Cover Art for Time’s Fugitive

Time's Fugitive book coverI design my own book covers (sometimes my graphic design background comes in handy), and was pleased to finish this one last week. Time’s Fugitive is the sequel to Time’s Enemy, and is slated for release as an e-book in December. Depending on how print book sales go for Time’s Enemy, Time’s Fugitive will also be released in print, about a month after the digital release.

Covers matter a lot to me, never mind the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” People do. I know I do. Authors published by big publishing houses usually have little to no input in cover art. There are a lot of bad covers. By “bad,” I mean poorly executed, unreadable, or just plain ugly. They happen to independently-published books and to those from small publishers, but they happen to big-time published books, too – the three-armed woman on Christina Dodd’s Castles in the Air is probably the most classic example. Then there were the notorious, ugly “nekkid Poser people” that seemed to appear on every other erotic ebook for a while. I’m glad that trend went away! Designing my own covers means I don’t have to worry about any of that. If a cover misses the mark, I can easily upload a new one, with the only cost being my time and any stock photos I have to license.

Something Dangerous by Patrick Redmond

I totally grabbed this book because of the cover!

Even if you’re paying someone, there are some great cover artists who provide wonderful covers for very reasonable fees – I’ve seen as little as $100. I’m not looking for cover art work right now, but if you’re an independent author and you’re looking for cover art, I recommend my cousin and fellow author, Sheri McGathy. Sheri also does copy editing (including mine).

The Writers’ Guide to Epublishing did a good article about cover art a couple weeks ago, and the commenters (mostly or all authors) pretty unanimously agreed that good covers sell books, and bad covers can hinder sales. What do you think? Whether you’re an author or a reader, do you care about cover art? Has a cover ever made you pick up a book (and buy), or conversely, has a book cover ever made you not buy a book you otherwise might have?

8 Responses to \

  1. Gah, I love your covers.

    We use covers for sales cues (Does this book feature story elements that I’m looking for?) as well as general eye-candy. While that helps you out when you’re rushing through a bookstore…it makes for a depressing sameness that can be misleading (lookin’ at you, Urban Fantasy) when you’re looking for something a little unique. By the same token, a book might be passed over by genre fans because the cover cues aren’t there. It’s a crapshoot, either way.

    My reasoning is that covers should do their best to express the kind of story behind them (so don’t put a space ship on there if you don’t feature space travel prominently in the story) I think it was Amanda Quick who always seemed to have the perfect cover mix–some object from the story (a necklace, a fan, a key), and many times a step-back that featured the couple in the obligatory clinch (which I don’t mind at all if it’s done well and features the right amount of limbs in anatomically-possible positions).

  2. Thanks, Athena! I soooo agree – the cover should encapsulate the tone and type of content of the book, if nothing else. I’m with ya on the UF covers too – so tired of the typical skinny chick with a tramp stamp in extreme low-rise pants and bustier, in a fighting stance. So overdone!

  3. I also pay attention to book covers. Word of mouth can get me to read a book without a good cover, but titles and covers can get me interested in books I don’t know much about. I have read a few books entirely based on the cover and blurb, some of which were quite good. I like your covers, Jennette! Your graphic art background certainly comes in handy, eh?

  4. It sure does! Nice that I’m once again getting something out of that college degree my parents paid for. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!