Any savvy writer will tell you that the first thing a reader notices about a book is the front cover. Maybe you can’t or should not judge a book by its cover, but it sure helps to have an attractive one that draws the eye of the reader. For new fiction authors, cover art can make or break the book. What kind of front cover grabs the reader’s attention? What kind of cover art should a book display?
Probably the first and most basic question to ask: is the book going to be sold on the shelf of a bookstore or is it going to be available only online? Is the novel going to be a hardcover, trade, paperback or e-book? Yes, it really does make a difference!
Let’s examine e-books. Online the cover is small, so you don’t want anything too fussy or busy. The old saying “less is more” works best for a book cover that sells online. A short title with a large, easily readable font and bright contrasting colors shows up best on the computer screen. You want to avoid covers that are complicated and hard to read. Plain, simple graphics are best. Here’s the e-book cover L&L Dreamspell provided for: THE INFERNO COLLECTION, my first Kim Reynolds romantic mystery in the librarian sleuth series:http://www.lldreamspell.com/JacquelineSeewald.htm
With hardcover fiction books, the cover also needs to fit the genre, be attractive, while the title still needs to be easy to read. Here is the original cover art for the Five Star/Gale hardcover and subsequent Wheeler large print edition of the same novel:
The artist and I worked together to create an appropriate cover for the novel which has romantic and paranormal elements as well as being a mystery thriller. The cover art fits the plot of the novel. Five Star/Gale respects input from its authors which is a plus. Mystery or thriller novels are often dark and boding in appearance, appropriate to that genre. Readers expect it.
There is usually a “money” quote on the cover of hardcover books, either on the front or back. This can be a blurb provided by a well-known author or a partial review from a respected publication. It should always offer praise for the writer’s work. Sara Paretsky provided the money quote for my first Five Star novel: “An unusual setting—the esoteric banned manuscripts of a library—and an unusual heroine with a horrific secret set The Inferno Collection apart from other romantic suspense novels. With some powerful imagery in her disturbed and disturbing dreams, Kim Reynolds makes a thought-provoking heroine. I hope Jacqueline Seewald will explore her life in more depth in the future.” This appeared on the back cover along with other blurbs:
“Irresistibly spellbinding. Captivating from the start, The Inferno Collection, compels with tension and brims with edginess. A thrilling read for suspense lovers!” Iris Green, The Chick Lit Review
From Booklist: “… Interesting characters abound…Seewald’s take on the dark side of academia will make readers glad their course work is finished.”
The most recent cover for THE INFERNO COLLECTION was developed by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery which published the novel as a reprint
April 1, 2013.
I had no input into the cover art for this edition.
Paperbacks need simplicity just as e-book covers do. The artwork should support the title and the genre. Here’s the cover art for the new paperback version of THE INFERNO COLLECTION:
What are your feelings regarding cover art? What draws or attracts you to a novel? What do you dislike or prefer not to see?
To celebrate the Harlequin Worldwide Mystery edition of THE INFERNO COLLECTION, I am offering a paperback copy to a commentator. Leave an e-mail or web address if interested. Winner will be drawn at random and contacted within the week.