...better known as Covers: Before and After
Today I am talking about The Cover. You've written your novel. You've subbed it to a publisher. The publisher loves it - obviously. You sign the contract. Then you get the Cover Art request. Suddenly you've got a choice, a chance to influence the cover that can make or break your book.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in creating a drama, but I really do believe that a great cover is one of the strongest selling points you have as a newly published author.
There are those covers that have obviously been done by a cover artist - any pictures are cropped and blended well, the background is effectively chosen to make your characters or cover scene pop, the lettering is balanced well without dominating. Then there are those covers that have not been done by a cover artist or someone trained to use digital editing software. Someone like me.
I have a novel and three short stories published by Front Porch Romance this year, and I have been extremely lucky to work with a fantastic publisher, editor and cover artist, all of whom want the same for my books as I do - for them to be attractive and eye-catching and to sell the words inside, to create an instant snapshot into who or what the reader might find between the e-covers.
The Cover Art request is a chance for you to suggest images that suit your vision of your characters and provide the cover artist with sufficient information about the story, setting and hero and/or heroine to allow them to do their job properly. The cover artist I work with welcomes suggestions, even mock ups of how you visualize the end result, and she is honest in her opinions about whether something will work or not. But at the end of the day, you need to let them do their job and be guided by their expertise.
As an author, the wait for your first cover can be excruciating, but as a note of caution, you should also temper your enthusiasm with reality. The cover will not necessarily be a mirror image of what you imagined because the cover artist hasn't lived with the characters and settings for as long as you have, but it will be an interpretation of the information you have provided.
To this end, I thought it would be fun to share the before and after of each of the covers of my books, so that you can appreciate the skill of the cover artist, and also see how she has brought my characters to life.
The Rock Star's Girls
The French Connection
A Family Connection
A Literary Connection