Book Covers: What does a cover say about a book? What defines good/bad covers? Should the author name or the title be the main catch (larger print) for the eye on the cover? Do you name an editor on your cover?
How can "tacky" covers impact an author and future sales of the book? Or of other books by the same author?
Just how important do you believe the cover is to your work?
To me, as a reader, writer and publisher, it's the beginning. A cover can be a bigger deciding factor to potential readers then you may think.
As both an author and a publisher I may have a perception about covers that is not always shared. The age-old expression "you can't judge a book by its cover" should be considered so very wrong in my personal opinion. I feel your cover is the first thing readers see before anything and as such will be the initiating factor, on many occasions, as to whether or not they take a second look.
A book cover SHOULD reflect what is inside those pages.
As an avid reader I will pass by a book if I find the cover unattractive, even if it's by a well known author. It could very well be that author's best work yet, but honestly most readers won't know about it because they won't be bothered to find out.
In my opinion a cover is the “gateway” to the contents. A good cover will catch my interest. It will lead me to read the blurb or book jacket information and then, if I like what I see, perhaps I'll sift through the first page or two in order to decide if it's still looking good to me.
Now, that said, a cover can be quite deceptive to a book's contents, which is where the above quote comes in again. You can have an absolutely perfect, attractive cover but yet the writing itself isn't all it should be. What is inside is not at all what I'd expected when the cover piqued my interest.
I believe covers should be attractive yes, but I also believe they need to effectively convey what's inside the book as well. A great cover with a ménage theme on the front of a book that is a straight, two-person, male/female story, with a one-shot occasion of a friend popping by for coffee but who is not part of the sexual scenes within does not a ménage book make. It's deceptive.
Could you imagine spending your hard earned money on a book where you have a nice romantic cover of Jimmy Thomas in a tastefully posed scene with a beautiful African American, only to get into the second chapter to find out it's a book about BDSM with emphasis on the SM? Not something I'd be pleased about.
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my BDSM books, but not when I purchased what I expected to be a sweet and sensual romance.
Or what about a book that although has a wonderful, detailed cover, the pages within are riddled with errors or such drivel that you couldn't imagine what might be on the next page. In fact, you dare not even turn the page for fear of what you'll find. That is the end of a read for this lady. I love my books for sure, but geez, they do have to be well written and punctuated properly.
It kind of leaves a reader wondering just what in the heck the place selling it is truly drinking! Yes, I said and meant drinking.
Your books are the windows to your success. Editors, designers, publishers are not perfect and I won't pretend that even the biggest authors/publishing houses have not had an occasional error inside their books. It does happen.
However, as a writer you can attempt to make sure your book is the best it can be before it gets to these people, and it will certainly help, but what about self-published authors?
A self-published author really can't blame anyone but themselves if their work is not up to par can they? Nope, unfortunately not.
My advice, either make damn sure you hire competent proof readers, editors & designers to compliment your work (assuming English is not your second language and a barrier here)
Publish your book with a reputable publisher who will likely ensure your book is sold with a content reflective cover, the best editing possible and nothing but the interest of the reader in mind when it comes to that specific book.
Don't you think that it would be better for you as an author, for your readers, for those desired sales, if everyone could count on being able to judge your book by its cover?
I am always a work in progress... We never stop learning to master our craft.
Some of my favorite personal quotes..
"Everything I do, everything I am, all that I breathe is 18+ and will contain sexually suggestive material. ~ Gina Kincade 2011
"If you never have any expectations of other people then you will never be disappointed. When a positive experience occurs it is always a reason to rejoice." ~Gina Kincade, 2009
"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow." ~Julia Cameron
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Can You Judge Your Book By Its Cover?
USA Today Bestselling Author Gina Kincade spends her days tapping away at a keyboard, through blood, sweat, and often many tears, crafting steamy paranormal romances filled with shifters and vampires, along with witchy urban fantasy tales in magical worlds she hopes her readers yearn to crawl into. A busy mom of three, she loves healthy home cooking, gardening, warm beaches, fast cars, and horseback riding. Ms. Kincade's life is full, time is never on her side, and she wouldn't change a moment of it!
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