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What Story Does Your Book Cover Tell?

I’ve been really blessed lately with some amazing covers. Sure I’ve had to request changes, a few tweaks here and there, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t. Overall, they have been powerful, eye-catching, and they give the reader an instant impression of what the book is about. Exactly what every author wants her cover to do.

A cover is more than just pretty wrapping paper for the story inside, a good cover should give the reader an instant impression of what that story is. The genre should be distinctive as should the time period. We should also get a glimpse into the story. Like a good mystery, there should be clues to the story, the setting, the atmosphere the author has created or the tone. Not everything can be conveyed in one cover, but at least some of it should be.

If you can only get one thing from a cover though you should get a feeling. You should want to settle in to the warmth and friendship the book will provide (women’s fiction) or feel a sense of urgency and darkness (thriller) or see the love and romance.

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2 comments

  1. You guys have some of the most beautiful and evocative covers I’ve seen. To be honest, I think the best covers ever, in my opinion. While there are publishers whose covers I like, there are also some big names whose covers wouldn’t really entice me to buy the books – I understand it’s a brand thing, but still. There are some small publishers whose covers rock. And then there’s the other side of the coin … 🙂

  2. It’s interesting how much covers can influence purchases. I watch my two Barbarians in a bookstore and they will reject a book instantly from cover alone. I’ve given them books that have sat unread on their shelves for months because of the cover and had to force them to start reading – the irony is that some of those books are now their favourites.

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