Covers are super important. Having worked in a bookstore, I know a good cover is half the reason a book is picked up and purchased. In fact, my goal as a bookseller was, first, to get the customer just to pick up the book. The chances of a sale go up dramatically at that point. That’s why I would situate books with awesome covers so they faced out. Marketing 101.
So when I sold my YA horror novel, RESIDUE, my first thought was, “YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!” Followed very quickly by, “Oh crap. Someone is going to make a cover for my book.”
I was talking about this specifically with a friend, Dan Wells, author of the John Cleaver novels and the Partials series. I asked him, “Is it bad that I’m terrified what my cover is going to look like?”
In a very Yoda moment, he said, “You should be.”
Covers are interesting, and are actually two parts. First, there is cover art–the picture that everyone judges. Then there is cover design–where the title goes, where the cover quote goes, what all that looks like, and how the spine of the book looks and what the back of the novel looks like. Usually good cover design can soften bad cover art. But bad cover design can also ruin good cover art.
I’m super pleased, and I think this illustrates how cover art and design should go hand-in-hand. Note the fake quote from Larry Correia at the top. This image was sent to me before Larry had written his blurb. This is the actual quote: “Residue is a fast-paced, fun read with great characters and the best prom scene since Carrie. Steve Diamond writes kick butt mutants, psychics, and guns. I loved it.”
I’ll talk more about cover quotes later, but Larry’s is awesome.
A shout-out to Shawn King, who made my cover. He’s awesome.