Wednesday, November 24, 2010
One of the things my publisher asked for was for my book cover vision. Some publishing houses don't care what the author thinks. Luckily, mine does.
I had a lot of ideas, of course, but being the researcher that I am, I wanted to find out what, exactly, makes a good book cover. So, I did some research on romance covers.
I found three common themes: Person, couple, scenery.
There are often variations of the above three, like a person with a scenic/story-related backdrop.
I also took a poll, asking what readers prefer: person, couple or scenery. Scenery won. Person and couple tied.
My next step was to evaluate the covers of those top-selling books within the genre. Overwhelmingly, the big-name romance authors had scenic, feminine, and often floral motifs gracing the covers of their books. They also had their oh-so-famous names in giant bold letters, but that's another topic all-together.
Another observation is that, in addition to the themes listed above, romance covers are usually made from a photograph or a painting. Rarely, if ever, cartoon/vector art. With the exception of erotica, although that's not really romance, now is it?
Final step in my task was to do an experimental visual assessment. I scrolled down a long list of tiny icons in Amazon.com's romance section to see what, at barely an inch tall, caught my eye. Was it a person's face? A sexy, embracing couple? Nudity? Flowers?
It was color. Blue's and purple's specifically. These aren't my favorite colors but, for whatever reason, covers with blue/purple made me pause.
Using the above information, I came up with two book cover options for the design artist to toy with. One is scenic with a vibrant light blue sky. The other has a face and scenery, lots of purple. Both look great at 1-3 inches, which is important for online shoppers.
Remember: A cover isn't just a cover; it's an essential marketing tool. Readers may not buy your book based solely on the cover art, but the cover is what will make them pause and pick up/click on your book.