Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What A Cover Tells You...

One of the biggest mistakes a self-published author can make in designing their own book cover is trying to tell the entire story in the book cover. The writer wants to take something that took them over 80,000 words and condense it into one image.

It's almost impossible and it usually doesn't work anyway.

First, you want a cover that let's the eye focus. A cluttered cover usually makes your cover confuse the reader's eye. One doesn't know what to look at which means most readers will just move on.

Second, the cover should entice but still leave a surprise for the plot to reveal.

Third, the cover should fit your genre and mood. No one buys a romance cover expecting to get a book on a car maintenance. Make it match.

Fourth...don't forget to put your title/author name on. Yeah, I know this one doesn't have that. Font matters and should fit the look as well. I'm still working on this one.

So look at the lovely cover above (and yes it's a work in progress), what can you tell me about the book from just the cover?

Some questions to consider:

Who is the main character?

What genre is this novel? Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Action-Adventure, Humor
How can you tell?

What is the mood of the book?

What is the setting?

What is your best guess on the plot?

And just think, all that information from from a picture that is very simple.

Does that help you plan your cover?