Wednesday, July 14, 2010
You Can't Tell a Book By Its Cover
So when we authors see our cover art for the first time, it can be a mixed bag. Sometimes objects appear on the front that aren't even in the book. Sometimes the artist misses the essence of the theme and setting by a long "shot". Sometimes we love, love, love what they did.
Most of the time, we aren't involved in the cover design decisions at all. One day, out of the blue, an attachment arrives in our inbox from the publisher. And there it is, in all its glory. Or not.
I've been lucky with my more recent stuff. My publisher gives me a little voice before the staff meets to work up ideas. Berkley Prime Crime (where my doll series was published and where the Queen Bee mysteries under my pen name Hannah Reed will be published) has a great track record for doing things right (usually).
Recently, a bunch of us got together to bemoan some of the worst mistakes made in cover design. We all write cozy mysteries (yea, for cozies!), which means absolutely no blood and guts hanging out. Nothing "grizzly", so to speak.
I ended up winning for worst cover design! Here's why:
When Murder Grins and Bears It large print rights were sold, that publisher came up with a more "appealing" cover. I worked in a library. I know the majority of large print readers are women who don't appreciate gore. So let's vote on best cover for my humorous romp through the backwoods. (note: it was originally published in 2007 with an even different cover.)
Which one would you buy? p.s. there are NO traps, snarling bears, or killed animals in the book.
And authors, feel free to join in with your own stories.