by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
When we are choosing our next novel to purchase, how much of our decision is influenced by the cover? For me, covers certainly play a part in first attracting me to pick up one book over another. However, I like to read the back cover copy and perhaps sample a bit of the contents before I plunk down my cash and carry the book home.
Honestly, covers can be deceiving. Sometimes a dull cover can conceal a sparkling gem of a read, and a splashy cover can make a promise of quality that the contents don’t deliver.
How about you? What influence do covers have in your book purchases? I’d love to hear your responses in the comment section below.
Publishers, in collaboration with authors, spend considerable time and effort in conceptualizing and designing book covers. You might be surprised to know that writers who are published through traditional publishing houses (i.e. not self-published) have varying degrees of input on their book covers.
Having worked with several different publishers, I’ve experienced a whole gamut of opportunity to influence the composition of my covers. With one publisher I was given no input. Happily, I was contented with what the design team produced.
With a publisher of a series, I was presented with several different lay-outs and allowed to indicate my preference. Usually they went with what I preferred. In one instance, I noted an error out of keeping with the story line. The cover contained an on-coming car, but in the book the hero and heroine are chased by a semi. The publisher made the change on the cover accordingly. Whew!
Another publisher lets authors provide cover ideas up front, including photo samples, but no input thereafter. I have to wait to be surprised by the outcome when they email me the finished design for my personal promotional activities within a few months of release date.
For the most part, I’ve been happy with the covers. Only once did I feel that the cover didn’t measure up. Maybe it was a personal perception issue, but I had a hard time deciphering what a critical item was supposed to be, which I felt created a vague and confusing presentation.
Thankfully, I’ve felt that the covers of my last two books have been quite sharp. For Betrayal on the Border, the design team took me up on one of my suggestions and placed a slithering rattle snake in a desert background-sinister and very evocative of the book’s contents.
For my current release, Frame Up, I let out a whoop when I saw the cover. Genius! (as my younger daughter would exclaim) I’ve attached the cover to this blog so you can see what I mean. Doesn’t the A-frame cabin clearly echo the title? And the snowbound, mountainous surroundings nail the setting and suggest danger?
Let me in on your book cover thoughts in the comments section, dear readers. Do you judge a book by its cover?
Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read-tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Visit Jill on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com or look her up on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author. Her most recent release is Frame Up from Love Inspired Romantic Suspense.