ink have been discussing book covers – stock photos, cover artists, design, fonts, color… you name it! We’ve been going back and forth, asking each other’s advice, throwing around different ideas. I always thought it would be a lot of excitement and fun choosing a cover design. But as I’ve discovered, making a decision is extremely anxiety inducing! Because people do judge a book by its cover!

Book covers have one chance to create a great impression. We want them to attract the eye, but more than that, we hope they’ll give readers some clues about what’s inside the book and establish our genre or category of the story.  We look at designs that can evoke the mood of our stories, whether that’s striking or brooding or dreamy. And we want our covers to give some portrayal of what the story is about.

We’ve all worried about whether our titles and sub-titles are exciting enough, and ‘blurb’ has become a dirty word! Creating a fabulous blurb has taken on a holy grail-like nature. Then there’s whether the font works. Some books have fonts so light they’re difficult to read on my kindle, which has created some kind of font paranoia for me.

Cover models are a favourite topic! It’s almost impossible to find the guy or girl who exactly fits our characters! Then we worry about whether our cover models have been overused and whether we need to book a custom photo shoot so we have unique images.

We’re attracted and affected differently by individual covers, but one thing we agree on, is that a badly designed cover is unfortunately like a red light. It’s difficult to avoid the cover affecting our perception of the book, even though logically we know that's unfair.

For authors about to self-publish, it’s frightening to realize there are a multitude of websites devoted to pointing out unattractive book covers. We don’t want our books to end up on one of those sites, nor to look out of place, shabby or amateurish next to the other books in our genre. So we continue to discuss and fret over our models and design ideas. And as I’m discovering along this journey to self-publishing, there is always the next thing to lose sleep over!

In our searches the past months, we have found so many talented designers out there! Their skill and professionalism is amazing. A special mention must go to Anna’s terrific cover designer of her first book. Kari, of Cover to Cover Designs did a truly awesome job with Make Me Forget!

So, after having spent so many months writing, editing and painstakingly revising our work, we are now almost ready to invest in nice covers and hope our covers will be something we're proud of!

Wish us luck!


Post a comment