Judging Books By Covers
Would you choose a book wrapped in brown paper with just a few general words of guidance written on the front? Out of choice, I know I wouldn't. For me, the cover of a book plays a very important part in persuading me to read a novel. I usually like to make up my own mind about what characters look like in detail when I'm reading but the mood of a story can be suggested by colours and the atmosphere suggested in an image.
Here is a photo of my main character in the novel I've sent to NWS for a critique. I googled 'beautiful Sicilian girl' and this image is the one I think most closely matches how I picture her. The hair, eyes and face are all as I see my eighteen year old heroine looking as she travels to Sicily in search of her Italian father. This is for my eyes only; I wouldn't want to influence anyone else with this image as another reader will see a different girl's face in his or her mind's eye.
Black and white images create different effects. When my ghost story 'The Journey Home' appeared on Alfie Dog Fiction, I'd changed the accompanying photograph from colour to monochrome to create a more spooky feel.
On the other hand, 'Meet Me By The Jacaranda Tree', a short story set on the beautiful island of Madeira, needed vibrant colour.
If you would like to read these and my other short stories please click HERE
I'm always very excited when cover reveals are shared prior to publication. One of the most striking covers that suggests the very essence of the book is the one for 'Ghostbird' by Carol Lovekin. I interviewed Carol as part of her blog tour back in March. See Carol's interview HERE . That cover would certainly have persuaded me to pick up the book and buy it and the story was everything that the cover promised.
Recently, Juliet Greenwood revealed hers for her forthcoming book, 'The White Camellia' due to be published by Honno in September. Having enjoyed Juliet's previous two novels, I'm looking forward to reading this story set in 1909. There's something fascinating about the image. Although the young woman's face is clearly visible, it's the emotions and thoughts behind the image that I want to find out more about by reading the book. I wonder if she's feeling sad and why. Who is she thinking about?
On Susanna Bavin's blog this week, author Linda Huber shares her personal writing rules. One was to 'Find a Great Cover Designer'. Linda switched to self-publishing and makes the point: It's so hard to get noticed amongst the millions of books out there, and it doesn't help if your book cover disappears in the middle of the others. I found fabulous covers for my first two self-published books and as they were pre-made, they didn't cost the earth.
I love the depth and range of the blues in this cover and already I'm wondering about how a butterfly figures in the story. Perhaps it's symbolic in some way.
Whilst browsing Facebook on Thursday, I noticed author Rosie Thomas was offering a signed copy of her novel 'Daughter of the House' to each of the first five people to send their addresses to her. I wasted no time and I was one of them! It arrived in the post the next day. :-) The book was published on May 19th by Harper Collins UK as a paperback. I'm never early for anything so I can't believe that for once I was on the ball! As a big fan of Rosie's writing, I can't wait to start reading it. And it has an amazing cover, don't you think?
How important do you think book cover designs are? Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks. :-)
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