Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Choosing a book cover

photo credit: Scholastic
by Brittany Geragotelis

From what I understand, most authors don't have a say in what their book covers look like. And while they might take the author's opinions into account, the final results are really up to the publishers.

photo credit: Poppy
photo credit: Scholastic
photo credit: HarperCollins
photo credit: Little Brown
That's why I've found myself in such a unique position right now, of having to brainstorm my own book cover. And it's a lot harder than you'd think.
Since I'll be publishing my latest project, Life's a Witch, on the website wattpad.com in January, I'm going to need a book cover to go along with it. Something to reflect the general tone, while still being intriguing and playful. My main character is gorgeous and smart, but also very witty, and although there's some heavy stuff that goes on in the storyline, it's also funny and light at times. And trying to come up with one piece of art that sums that all up in a glance? Not an easy feat.
Luckily, one of my best friends and co-workers, Toni, has signed up to be the brains behind the operation! As the art director of our magazine, her design skills are to die for, and there's no one else I'd rather have bring her masterful vision to this project.
When Toni first agreed to take this on, we sat down and discussed what we both liked about the book covers that were on bookshelves today.
And I hate to say it (out loud), but I do judge a book by its cover.

I know, I'm breaking, like, the cardinal rule of book reading....but I receive about 50 books a month and can usually only get to about two to three in that time (hey, it would be more, but I have a full-time job, write books in my spare time, and still need to fit in sleep, fun and couple-time!), so I have to have a selection process to narrow down the list. So, yes, I take five seconds (sometimes 10) to look at the cover of a book before deciding whether it's worth looking at the description on the back.

So, I totally get how important the cover is to capturing an audience....which makes the process of designing it that much harder. But Toni and I know the direction we're headed in and if I was going to trust anyone to come up with something amazing, it would be her. Now, all we have to do is find the perfect picture....

Any ideas?