Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
This week I’d like to explore with you the role that covers play in helping your books to find their audiences…or not. We’re going to look at some covers that served the content well and others…not so much. Many elements go into considering whether a cover works. But here are some elements that aren’t a consideration:
- Does the author like the dominant color used in the cover? Really, the reader could care less that emerald green is on your all-time, most-hideous-color-ever list. What counts is whether the cover conveys the right “feel” for the content of the book. If green suggests the bright hope of tomorrow, and that’s what your book is about, learn to like green.
- Is the model used on the cover a match for how the author perceived the protagonist (in the case of fiction)? Sometimes it doesn’t matter that the cover designer saw the protagonist differently from how the author did. When it does matter is if a historical detail is incorrect or if the protagonist is rendered a blonde when in the story she’s a brunette. Or if the model isn’t the age of the protagonist because that would convey the wrong message about the age of the intended reader. (If the protagonist is 40 but the model is 20, a different audience will be drawn to the book than the author intended.)
- Does the font appeal to the author? The two valid reasons to suggest a font change are whether the words are readable or if the font conveys the wrong message about the tone of the book. I saw a cover recently with a font that suggested a historical time period even though the novel was contemporary–wrong message.
Here’s a cover that is wonderfully consistent in the bright, youthful feel it communicates. The font is a perfect fit for the whimsical nature of the title. Everything works in concert to invite the intended reader to pick up this book and BUY IT!