Thursday, February 24, 2011
What Makes a Cover Great?
I'm so excited that I finally have the cover for my fall book for Harcourt! It's probably my favorite of my covers so far - and it got me thinking about what makes a cover great.
What is it that makes you want to pull a book off a shelf, or a display and give it a try?
We buzz girls have been pretty lucky when it comes to cover art -- from Tina's sweet prom dress illustration to Marley's fierce Ghost Huntress photographic images -- the covers have really popped out at readers on the shelf. I know because I'm looking for them in every bookstore I go to!
I think the thing that is surprising is how little pull most authors have when it comes to covers for their books. Of course, it varies by publisher, but aside from a character sketch or vague idea I've shared with my editor, the art director is usually the one who is dreaming up the image and then sharing it with sales and marketing.
Before I sold a book, I would spend time sketching out ideas for my future covers - thinking that those might be useful someday. They were useful in one way - they kept my mind thinking that someday there would be a cover on my books. A self-fulfilling prophecy, in the end.
So, let's take an informal poll -- what is it that strikes you first about a cover?
1) The main image and how it relates to subject
2) The color combination
3) The title or cover blurb
4) The author's name
Are there any covers that you've really loved lately?
Wherever You Go - November 2011 Harcourt
The Clearing - HMH/Graphia
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen