This is going to be a pretty short post, but I’d just like to emphasize once again that covers are so important to a novel and can truly help a marketing campaign & pre-publishing promo of a book.
I know covers are totally out of the author’s control, so you have to hope and pray your publisher pulls through with a beautiful one! Obviously some imprints & publishers have a larger budget for covers, meaning more bells and whistles (UV coating, shiny foil, embossed, iridescent sheen, stamped insides, pretty end papers, etc.). These are so gorgeous, and it’s the little details that count.
We shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but it’s human nature to do so. You want the pretty cake, not the badly iced one, right? But all cake is good cake, and no matter how pretty the outside is, or how unattractive, it doesn’t take away from what’s inside.
Good covers are very helpful in boosting pre-publishing excitement–just look at the countless cover-dedicated posts out there. I host a Cover Geek once a week where I can swoon over all the pretty covers in the YA community. It can really add to a book’s hype, which is why it’s great to have a beautiful cover, so people give the insides a chance.
But beyond the bells and whistles, covers should really emphasize what the book is about. That’s the whole purpose, besides attracting readers to buy the book.
Seeing a solid background cover with large font on it won’t really tell you much about the book. But seeing details, such as a tree or an apple or blood or a sword, can make the reader really understand what the novel is about.
You should be able to tell what the story is about from that one image on the cover, knowing if it’s fantasy or romance or contemporary or something else. Trends tend to stay within genre lines, and it’s not always a good idea to take a trend from another genre and use it in something else because it can definitely confuse people.
But, besides content, covers also work really well in establishing the mood of the story. The atmospheric feeling–eerie, magical, dark, etc.–sets the tone for the reader even before they start reading. Seeing something overly jolly on the cover and then opening the first chapter to read about domestic abuse can leave the reader feeling betrayed.
So the moral of this post is having a good cover is awesome and fantastic and opens up so many doors for the author–not only in exposure, but in improving the chances of your book being picked up. This is out of your control, but most publishers won’t let you down.
What’s your thoughts on covers? Do you think they’re important? Let’s chat!