Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

You've heard the old adage about judging a book by its cover. Well, discerning readers do. They can differentiate between covers that ignite the imagination and those that are schlepped onto a book willy nilly. I'm too professional to post others' crappy covers here (read: I believe when we bad mouth others we're inviting them to bad mouth us) but feel free to surf Amazon's free or 99¢ titles for examples of what I mean. A cover should be chosen with care. The theme, style, and mood of a story are reflected in a well chosen illustration. 

Not only will we judge a book by its cover, but we should judge our own works by their covers.

Know what you want: Consider the style of your book and look at other books in the same genre. Do you want to fit in or stand out? Think about what colors represent the mood and flavor of your book and if a modern or classic image would be more suitable. I'll admit that I lucked out! The fabulous designers at Cedar Fort asked for my input early on and delivered an image with everything I requested: a jewel tone color scheme, a single female pictured in a pensive position, subtle roses as a nod to Beauty and the Beast, and modernity blended with classic details. When I received the preliminary cover, I let out a girly shriek and freaked my friend out! That was it. I still love everything about it.

Don't settle for mediocrity: About a year ago, my cousin and I had a conversation about high quality book covers. She's an artist and photographer and related the story of a friend who demanded one thing and another in a book cover, but after being presented with several options, she chose a generic cover that featured none of the elements she'd requested. It was at this point that I whipped out my phone, pulled up the preliminary cover for Becoming Beauty, and showed it to my cousin. "That," she said, "is what I'm talking about!" To have an artist's endorsement of my little book gave me a distinct thrill!

Do your homework: There are plenty of designers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The fun of social media is that you can get a feel for designers' strengths without committing to anything. Most of them are open to questions about their products and will chat with you freely about what they can offer. Take your time. Remember that a good cover will pay for itself in the long run. Covers are the first impression consumers will have of your book and an eye-catching cover urges readers to delve deeper, learn more, and ultimately purchase your book. 

So yes, my darlings, be judgey. But only if you're prepared to be judged by your own cover. (And please, don't apply the same logic to your relationships with anything other than the written word.Take it from a plumpy girl with dimples, people are rarely how they seem in a first impression.) 

If you'd like to learn more about Becoming Beauty, this is the perfect time! For its six month birthday, Becoming Beauty is 99 cents on Kindle, Nook iTunes, & ebook. Enjoy!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Shauna! Nothing like getting biblical on a subject like cover art, eh? Thanks for reading!