Friday 5 August 2011

A Cover Story...

Lately I’ve been thinking about the value of good cover design. As an indie author with my second e-book due out at the end of the year, I’m already starting to imagine how the cover might look. One of the joys of being independently published is that I get to design and choose a book cover myself.  The only problem is that it’s really hard to come up with something that says ‘sassy, sexy but broken, media-stalked celebrity chef goes awol’ using a single image whether that is with a slick photograph or snappy illustration!

With Bagpipes & Bullshot I designed the cover myself after purchasing a stock image and I think it works really well. I’ve actually been complimented on this cover several times on Twitter! However, bringing out a second title has brought up a whole new issue and that is how to make it instantly clear to readers that this new book is written by the same author i.e. me.

I checked out the Amazon listings and some authors stand out from the crowd as having branded themselves and their books really well. It seems to me that Fantasy and Thriller genre writers are particularly good at this. Just look at these fabulous covers on George R R Martin’s books:

In the Chick Lit genre, I think there’s no better example than Talli Roland’s book covers. Interestingly, Talli’s publisher redesigned the first cover of The Hating Game when they noted sales falling back a little just after publication and then watched sales soar again with this fresh new colourfully illustrated design. Cleverly, they have followed it up with a strikingly similar cover for Talli’s new book Watching Willow Watts which is due out in September as an e-book.

My next book ‘Reaching for the Stars’ is about a disillusioned celebrity chef. The genre is contemporary romantic fiction. Bagpipes & Bullshot is in that category too - but as neither my sexy chef nor my gorgeous bagpipe playing hero would be seen dead wearing pink - what’s this author to do? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m having the job done by a professional and, having discussed ideas, have now contracted out both books to an experienced cover designer. It’s all very exciting. So do come back soon when I promise all will be revealed!

In the meantime, what do you like to see on a book cover? An illustration, a photograph, a headless woman/man, landscapes, seascapes, houses, trees, shoes and handbags, the list of options is endless - and what about colours - what’s in and what’s out? Please do leave a comment and feel free to follow my blog. In most cases I’m almost always going to follow you back.