It's a cliche, sure. But it's a truth of this business: a good--or bad--cover is the first impression a book makes on a potential reader. While nothing can save a poorly-written book, a good cover can help a good book find its audience.
Back in December, CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment on the evolution of book covers and their importance. Editors were interviewed, giving their opinions. Cover artists explained the hows and whys of cover design.
I've been open about my feelings with regard to the covers of my own books. On the plus side, they were certainly eye-catching: bold colors and lettering. On the negative? With the exception of Angels at Midnight, they didn't tell the potential buyer much about the novel. But this was the eighties--greed is good and all that. The glitz and glamour wouldn't play well today, which is why we're changing the covers (and in some cases, the titles) for the e-book editions. Here are the covers for A Time for Legends, which will be e-published under its original title, The Unicorn's Daughter--about a photojournalist searching for her spy father in Libya at the time of the US air strike in 1986:
I've never read any of the books in the Twilight series. I'm just not into teen angst, with or without vampires and werewolves. But the covers certainly did catch my eye in Borders. They made me pick up the books and check them out:
When Collin designed the cover for Chasing the Wind, I wanted a representation of the two opposing forces of the story: faith and science. He used a parchment background and Papyrus font to represent the ancient text discovered on the archaeological dig. Science? The DNA strand that runs down the center of the cover.
Mike Saxton's 7 Scorpions: Rebellion is an example of cover art that's eye-catching and speaks volumes about the story:
One of Collin's best designs is for William Kendall's upcoming Heaven & Hell--simple but elegant, it would stand out anywhere:
A favorite of mine is the cover Collin designed for his own upcoming novel, ELE (Extinction Level Event):
And he's done five covers for Beth Muscat. Here are two of them:
It's been suggested that with the growing popularity of e-books, cover designs would lose their importance. I disagree. I see cover art as being as important as ever, certainly as a tool for promoting one's books online, whether it's on the books' product pages, blogs, author websites, or elsewhere on the Internet. They remain useful on press releases and ARCs (advance reading copies). And of course, for the paperback editions for those die-hards who still want a printed book....
SPECIAL THANK YOU to Erin Lausten for her very generous blog today. My ego has now swelled to ten times its normal size and is making like Godzilla trampling Tokoyo!