Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cover Me

By Angela Henry

Sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve been busy working, writing, and preparing for the publication of Schooled in Murder, book #4 in my Kendra Clayton series. One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of lately is studying book cover design. Let’s face it; people do judge a book by its cover. A beautiful and eye-catching cover won’t make me buy a book. But it will make me pick it up and read the cover copy. Since I’m self-publishing Schooled in Murder, it is very important to me to have an appealing and professional looking cover. And I’m happy that this time around I’m in total control over what it will look like.

Because I work in a library and am surrounded by books on a daily basis, I’ve been able to determine what works best in terms of capturing my attention as a reader. But publishing companies have their own ideas when it comes to covers. Most get the stock photography treatment. I’m assuming they use so much stock photography because it’s affordable. And I ought to know because I found the cover image for SIM for six dollars on But a lot of stock photography is royalty free, meaning anyone can use it, which often results in multiple books getting the same cover.

Case in point: Take a look at the covers for Jill Nelson’s Let’s Get it On, Brenda Jackson’s Some Like it Hot, and Maureen Smith’s Touch of Heaven. Three hot covers with the same hot guy. As much as I love the cover image I've picked out, I'm not sure I could use it knowing it's been used for another cover. Sadly most authors don't get a choice. They have to take what's given to them.

So what captures my attention as a reader? Color. I love bold covers with vivid color. But I also love black and white images with a pop of color. I have no problem with people on the cover as long as the image conveys what the book is about, like the gorgeous, kick ass cover for Seressia Glass’s upcoming urban fantasy novel, Shadow Blade, which by the way I can't wait to read! If you have a suggestion for an eye-catching cover you’ve seen lately, or if you’re proud of your own book cover, I’d love to see it. Please post the link in the comments.


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