Friday, December 19, 2008

The making of a cover

UPDATE: First of all, I'm grateful to report that Emmanuel made it through surgery and that it was a success. Please continue to prayer for a complete recovery, and especially that he will be able to walk again. Thank you for all your prayers and the contributions that are being sent in to pay for the surgery and food for the community.

On another note, I've always been interested in how book covers are created. To be honest, the cover is a big selling point to me. If I don't like the cover, I'm less likely to buy the book. And the opposite is true as well. A fantastic cover can convince me to buy it over another book.

Typically, the author fills out a number of forms with information regarding the main characters as well as the overall theme of the book to help the artist create the cover that you see in the book stores. Right now, I'm working on one for Zondervan for my new suspense series. They ask a large range of questions from the color of the heroine's eyes, to elements that could be featured on the cover, to a list of already published covers the tone I'd like to see.

In the end, it's the publisher who chooses the final cover. I have, though, been asked for my opinion on early sketches of the cover and have been allowed to ask for slight revisions when the cover didn't fit a certain aspect of my book. Thankfully, I've always been very pleased with my publisher's choice on covers.

In the past couple days, I've got to see two of my covers that will be released next year. It's always fun to see what the cover artist comes up with. What do you think? Does a cover really sell a book?


  1. Personally, yes a cover does influence me. But if I know the author's previous works, and like them, then I will be more willing to buy the book. The cover doesn't matter as much.

    The other thing that influences me is the quick synopsis on the back or inside.

  2. I agree, Anita. The synopsis on the back is also so important. I'm writing one now for Blood Ransom, my first Zondervan suspense. They might not go with my idea, but it's fun to try and flesh out the story in a few words so that it will catch the eye of the reader. It's a tough thing to do, but essential!