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August 25, 2017
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What’s with this Book Cover? by Diana Flegal

Publishing is a consumer driven business. A lot of factors go into each aspect of a books development along its way to print.

And every once in a while, a book cover is assigned to a book the author dislikes.

Maybe the back ground is mountainous, and the story is set on a Prairie.

Or the people on the cover do not look the way the writer envisioned them.

One publisher I spoke with answered our questions this way:

“Too often authors are only concerned with the accuracy of a cover… a cover doesn’t accurately depict the story. (wrong hair color, landscape, wardrobe) You’ll hear this a lot at writer’s conferences. Yet, authors are often unqualified to judge what makes a great cover. They have one set of skills. Cover designers have another.”

The goal of a cover designer is to help the author find new readers. Most reader comments mention what they liked or didn’t like about the story, and rarely mention the cover.

Though it is hard at times to accept, we must trust a publisher knows what they are doing, then sit back and count up our sales.





1 Comment

  1. Had to smile when I read this. Although I liked the covers overall, I didn’t think my first two book covers displayed people that looked like the description of my characters. Billy Ray on the cover of Son of a Preacherman was too thin and he is described as a big muscular (not fat) guy. Ruth in Ruth’s Redemption is part Indian and African. The woman on the cover is too light skinned. I mention these details because people rave about those covers, always saying how lovely they are and that they really like the Sepia tone which was my idea. I was blessed in that the Lift Every Voice/Moody editors and I collaborated on the covers and they actually paid attention to my input. Their professional know how and my vision came together well. I learned that it doesn’t matter to readers that the cover characters are not perfect matches to their descriptions. As long as it is reasonably appropriate and very appealing. Something about the covers needs to attract a reader’s attention. That is what is important and makes them pick it up in a store or stop and check it out more online.

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