Book Covers and the path they trod 4


I’m going to say something that some authors are going to find shocking:

Authors should have little to no say over the actual cover on their books.

Now, before you get in an uproar, let’s talk about what a book cover actually does. It is your first point of sale. Basically, unless it’s from a fan who knows your name and is after anything and everything you write, it is your first marketing pitch toward a new fan.

Marketing pitch. And as a rule, most authors are not marketers. And even if they are? They are too close to their books.

Unfortunately, most ePublishers aren’t exactly outfitted with a huge marketing department, so they take the author’s input seriously. And while that is appreciated, I don’t think that it necessarily is good for the book in the long run.

Marketers are trained and study what attracts the reader. Then they work with artists who have ‘hopefully’ worked hard in cover design to bring out the best seller. Yes, the author should provide basics toward what their characters look like and what the book is about, but when it all comes down – the cover should have the best marketing attraction out there. Not be the one that most attracted the author.

Authors have a tie with their characters and plot and may want to have a tight hold over what their book looks like, but I do not think that is in the best interest of the book necessarily. Not in the long run.

Leave the writing to the writers, marketing to the marketers, and the cover design to the artists.


4 thoughts on “Book Covers and the path they trod

  • Tara Finnegan

    I don&#39;t quite agree…I think authors should have right of refusal if they absolutely hate it! Otherwise I can&#39;t argue with you. I know nothing about covers and what will help sell a book and would very much rely on a publisher to be more in the know.<br />Interesting post<br />

  • Kathy Heare Watts

    I am a reader not writer! I will be the first one to admit I am a &quot;cover girl&quot; and if a cover doesn&#39;t grab my attention, I will just pass it by. I do not like cartoony or childish looking covers, I am an adult and that doesn&#39;t grab me. I want a cover to have adults and make me want to stop and read the blurb. <br /><br />I do think authors should have a say in covers because

  • Cara Bristol

    I agree with you to a point. I think authors get too caught up in the finer details of their book covers and forget the big picture of marketing. On the other hand, I&#39;ve seen publishers get it WAY wrong. Some publishers aren&#39;t any more savvy about book covers than authors.

  • Thianna D

    I agree that if a cover is deplorable, that an author should be able to say, uh, no. But I hear about authors digging through photo sites and telling the publishers they want &#39;this scene&#39; with &#39;these models&#39;. In that way, they are creating the cover. <br /><br />And there needs to be some separation. I&#39;m not saying an author should have no input – just that they need to not

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