AAAaaa! Book cover… stock art… I’ve been waiting for this…

I just received an e-mail from iUniverse about stock art and that I can look around and see if anything speaks to me.  And although my ears are wide open nothing is talking.  Art for the cover of the book is so very important.  This is more important than the title.  In all of my years working around books, I have found that people will look at the cover before reading the name.  I know, no brainer, you have to see the cover before you can read the words on it.  But too many times have wonderful classics and great books been passed over because of the cover.  I’ve even sold the much more expensive ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ several times because that one had a better cover (the prices of the 2 books were $35 and $10, if memory serves, and both were hard back).  So many book titles have not even been read, or back of the books not been looked at, all because the picture was not grabby enough.  This picture needs to be not just good, but great, and hold on to the person looking at the cover.  There needs to be an element of suspense, a little wisdom never hurts, and the topic has to go with it well.  If I was looking over Harlequin books and saw a cover with a very nice looking robot, I wouldn’t pick it up and read it.  I would think it was in the wrong place and skip over it.  I guess if it said, “Romancing the Robot” I might, now that I’m thinking of the cover… hum?  That might make for an odd but interesting romance with a sci-fi twist.  Truly though, if the cover is not right for the genre it will not sale.  My daughters wouldn’t pick up the anime books (aka manga) if they didn’t have cartoons on them.  Men will, however, pick up sports and car magazines with near nude women on them.  I wonder, if it was a book on how to cook the best meals and do your own laundry with the cover and in the book it was full of nude women doing chores, if they might buy it as well.  As a matter of fact, it might make a few men help out around the house.  Anyway it wouldn’t help my husband; he might help out if I bought him a video game guide on how to help clean house… maybe. … ok back to reality.  Excluding some men and nude female covers, the book cover has to be right or people will think it’s for something different.  The cover speaks to the buyer before the characters in the book get a chance.  So right now my dilemma is… Will I help to make the right choice with my book?  This is not my area.  I can see when things are not symmetrical.  I love art.  Waterhouse is one of my all time favorites, but will I pick out wisely for my book?  I have been trying to go with simple, without plain… this is hard for me.  I do have a ‘cover copy polish team’ but I still say what goes.  I am second guessing myself all over the place… AAAaaa!!!

Warning ~ this was written by a nervous, babbling author.  Any book ideas that are used from this segment must be taken at the readers own risk of possible failure.


4 Responses to AAAaaa! Book cover… stock art… I’ve been waiting for this…

  1. Chris says:

    Breathe in…breathe out–slow deep breaths. Just go w/your intuition.

    • sarahwinters says:

      Thank you. I will. I’m making an emergency cotton candy run in a few. I will also be grabbing some diet cherry Dr. Pepper. Then you know where to find me. LOL!

  2. uninvoked says:

    *gets butterfly net out and attempts to catch the bouncing author*

    Calm down. Catchy covers certainly do help, but content is the difference between whether the reader tells all his friends to go buy a copy, or to run away if they so much as glimpse the title. I’ll pick up a good book with a bad cover if my friends tell me its good. ^^

    • sarahwinters says:

      Thank you. I might need you to stick around with that net, who knows when I’ll need it again. 🙂 I’ve just seen so many people put down great books because of the cover. Your right, word-of-mouth can be just as important. I was thinking more of the people who have never heard of the book. I guess working in libraries and bookstores have good and bad points for a future author. I know how hard people can treat a book. I’ve seen some of the most grotesque bookmarks. I’ve watched people talk down about books they refuse to read. But on the up side I have watched children fall in love with books. I’m not scared to sale a book. I love meeting people who love to read. Book people are my favorite. I’ve even dressed up as Little Sister (Berenstain Bears) for B&N. I was the only one short enough in the store to wear it and it stunk! Literally the bear head… yuck. 😀 The cover is still a little scary but if people like it then that is all it takes, that and for those people to leave great reviews on Amazon. 🙂 Thanks again.

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