The Great Conspiracy of The Flashy Cover


We’ve all done it before – browsing the aisles of a bookstore as you wait for your flight to be announced, scrolling through pages on Amazon looking for the perfect book to upload to your Kindle before your train commute, or (shock of all shocks) walking into Foyles to explore the wonders that publishers have deemed worthy to provide for our perusal. Most people will tell you that an author’s name or a blurb drive their purchase of books but let’s be honest, put a pretty picture on any old crap and you might be able to sell it to a king. When dropped in a sea of literary works, most of us usually walk towards (or hover over) a book because the cover attracts our attention. Then we notice the title and the author’s name (whichever is in larger font) before we even check what the book is about.

Why am I going on about this? I recently completed the first draft of my YA novella, Aversion, and was faced with the task of creating a cover for it. When it comes to marketing related tasks, I prefer this exercise to synopsis or blurb writing so I tend to spend more time on this than I should  (although I’ve heard this doesn’t necessarily translate to the end product). I like book covers with block colours and few images on, like those I’ve included above. No pretty lasses in frocks floating about on my covers, thank you very much. Yes, those types of covers are eye catching and most people think that’s what young adult novel covers should look like but they don’t really have anything to do with my stories. It’s bad enough that people mistake some of my work for romance just because of the young adult genre (okay, this only happens with The Other Slipper but people, why can’t YA adventure exist without romance?).

Anyway, in my lengthy research on book covers, I came across this blog post which restored my hope in simple covers. It shows some iconic but simple book covers from the 20th century which support my notion that over glossed, fluffy covers are not necessarily the only way to go. Unfortunately I don’t think any of the titles are in the YA range (unless we class Lord of the Flies as YA) so maybe I still need to rethink my strategy. And maybe I need to step into the 21st century. Maybe…

I’ve previously uploaded my attempts at being a cover designer on here so I decided to put up the current fruits of my labour. Do people have any opinions? The covers are pretty much the same concept with slight variations (the three I’ve narrowed my efforts down to are at the top of this post). I’ve included the current blurb to give a feel of the story but all of these are subject to change before the end of year release of the novella. Let me know what you think.

Aversion – Book One of “The Mentalist Series”

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?

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