I love cover art. It's like a sort of porn for author’s eyes, but every now and then I see something that makes me cringe. You know what I mean, those poorly made, on the cheap, homemade covers. They look like something that the cat spat out last night.
There's nothing nicer than a cover that screams at you exactly what the story is. a thriller in dark tones with shadows that hint at sinister endings.
A romance featuring a windswept bluff, a sail in the background and a glass of wine slung across a dozen roses.
Close your eyes for a moment and consider how much can be conjured up when a picture says a thousand words.
Take a look at these:
Aren't they a feast for the sense? You can tell exactly what they are.
People can argue that the cover is indicative of the worst excesses of the 80's publishing world, but it's lush and leaves you in no doubt that there's a girl in trouble and saved by a strong handsome man...
(Okay, so it's not Fabio, but still...)
I love this cover because it screams at me "I'm a steampunk title!" The clarity of the cover, and even the sepia tones work deliciously and draw my attention.
It's crisp and clean and draws my eye.
Now, these books are beautifully designed. They are sympathetic to the titles being sold based on the covers. I'd love to work with those designers (mind you, I has some pretty amazing ones already!)
Sometimes, though, even a designer gets it wrong. Just look at this one. (Yes it's one of my titles! Needless to say I went, "hell no!")
Sometimes though, there's no cover artist making the mistakes. Every now and again you come across covers created by authors who do the, "I know better than any designer how to create a cover." Now, sometimes they do. I have several friends who are cover artists and I actually have several covers designed by them. Having said that, they are professional cover artists! Doing it yourself, unless you really know what you're doing just comes off looking awful. Like those below.
I wouldn't normally flash up something like this, but it's a timely reminder that EVERYTHING we put into the book must be professional, otherwise how can anyone take us seriously as authors?
Now, lets look at these objectively. Do they make you want to pick them up? I'm betting your answer is no.
Do you get the feeling that any kind of rigorous editing or checking has taken place? Well, if the cover is anything to go by, it's likely they haven't. See, we make assumptions based on what we see. This doesn't doe it for me... Does is do it for you?
Oh and here's the replacement cover for my book :)