What kind of cover would you like?

If you could design your own cover for your book, what would you want?   The cover creation process isn’t just about Photoshopping some stock pictures and slapping a title on there.

The author – you – have to describe what you want on a form.  For the authors out there, this should be easy, right?  Uh… No.  It seems many authors freeze up and don’t know what to say or put on their request.  Which would explain some of the wacky requests I’ve gotten over the last couple of years. 

Each cover artist is different, so keep that in mind when filling out a form.  Not everyone will respond the way you think/hope.  The hardest covers for me to design are the ones with the most detailed information possible and the most vague.  If I get a cover request that the author wants 15 different elements on there, I get so caught up in those details that I sometimes get stuck and can’t move on. 

Other cover requests are so vague.  Example:  “I trust your judgment.”  Wait… What?  What does that mean?  What. Do. You. Want?????  Since I don’t get to read a copy of the book ahead of time, I don’t know the story other than the few paragraphs or blurb on the form.  What am I supposed to do???  This is where other people might come in to help or at least throw out some ideas.  I’ve IM’d Jambrea on many occasions asking for an opinion or something to spark an idea of what direction to go.  The other ladies at IH have been called as well.  (I love you all for that, too).

I know other cover artists who prefer to have no input from the author as far as a design.  More power to them.  I am somewhere in the middle of the road.  An idea, a photo, just something to get me started is great.   And if you have changes you want to convey, some cover artists (not me, of course) get downright cranky.  You’re messing with their masterpiece.  😉 

So for all you newbie authors out there who get a cover request form, think about what you REALLY want on your cover.  And take a minute to think about what is going to sell.  Look around at current books – print too – and see what’s out there.

And if you get the cover of your dreams, thank your friendly neighborhood cover artist. 


5 Responses to “What kind of cover would you like?”

  1. Yvonne R. Says:

    I have loved these past few weeks because we’ve gotten a “behind the scenes” look from everyone. Thanks for all the info! 🙂

  2. Courtney S Says:

    As a reader, some of my fave covers feature a man’s well-developed torso or an equally well-developed butt. These covers always catch my pervy little eye, which leads me to the blurb, & then buying the book. Apparently, I’m quite easy…when it comes to book covers that is. ;P

  3. Lindsey Ekland Says:

    Some people complain about the “headless torso” but it is an arresting image and takes out the “hero’s hair/eyes/face does not match the story” problem. There are so many choices available I am not suprised that having to actually visualize what has been written would cause authors to freeze. Someone should design a cover suggestions app. Maybe not because then everything would seem generic and that is one thing that does not sell a book.

  4. Kudos to you, Valerie, for creating such incredible covers, often without much input or info! Amazing!

  5. Heather P Says:

    It is always the color scheme that grab my attention then I notice the guy. But the colors have to go together for me to buy it. You do an awesome job with all your covers.

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