I've never given the cover of my yet-to-be-sold-or-published-book a second thought until this blog post. Maybe the book was never quite real to me until I got to this almost-last draft.
My published friends sometimes gush over their perfect cover. Less often, they may express real regret about one that just doesn't communicate the contents very well. And we've all been to those remaindered booksellers, where the volumes are piled high, arranged somewhat by genre but not at all alphabetically by author--books who've seen some hard shipping days and very little love. Their covers are seldom appealing.
Once I took a big step back from the yards and yards of tabletops, and squinted my eyes. The weak art, poor layout, hideous colors, and unfortunate typeface choices all blended together. These sad books with their bad covers were destined to be judged harshly, then discounted, then discarded.
I rather like a solid color, cloth binding with a 50s-era abstract paper cover, like the lovely reprints of Flannery O'Connor's books:
I doubt such a gambit will sell my book, about a financial fraud investigator who follows a trail of missing casino millions right back to her own front door. But putting a bunch of chorines and mobsters on the cover would be misleading--it's about money, and friendship, and family; things that a laser focus on acquiring more at any cost can destroy. Something I think a lot about these days--just as I did when I lived in Las Vegas as a child.
So, of course I want an image of my heroine on the cover. She's strong, smart.
Anyway, I'm just grateful I don't have to come up with it myself. My husband arranges for the covers of the books for his graphic novel sereis, and it's always a very difficult thing to try and capture the essence of a book on the cover.
What images have perfectly summarized a book for you?