Blogger: Rachel Kent
I received draft covers for two books this week! I love looking at book covers before they are finalized. This is one of the fun parts of being a literary agent. For one of the books, I thought the draft cover looked great, so no feedback was necessary. For the other cover, both of the options that were sent needed a little work. The cover options looked cluttered. Between the two options there was clearly one that stood out as the best, but my client and I both thought that with some changes the cover could really shine.
For this second cover, I wasn’t copied on the email sent by the publishing house to my client with the cover attachments, but my client knew to forward it to me. As her agent, I was able to write back to the publishing house with our suggestions for the cover and an agent’s requests can often carry more weight because we have a strong relationship built. We also work with the same editors on many projects and they want us to keep bringing our clients to them. Also, agents often have a better idea of what does well on a book cover and what doesn’t, just because we have worked on so many–so be sure to involve your agent in this part of the publishing process.
Generally on covers, I like to see a large-sized author name and title, colors that pop, a picture or image that makes sense with the content of the book and a simple, yet powerful overall design. A reader’s eye doesn’t know where to focus when a cover gets complex and cluttered. It’s also important for the spine of the book to stand out on a shelf. The color and font on the spine makes a big difference.
We got a copy of Stephanie Grace Whitson’s A Captain for Laura Rose recently and I think this cover is gorgeous. It’s simple and has the appeal it needs. I do think the title could be a little easier to read, but the overall presentation is lovely.
What is one of your favorite book covers? (It can be yours or another author’s.)
Is there an element (or elements) that you think is essential for a great cover?