I 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.
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?