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


stephhale said...

I LOVE the new cover, Heather! Congrats!!!

Jess Day said...

I love all of TLC's covers. Esp. the Medusa Girls one. Usually her covers are all bright and happy but the new one....very dark...I love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I LOVE it! I really like the color combination. It pops out, yet the colors and kinda calming. :D


TinaFerraro said...

Wonderful cover, Heather! And I have to say that Tera's new cover is a real stand-out, too!

Heather Davis said...

Yes! We've been so lucky with covers on the Buzz Girl Blog! It's amazing what a good cover can do.

Erica said...

Definitely the image and the color combination are the big ones for me.

Congrats on your cover! It is absolutely gorgeous!! I cant wait for Wherever You Go! :)

Karen (: said...

The colour combination! I always see if it is bright and colourful or if the colours are muted or if they work well together. It's just the first thing I notice. And if it's predominantly blue, that won't hurt either since it's my favourite colour.