Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Book by its Cover

In the past month, I have been paying close attention to book covers. Self-Published covers, Indie covers, traditional covers, covers of fantasy, covers of romance, covers of dystopian societies, and all of the rest. I am learning a lesson that I thought I knew...but now I guess it makes even more sense.

I have been YA book shopping with my wife at least 1,000 times in the past 11 years. No, I am not exaggerating! When there is a new author or a new book that she "might" be interested in, the first thing she pays close attention to is the front cover. She even makes comments and judgement of re-prints with new covers. I think the Outsiders has had like 400 different covers. Some covers get better with the re-preints, some get pretty bad. Of course, when there is a book made into a movie...the cover has to reflect the movie and the stars that we will see in the movie. Not sure why...all I ever hear is that the movie ruins the book for people who really loved the book!

As my first book is rounding the corner to get published, I am getting concerned about the cover. I know...get the stupid thing to the publisher before you worry about such a thing. Stop putting the cart before the horse. I know!!! But the cover really does sell the book. Or repels people from the book like a big jug of DEET. Why is this on my mind? I have recently noticed some pretty great covers on newly published books. I have also seen many "cheesy" covers that make me think of the pile of books in the old lodge by a cabin I stayed in when I was a kid. The only time anyone ever went there was on rainy days. I always thought these books were from the 1950s and they were there so the place can say they had a library. They were the covers that my grandmother used to buy at garage sales on books 100 for $1.

So, my thought is that I have a cover in my mind that is the only possible cover for my story. My only hope at this point is that the publisher helps me to find something way better. I know they know what they are doing. I thought I trusted myself on such a "little" detail. Sorry Mark, not anymore!

Peace. Mark

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I thought they would know what they were doing too when I published my book. At the time, I knew nothing so I was way too trusting. Then again, that was AuthorHouse. I kinda liked what they came up with but it didn't have much to do with the contents of my story. They told me they couldn't come up with anything better. I should have insisted but what did I know. I certainly hope you have much better luck. When a publisher makes money off the sales of your book, they are much more concerned with whether it actually sells. One day my book will have a new cover too.