So, you pick up a book because its cover catches your eye. Now you read the blurb on the inside jacket or on the back. Hmm, sounds like something you might enjoy. You purchase the book and get swept away in the story. Each time you close it, you glance again at the cover, more so if it is in paper form. You begin to see the significance of the cover’s art to the story or perhaps wonder when the link between the two will come.
Imagine now that you are the author of a book. You’ve spent months, maybe years crafting this written work and alas it is time to wrap it up for the readers you hope will love it. Such was the case when I finished my debut novel; I Know You’re There. Once I decided to publish it independently, I was equally excited to create the cover, as I was to write the story. I had no idea what went into a designing a book cover other than the title, my name and graphic art. I did thankfully know that I would need the expertise of an experienced graphic book artist.
Enter Debra from Tugboat Design. On our first meeting, I had already gathered a file of images that I envisioned would be prefect for my novel’s cover. Much to my surprise, however, Debra asked for a two-page synopsis of my story.
“But, don’t you want to hear my ideas?” I asked disappointed.
“Sure, you can send them to me if you like. But I will get a better image from your synopsis. You can include some details about what you think the mood of the cover should be if you want,” Debra said confidently and patiently. Debra, I came to learn, is one of the most patient people I have ever worked with.
I have worked with graphic designers in the past for business purposes: logo designs, brochures and websites, so I knew they possessed a unique, intrinsic skill to portray meaning in images. I was intrigued with Debra’s approach so we made a deal. I would send her the synopsis she requested and she would design a cover based just on that. Once she sent her design to me, I would send her the folder of images and ideas I had in my head for her to create some possible cover ideas.
In two short weeks, I had six great covers to choose from, Debra’s single idea and five of my own. Remember, Debra has gracious patience. But, I couldn’t choose! So, I pulled together a group of friends, family, writers and anyone I could find who I thought might consider reading a women’s fiction novel and asked them, “Which of these book covers would make you stop and pick up this book and/or buy it?”
I am not ashamed to admit that Debra’s one book cover was chosen by 75% of those I polled. Comments such as warm, inviting and intriguing were made over and over. Since choosing her design, I have had several book industry professionals’ comment that they like the book cover immediately upon seeing it.
If you’re a writer looking for a gifted professional to create the perfect cover for your written masterpiece, I highly recommend Debra. If you’re a reader, stop and pause a little longer to admire the art of the cover. What drew you to it? How does it tie into the story? Maybe you will even comment on it in your review as this book blogger did: The Book Bag Blog